My Life As A Sorority Girl


I would like to be the kind of person that an acquaintance would assume is so intrinsically cool that, even as a youth, they'd imagine I was probably reading a lot of Palahniuk and really into arcane Hebrew psych rock. And that I spent my free time dyeing my hair teal, quoting Seinfeld, and studying Japanese—a precursor to Tavi's Rookie girl, I guess. You see, anyone can be into weird shit as an adult, but having had those interests as a teen is a real victory—the authentic vintage Chanel in the smelly, rotting, thrift-store mess that is high school.

Unfortunately, my adolescence was as unremarkable as my diet at the time—I devoured Subway turkey sandwiches, Starbucks Frappuccinos, artificial UV rays, and anything on Bravo. It’s not that I inherently had terrible taste, I think it was more my unconscious gravitating towards stuff that other people liked and found acceptable. After all, I did have the 'peculiar loner' thing going for me—my only three friends, bless them, all attended another high school on the other side of Dallas. I think it was that same yearning to be a part of a ‘group,’ to feel that I belonged, that drove me to rush a sorority at The University of Texas.

I once read an interview with Hiroaki Aoki, the founder of Benihana Japanese Steakhouse, in which he recalls waking up in a hospital bed after a horrific speedboat crash, only to find his wife standing next to his mistress and secret love child. He said he would have ripped all the life-giving tubes from his body if both of his arms weren't broken. That’s sort of how I felt immediately after accepting an invitation to join Chi Omega, emerging from the dark auditorium where I received my bid card, dazed and squinting from the sunlight, with hundreds of girls screaming and crying and calling me “sister.” I immediately knew I had made a terrible mistake, and that mistake had manifested itself as a group of strange girls I was from this point forward to refer to as my sisters. I never had and, really, never wanted a sister. But it was too late. This was my new family, my arms were broken, and I had to lie back and accept it. After all, the Chi-O motto is "You only choose once."

I made it through the tough part—rush—by convincing these young women that I was worthy of joining the sisterhood. I was one of them. Which, if my Facebook photos are any indication, consisted of primarily looking the part. I knew the formula, and seeing as though my personal style was influenced by my heavy addiction to Laguna Beach-era TV, it wasn’t much of a jump for me to dress like a sorority girl. I say “formula” because if there’s one thing that sororities get right, it’s consistency. Try to pick me out of that group shot [12]. It’s impossible; sorority girls use their DVF florals and staggered group configurations like how fish stick together in large schools, and for the same purposes:

1) As a defense against predators (bitchy girls in other sororities and drunk frat lords)

2) to enhance foraging success (recruiting new members)

3) to heighten the chances of finding a mate (drunk frat lords).

Not to imply that Greek life is inherently sexist, but every single delightful memory of skipping down the halls of the Chi Omega House—from the immaculate shared bathroom where I kept my toothpaste and shampoo in a neat little cubby, to the floor-to-ceiling wall of Essie nail polish in my friend's suite—revolved around prepping for some variation of a [Dominant Male Role] and [Corresponding Submissive Female] Hoes party. We were by no means stupid enough to not realize the backwardness, but went along with the joke, laughing all the way to the free alcohol. Hell, it’s even more sexist to assume that college girls aren’t just as horny as college dudes—more than a few were out to get some ass!

Frat boys were easy targets, of course, and required only a very lazy and broad understanding of what men find attractive: boobs, long hair, tanned skin, and white teeth. I, hand to God, have always been repulsed by rich men, and by default, Texas frat boys. And since my bid-day feelings of regret were never really reconciled, I tended to view myself as a cultural anthropologist simply studying the fascinating enigma that is Greek life—a participant observer, if you will. So I dutifully applied Crest Whitestrips before every big event, wore silky low-cut blouses tucked into body-con skirts, and actually I just naturally had great hair (don't hate me), which I conservatively parted to one side, but not before giving it a good tease at the back and maybe a few Lohan-esque waves.

