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Between The Lines: Greek life can be healthy addiction if used properly

I’m exaggerating the dramas of my sorority sisters at our annual country-dance last year, when my crush puts his finger to my lips. He’s silencing my gossiping tongue and my inner girl.

I’m convincing him to be my date this year — and it isn’t going well.

“Do you girls realize how silly you sound?” he says.

It’s biblical almost … maybe even medieval, are my first reactions. But then worry sets in, pushing me to wonder: What if he knew that sometimes I skip class for a good workout or sit reading in a coffee shop just to be seen wearing my newest top? Girls do silly things.

I worry that, if he knew my grades, he’d abandon me like a sinking ship. During class discussions, I freeze and I can’t help thinking, “Who let the dumb blonde speak?” So I sit quietly, then get bored, and, finally, disengage myself from the class altogether. Often my attendance stops.

When a student loses confidence and interest in school there’s unfocused energy.

We learn in science class that all energy needs an outlet. Most often the absence of school and extracurricular activities leads to rebellion by lost students who turn to drugs, alcohol, gang violence or, in my case, a hard addiction to greek life.

For those who “speak greek,” library time is sometimes shortened for happy hours and fraternity parties stimulate basic conversation needs. Supplemental Instruction sessions offering students extra help are unwanted by students who’ve filled an empty learning vessel with hot air instead of fuel — or at least that is the reputation greeks can give off while trying to cover up any academic doubt. I’ve misled outsiders before.

Greek life is not a bad outlet, and not all members allow their grades and priorities to slip, however. All the philanthropy and community services performed by greek organizations make them an Athens’s dime. The danger in greek life comes from students who center their life on greek activities, following Twitter with the concentration of a lost tourist reading a map or scanning Facebook as if it’s Page 6 of The New York Times. But for many girls in greek life, being silly adds to life instead of constructing it. The foundations of a sorority house might be forged from silly gossip and peer pressure, but there’s also family, camaraderie, encouragement and friendship in the cement. A student who rushes for the social benefits of a sorority might soon find parts of her academics benefiting also. How silly.

A minimum GPA requirement enforced by Chi Omega bylaws — which, if broken, takes away a sister’s social privileges — keeps grades above average.

So, I know neglecting my classes too much will cause my greek-life outlet to suffer too. The more greek I become, the more my philosophy on grades and hard work changes as I gain confidence.

Sooner or later, my crush will learn the truth about me. Truth is I got bored with school.

I could have joined a gang, experimented with being high on life, and taken to wearing colored bandanas to country-dances, but greek life is an addiction cycle a silly girl can live with.

Steph Doan is a junior studying journalism and a reporter for The Post.

Share your greek-life addiction with her at

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