Last night my pledge class and I had the bittersweet opportunity as seniors to share with the rest of our sisterhood some of the most important memories from our college years. While I listened to others share their most precious moments, I must admit that my eyes glistened as I was reminded of the deep bonds of friendship that have been built in such a short period of time. Why then, did the touching and personal stories fail to leave me weeping like others when I read my own aloud?
I am in denial. Complete and utter denial.
The fact that Graduation is only a mere two months away and the impending date looms closer each day is one that I mentally push aside, unable to admit the implications to myself. It’s a lot easier to spend these last moments as a student at Roanoke College pretending that everything isn’t about to change and ignoring the fact that friends who have become such a big part of my life will no longer be across the hall or down the street come September. I don’t think it’s too much to say that there will be an intense physical pain associated with the realization that pieces of my heart, whisked away by my friends and confidantes, will be carried away after May to various ends of the Earth. I don’t even want to think about what summer will be like without the joyful promise of reuniting with my pink ladies in Sunny Salem in a few short months. I can’t imagine what it will be like to start classes at a foreign campus, making acquaintances who will hopefully become friends but can never fill the void created by the absence of making memories with Phi Mu sisters every day.
My only solace is that I know in many of my sisters I have found best friends for life. I have never felt so strongly that friendships will last and that there are so many memories to be made in the future. I’m comforted by the fact that a few of my best friends who graduated last year still remain close to me despite our physical distance from one another and we can go right back to where we left off when they return to visit. I’m encouraged that friendships will last when I hear of women who graduated several years ago getting together on a regular basis and communicating often, although the miles between them probably remain hard to bear.
I truly feel sorry for those who have not experienced the type of bond that being a part of a sorority creates and the heartache caused by the ephemeral nature of the time living together. I’ve been asked several times if Greek Life is relevant or necessary in our world today. Being a member of Phi Mu has made me a better and more well-rounded person. It’s forced me to get to know people who are very different from myself, who probably wouldn’t be more than acquaintances otherwise, that are now people I am proud to call friends. It’s caused be to be less judgemental. Instead of dismissing someone because they hang out with different people than I do or engage in activities I may not, for example, I have learned to look past those outer elements to the person’s character. And there are quite a few “characters” who have become dear to me, might I add! Phi Mu has given me new leadership challenges and social opportunities. If that isn’t relevant, I’m not sure what is! To the Greek Life “haters” out there, I simply will never, ever agree with you.
My mom has shared with me in the past that she still misses her college friends and sometimes even has dreams that she’s back in Lewisburg, PA having a good time. While I certainly hope that college is not the best four years of my life (a dim prospect for the future), I am certain that it will be the most reminisced about and evoke the most nostalgia. It’s definitely been the best years of my life so far and even the little memories–becoming close with my pledge class, spending way too much time/money at Mac & Bob’s, brunch at the Back Table in Commons, and lounging around at Hotel Market–will always be cherished.
On that note, I’ll get back to experiencing the fun and feeling the tug on my heartstrings grow stronger as May 5th gets closer each day. Phi Mu, you are love.