Going tanning—either laying out by the Chi-O House pool (a deciding factor when I pref'ed them over Kappa), or simply driving their mid-sized SUVs/Audis down the block to the tanning salon—was the perfect bonding activity for the forced friendships of sisterhood. Zero eye contact, minimal talking, completely acceptable to just give up and pop some earphones in, and in the second case, you didn't even have to be in the same room. Many sorority girls were actually naturally tan, if you consider the fact that they spent so much time at their family lake houses, or playing tennis at the country club. For me, though, the tanning thing was more complicated. Tell a young girl with a poor body image that something as simple as napping naked in a heated pod will help her look skinnier and clear acne, and she’ll do it every day. I knew the risks, and that the “BUT VITAMIN D!” marketing efforts were bogus. And there was obviously a disconnect between what I thought fake-baking made me look like (exotic) and what I actually looked like (Melissa Gorga). But thinking back, it’s all very clear: I went tanning because at that point in my life—surrounded by people I didn't like, pleasing girls I didn't care about, no sense of what the future might hold—I truly wanted to die. Maybe it's the most passive method of suicide I could have chosen, but I never finish anything in a timely manner.

In sorority life, brow maintenance happened before every third or fourth manicure. Many girls had them waxed, but I distrusted nail salons, and as a bonding exercise they required more talking than I was comfortable with, so learned to just enjoy personal grooming as a hobby. I plucked and trimmed my bushy brows into submission—this was before Cara Delevignge. Sorority brows weren’t so bad—maybe sometimes a smidge too far apart, probably too thin, and always with an unnaturally clean lower edge.

Makeup-wise, there was no subtlety or nuance to the 'sorority girl' look, save for each girl’s particular shade preferences. Most went with your standard-issue Clinique neutral kits, but makeup had been a passion of mine since 1998, when Geri Halliwell showed me all that a woman could be, so I was the girl at the House with the most extensive and interesting stash of products—and the others lined up (even a few Pi Phis and Thetas) for me to give them my signature smoky cat eye. I started with a dab of Laura Mercier’s Metallic Creme Eye Colour in Gold, followed by a blended cut crease—either with Bobbi Brown’s Taupe shadow, or, for a more festive event, Nars Ondine—which I also dusted beneath the lower lashes. I wet a mix of Bobbi Brown Rich Brown, Nars Night Clubbing and Nars Santorini (RIP), with some eye drops and applied them with a brush right onto the lash line, tracing out an angular flick at the edge of the eye. Then came the frosty highlighter dusted in the inner-eye corners, brow bones, bridge of the nose, tops of the cheeks—enough to show up in low-res point-and-shoot pics. Then, mascara, a dusting of shimmery Nars Laguna Bronzer layered over whatever blush was on hand, and always a nude lip—ideally one from the YSL Rouge Pur line. Maybe a red, if attending an annual Santa and His Ho Ho Hoes event [12].

I’m not ashamed to say that what knocked me out of my sorority-house mentality and into my simpler, but more adventurous reality was a guy. I met him during a summer internship in New York at a dive bar—he was the complete opposite of everything that was Frat Life: covered in tattoos, not particularly wealthy, and not particularly white. His childhood interests included '80s Playboy centerfolds, death metal, and motorcycles—the first of which got me to start trying for tan lines rather than an overall toasted effect, and eventually weaning me off tanning altogether. And the teeth whitening, no more of that—he liked fucked-up teeth, especially my slight snaggle situation, which also had me quitting my nightly Invisalign regimen. Dropping those habits created a landslide. I narrowed my daily beauty regime to showering and moisturizing.

All the other stuff I'd been doing, all that time I'd spent huffing nail polish and hairspray, had really just the cumulative effect of making me look not particularly interesting, or, for that matter, memorable. But now instead of being one of those girls, I'm gunning to be that girl.

My sorority had a name for girls that were 'OK, but nothing special': plain vanilla, or PV for short. (On that note, we also had our own industrial-grade soft-serve ice cream machine, which fucking ruled.) I like to think of my current self—unkempt unibrow, pale, my coffee-tinted teeth shifting like plate tectonics... oh, also bleach-blond—as more of an acquired taste.

—Annie Kreighbaum

Photos [1-20] courtesy of Annie Kreighbaum; [21] Annie photographed by Emily Weiss on January 23, 2014 in New York.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • SJ

    I love this. Annie you are such a great writer, congratulations on the senior editor post! So happy you're writing for an awesome website like ITG.

  • Kelly Dougher

    Whoa, Annie, that last photo of you is stunning! Happy to see your (awesome as always) writing on here.

  • Eira IR

    Oh Annie! This was such an interesting read. I was scared that you were gonna disappear from the internet, but I'm so glad to see you here! You look amazing in that last picture, and congrats on the new job!

  • guest

    Love this. I feel like I went through a similar type of beauty evolution and adore the Laguna Beach-era reference.

  • sabe

    Love your new look! But, um, any chance you remember what lipstick you're wearing in picture 10?

