My time in a sorority or Why my student loans are not paid off

I was paying my student loan bill from 2002 the other day.  There is nothing like paying a bill for something you did over 12 years ago to make you think about the past. 

I went to a state college in the midwest about 2 hours away from my hometown.  I went to college by myself feeling like I was leaving everything behind.  I had illusions that I needed to move away from home in another state and experience living on campus at college. What I didn't realize is how hard it would be.

When I got to college, I thought everything would fall into place very easily.  The girls on my floor at my dorm would become my close friends. I would have a great college experience.  Here's what really happened, my roomate did not show up.  This dissappointed me greatly.  I did not want to live alone in a new college in a new state.  So, I invited a girl who did not like her roomate to live with me.  The problem was that we could not have been more different.  She was the captain of the basketball team at her former high school and her school's homecoming queen.  I was in band and choir in high scool and did not really understand the need for homecoming royalty. 

The first week of classes were a big dissappointment for me as well.  I had tried out for some of the school's choirs and was not able to "make the team".  I was always very involved in activities in high school so I wanted to do something,  I talked to the director of the marching band who said I would be able to join, but I wanted to do something different in college. At the time, I thought I needed to try new things during my college experience.  So I did what any girl who is interested in choir and marching band would do, I decided to go through sorority rush. 

Now 99 percent of people would say "What? that doesn't make any sense?"  "She should have joined the marching band".  In hindsight, that would have been the better choice.  But remember my homecoming queen room mate? She was going through rush and managed to convince me to go through as well.  It was something new, which fulfilled my new college experience requirement.  Plus, I honestly thought there was no way on earth that I would get into a sorority, so there would be no harm done. 

Well, guess what? I went through rush and actually got a bid to join a sorority.  I remember  bid day and I was very nervous.  The rush counselors said they would call people to say that they did not get into any sorority. I waited all day for the phone call. I really, really wanted a phone call. But the phone did not ring.  That should have been a sign that I should have called the counselors back to say that I changed my mind or hid my closet until it was over or something,  But what did I do instead?  I went to bid day and joined the sorority. 

All I can say is that I was really confused and stupid as a teenager. I had no idea what I was doing in this new school.  So, I made weird choices that I wouldn't have normally made.  I didn't want to dissapoint the girls who had extended an invitiation to me.  Now that I look back, that was a really dumb thing to think.  I stayed in the sorority for my four years in college because I felt really lost.  I didn't know who I was or what I wanted out of life, and it was easier to be a part of a group even though I didn't really want to be there. 

It costs a lot of money to be in a sorority.  There are dues to pay every month, plus fees for activities.  Plus you got fined if you didn't attend enough of the events.  Not to mention, t-shirts, sweat shirts etc.  I probably could have bought a trip to Europe and a decent car with the money I spent on the sorority.  Or, I could have saved the money and paid off my student loans. Then I wouldn't be still paying them 12 years later. 

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