I didn’t realize that I was home. Until two fistfuls of shaving cream were dumped on my head.
I’ll get to that in a moment.
Moving to Union University, almost 900 miles away from my home in Florida, gave me what I wanted – a fresh start. An entirely new chapter of life, full of blank pages and endless possibilities.
I figured that one thing I should add to my new life was friends.
To that end, two of my roommates, who I met during freshman registration, convinced me to rush.
“We’ll do it together,” they bubbled. “It’ll be fun!”
Despite my suspicions about Greek life, I filled out the form for sorority recruitment, mentally replaying every moment (there were a lot of them) in the past year that I said I would never join a sorority.
My two roommates transferred to the University of Memphis before school started.
And I still wasn’t sure about the whole “sorority thing.” But I had absolutely nothing to lose. I figured this would give me a chance to meet people. If nothing else, it’d be an experience. That’s what college is for, right? To be stupid? To make mistakes? Someday, I’d reminisce about my dorky freshman days and laugh with highbrowed maturity about how I almost got sucked into the hard-partying, unendurably vapid world of sororities.
Instead, as I shuffled up and down Greek row in 4-inch heels, I found houses full of kind, welcoming girls. Girls who were held together with strong bonds of friendship. Girls with intelligence and ambition. Girls with welcoming smiles and contagious laughs. Some adorably goofy co-eds and some gently poised young ladies.
I can’t really remember why I was so skeptical of Greek life anymore. I guess that during rush, I had a revelation: stereotypes aren’t always true. What we expect isn’t always accurate. (Shocking, I know.)
But even after discovering that, I still wasn’t sure which sorority I wanted to invest the time and money into, if any of them. Among the muddle of Greek alphabet soup, no letters seemed to spell “home.”
Not until bid day.
After running to the house, taking (a rough estimate) 20 gazillion pictures, and casually getting to know each other, we played games with balloons filled with shaving cream, which (naturally) morphed into a shaving cream battle.
I was somewhat on the outskirts, amusedly watching my new sisters get covered with white foam, when someone came up behind me with hands full of shaving cream lathered my hair with it.
Shrieking, I whirled around to see a tall, blonde girl standing behind me, laughing.
Unless you’re a terrible, obnoxious person, you don’t play a prank on someone you don’t know. You do something like that to someone you have a relationship with. Someone you know will give you a hug and try to get you back.
As strange as it sounds (and is), when that shaving cream hit my head, I knew that I was a part of something bigger than myself, but something that would swallow who I am. I found friends I could be my nerdy, awkward self with. I found girls who would accept, encourage, and love me.
Some girls are smart. They figure out where they belong a lot sooner than I did. And stay much cleaner in the process.
But one thing you realize at college is that most of us don’t know where we’ll end up or even where we’re going. We take grasp at whatever chances are dangled in front of us, we offer people our hearts and cross our fingers, hoping that – maybe – they’ll like us, despite our quirks and insecurities.
I’m starting to think that may be how life goes.
Maybe we’re all looking for people who dump shaving cream on our heads.
I’m just thankful to have my sisters.
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