Beautiful Life

Happy Tuesday, my loves. I got soooo much love on my last post, and I just wanted to say thank you and that I feel very blessed to have all you wonderful people in my life.

I’m sitting here on my “porch” and watching the sun set on this beautiful day–there’s a car that has taken about 4 minutes to park in this one spot, and Tori and I are laughing about it. It was incredibly hot today, but right now the temperature is perfect for some porch sitting and homework. Of course, I am blogging, but I will get right to homework as soon as I’m finished!

Greek Week kicked off today, which means I have a week full of events and fun things to do. The first big event was a play on TEDtalks called Greek^y (please read the y as an exponent–I’m sure there’s a way I could do that, but I’m technologically challenged). It consisted of about a dozen students, all from different organizations, giving a talk about how Greek life has impacted them in some way. A girl talked about how her experience with Type 1 diabetes inspired her to join Alpha Gamma Delta. A guy explained how Greek life made him a more humble and better person. My friend Dani told us about how, at first, Greek life was not what she expected and therefore felt alone and out of place–of course, now she loves and is incredibly grateful for it (Hey, Dani, we love you a lot too!!!). It was all very inspiring and agreement snaps echoed throughout the auditorium. Greek Week never fails to bring all the organizations together. I mean, yes, everyone is out to win and the competition can get intense, but we all do it for a great cause. We all want to do it for a great cause.

The Greek^y event really reminded me of how much Greek life has affected me. College was supposed to be my real fresh start, like how I thought high school might be. And since high school worked out soooo well for my mental health, I was worried it would be a sickening rollercoaster 2.0.

I knew I wanted to rush from the beginning. Even if I didn’t love it, I still put myself out there and tried it out. Of course, the actual putting myself out there part was more than daunting. I had so much anxiety about it all, and thought about not doing it. I could try it again next year. But after a really wonderful (and wildly exhausting) orientation week, where I felt truly at home for the first time, I knew I had to follow through, nerves or not.

So I did it, and I’ve never had a single regret.

At first, though, I did feel kind of like an outcast. I didn’t drink, and I thought people would be judgmental about that. I thought it might affect any friendship I tried to make. And yes, people were judgmental, they didn’t really get it, but it didn’t matter. I still went out with my friends, I made incredible memories, and I fell in love with my life. While I didn’t hang out much with the girls in my sorority until sophomore year, I owe so much of my confidence and boosted self-esteem to Greek Life.

I walked into Cal Poly a scared and anxious girl, and I have turned into a strong and outgoing woman. I mean, I still have anxiety, I don’t know if that will ever change. But I don’t let it rule my life anymore, and I do things despite that anxiety. I take risks that I am afraid of, and conquering that fear is good for me. Heights, sharks, and spiders? Those I’m still terrified of. But talking to boys, participating in class, and working in retail? I fight those fears every day. I welcome them.

Okay, okay, maybe not the talking to boys part–I still really suck at that–but I refuse to let my lack of participation bring my grades down (because that’s a thing in my major).

I look back at my high school self. I wore pajamas to school and stayed home a lot of times when my friends wanted to hang out. I claimed I was just lazy or had other things to do, but it was really because I just didn’t care. I didn’t care about my appearance (in terms of the clothes I wore–we all know how much I care(d) about what my body looks like), and I didn’t need to go hang out with people who made me feel like I would never be a long-term part of their lives. Sure I tried sometimes, but most of the time I just didn’t–couldn’t–see the point. That’s not say I didn’t have any good memories in those four years. I have a lot, and though I didn’t really talk to any of those poeple after graduation, I talk to them now. I always try to get lunch with or see them when I am home on breaks. I can’t be bitter about things that weren’t their fault, and I’ve learned to forgive a lot of people.

Coming to college and joining Greek life was such a game-changer for me. I’ve branched out and met so many remarkable people–not just in my organization–that I thank God for every day. I am lucky to have found that kind of support and unconditional love here.

So with Greek Week up and running, midterms are popping up and my stress levels are rising. But I got this. I can handle it. And I am fully prepared to take back the title of “A O Winners!!” this Greek Week.

I’ll try to be less sappy next time. Stay tuned.

-Ash

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