The Daily Eastern News

What you surround yourself with matters

Natalee Reynolds, Columnist

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My freshman year of college, I joined a sorority. I did not go through the formal recruitment process because I never thought that I would join one. Then my first and closest friend I made in college decided to go through the recruitment process, and she convinced me to meet some of the girls from her sorority.

I later accepted a bid to that sorority and spent the rest of that school year in it.

The following summer, however, I decided to drop it. After lots of thought, I decided that ultimately it was the best thing for me to do—I was struggling financially, mentally and academically, and I had decided that enough was enough.

Now, I first want to say that I do not blame the sorority for (all of) my academic or mental struggles, but unfortunately, it did contribute to a lot of my financial stress. While in the sorority, I made some poor decisions, and my grades and mental health reflected that.

I know this column might get some backlash or hate, so I just want to say again, I do not blame the sorority, nor do I hold any bad feelings towards it (or any sorority, for that matter) because I understand that I made those poor decisions, not the sorority.

Joining a sorority just wasn’t for me.

However, this past week, I have gotten into a lot of conversations with various people about sororities in general and why I dropped from the one I was in. And it got me thinking about things a little bit.

Whether it’s a sorority or social media or anything else, sometimes the things (or people) you surround yourself with can make you feel like you’re not living up to the potential to be the best version of yourself—and I think it’s really important to recognize that and understand that.

That’s really why I dropped. It wasn’t a reason against anyone or anything in or about the sorority, but I didn’t like the decisions I was making or the person I was becoming while in it.

I still respect all of the girls that I shared that sisterhood with, and I do not hold them against anything. But I like the person I am becoming now that I am not in it anymore.

And that’s the point that I’m trying to get across. If there is something restricting you or causing you to not perform as well as you could in school, then it’s OK to let whatever that is go.

It is equally important to notice these things, as it is important to surround yourself with things and people that give you motivation, inspiration and all of the good feels. Although you may not realize it, who and what you surround yourself with matters 100 percent.

If being in a sorority is your thing, and it makes you feel good and love who you are, then that’s awesome. Keep doing you.

But if it isn’t, then it’s okay to let it go. And this goes for anything—social media, your friends, a team, a class, etc.

Just know and recognize that you are awesome, and don’t let anything hold you back from being the best version of you that you can be.

Natalee Reynolds is a sophomore English and creative writing major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.
What you surround yourself with matters