If you’re like I am, you’re a fresh baby in the greatest sorority to ever exist. There’s no adjustment needed; while it may be only a few weeks in to the best four (or five) years of your life, you feel comfortable. At home. Flourishing like you never have before.
Unfortunately, not the same can be said for your best friend.
Maybe she’s at your college, in which case, you’re extremely lucky. My best friend of seven years is at my rival college, ironically. Two and a half hours isn’t a big distance in the grand scheme of things, though, so there were no qualms over summer in regards to our friendship. She’d come up and sleep on my futon, I’d sleep on hers, and we would stay friends. Sounds familiar, right? Now, where everything went right for you, everything went wrong for her. She’s having trouble adjusting and isn’t putting forth any effort to make friends. She stays in and goes to bed early and has become the person on the hall who bitches at everyone to shut up the minute the clock strikes “quiet hours.” It causes some uncomfortable rifts when you two try to text and find a mutual standing ground to form some sort of conversation that used to be the norm. And then, you do the unthinkable.
You join a sorority.
While you’re overjoyed and want nothing more than to talk about how you ran home to the greatest group of girls ever, you know to tone it down because your friend had never really been supportive of your desire to go Greek. To her, not only is Greek life the most exclusive, elitist thing to ever grace American soil, but her withdrawn attitude about it only makes her despise that side of you more. So now, you’re floundering. What do you do? Here are some tips to handle your childhood best friend turning into a full-fledged geed.
1. Actually try to find out why they don’t like sororities.
Your friend may have a truly legitimate reason for getting bitchy that she may lose you to the greeks. Dig deep and see if this is the case. Usually, your friend just came across a myth that she believes to be true. Maybe she thinks you will never be allowed to speak to her again. Maybe she thinks you will never want to speak to her again. If this is the case, your job is easy. Dispel her unease and go back to being besties for the resties.
2. Introduce her to your new sisters without introducing them as such.
Set up a lunch or shopping trip, bring your friend along, and make sure nothing is said about the fact that the friends you brought are in your sorority. Chances are, she’ll get along with them–after all, there’s a reason you were picked to join their sisterhood. After everyone parts ways, make sure to spend some one-on-one time with her and start to break the news. Ask how she liked them, that kind of thing. Hopefully, your friend getting to know these girls as they are without a sorority label on them will help her see that Greeks are normal people, too.
3. Make sure to have some catching up time ASAP.
Because recruitment sucks every ounce of life out of you for a week, you probably haven’t had much time to really talk to your friend. If she goes to another school, you might not have even seen her since move-in. Since you can feel a rift coming, do some friendly bonding and catch up on all the busy details of her life. Yes, you want to talk about recruitment experiences and the first time you got to go out with your sisters after your dry period ended, but right now, you have to show pure enthusiasm about her interests. Make her think you believe they’re the best things to happen since sliced bread. Hopefully, this show of true friendship–being happy about your friend’s extracurriculars because she’s happy about them–will convey to your friend that maybe she, too, should show some love for your new social life.
4. If all else fails, drop her.
Unfortunately, not all friendships last, especially those that we come out of high school with. This is the last thing you want to do. You should fight tooth and nail for that friendship, but if it comes down to it, you just know when it’s time to let go. Let go like Rose let go of Jack (even though that was a TOTALLY UNNECESSARY MOVE). Drop her like your favorite house dropped you on the morning of round three (because there will be crying on both sides of this no matter what). If you have to, call her or tell her face-to-face that her attitude is piss-poor and you’re not going to be friends with someone who wants to shit on and disrespect an important aspect of your life. You may simply drift apart. While no one wants this to happen, just remember that there are tons of new girls (at least the 70 or so in your pledge class) waiting to become your new best friend. And this time, I hope it’s for life.
*Author’s note: I have nothing against people who don’t think Greek life is for them. However, I do have a huge stink-eye for “GDI and proud” people who think they are better than anyone in a sorority or fraternity. AKA, my probably soon-to-be ex-friend.
**Editor’s Note: God Damn Independents, or “GDIs” are perfectly nice people, too. Dropping your non-Greek affiliated friends for no reason might result in the loss of ALL of your friendships (even the Greek ones). Equality, baby. It’s 2014.