    • ITG Annie

      I believe it was Nars matte lip pencil in Cruella.

  • K Landoni

    I was just thinking I hadn't read anything from Annie in a little while... this was an awesome read! GIRRRL THAT HAIR.

  • Joanne

    Wow! This is one of the best articles i've read so far on ITG, difficult to achieve since ITG's standard is ridiculously and awesomely high. Congrats congrats on not giving in to the PVs of the world and being able to look back and give us such an interesting analysis!

  • kaleiv

    This was a very pleasant surprise...Annie is a great writer! I can't wait to read more of her writing. These articles are one reason I love ITG

  • Kelly

    I loved reading this. As a fellow former Texas sorority girl who saw the light at the end of the UV ray tunnel, I agree with every word you said. I joined because "if you weren't Greek, you weren't shit", and...I mean really, my options are being in a sorority or being shit?... It's (frighteningly) easy to get caught up in the fake bake, acrylic nails, chiclet teeth persona, and thankfully it's just as easy to get back out of it. You mah gurl, Annie.

  • SA

    I'm sorry, I don't buy it.

  • laura faye

    Such a great, well-written article! I went to a school with a huge Greek life on campus and ended up not rushing or pledging (too poor to afford the dues), but kinda always wished I had at least gone through rush just to have experienced it. As a result I've always had a lot of curiosity about people's experience who did join a house. Thanks for the story!

  • marcella faustini

    pretty interesting account. would be great to read more stuff like this here.

  • pixiedust8

    You do have great hair. You are also funny. However, I wouldn't sacrifice orthodontia for a man.

    • murt

      ha - perfect reply to this post!

  • Androbel

    Great new look! love the hair



  • Angela

    Your sorority sister --Erin? From the Glamourai?

  • Greentee

    Yay Annie!

  • Valerie

    Very well-written and love your writing voice!

  • ana ortiz-garrett

    Annie! I was so sad to see you leave xovain...but now i'm happy again! can't wait to see what's to come!

  • laurajeanorama

    Love love love. I'm so glad you escaped.

  • Elena

    Yep that's sort of how i feel. As another UT-Austin alum, the Greek population was something like 15% of the undergrads...

  • SK

    Annie, I'm so glad to read you on ITG! I too enjoyed you immensely on As a Chi Omega alumnae from a chapter in another southern state, I regret the alienation you felt from your experience. I think sororities (or any large group forced to bond) are really just a microcosm of their environment - full of cool chicks, bitches, PVs (never heard that one before), brains, party girls, etc. My Chi-O chapter definitely had those girls who worked hard to be more beautiful than humanly possible. It was also full of fun girls who appreciated a good dive bar and impromptu road trips to New Orleans. I made treasured friendships I still have today but also definitely have sorority sisters with whom I have nothing in common except for our brief shared history. I'm so glad you found a place and a calling where you can be your true, fabulous self.

    • ITG Annie

      I think I alienated myself! No fault of Chi O, I was just not cut out for sorority life in general.

      • Steffenson

        Just curious...but if you weren't cut out for it, why did you stay active in Chi Omega until graduation and become an alum?

        • ITG Annie

          Hi Steffenson! Thanks for your question. By the beginning of my junior year I had experienced some pretty negative events that made me want to drop out of greek life altogether, besides not feeling one with the sisterhood as described in the article. But in the midst of it, you feel like you've invested a lot of time and money, so rather than go through the motions of dropping, I just made an effort to graduate a year early from school. Didn't have to drop, but didn't have to participate or pay dues either, and I got to move to New York for an amazing internship which opened a lot of doors for me. Worked out well in the end.

          Edit to say that becoming an alum just sort of happens, there's no extra effort there.

  • sophia

    omg you look so much better about Live Through This. welcome to the real club xoxo

  • The Dedicated Follower of Fash

    I can relate so hard. I rushed/ pledged a sorority so I could feel like I fit in *somewhere* but it took about two semesters to realize that the bitchy Stepford environment was not my bag and I dropped out. It was only then that I began to appreciate my own unique weirdness :)

  • Miss ShaSha

    Sweet post. Annie you will probably go through a few more chameleon like changes before you're through, that's what living life is all about. You might even cycle back to Southern Belle, or some attendant mash-up. Myself, I've tried on quite a few, and I always laugh and tell my kids my swan song will be old lady uber WASP. Stay tuned!

    • ITG Annie

      Definitely--I wrote this knowing I'll look back and be like "Ugh, should've worn those damn retainers." I think I'll probably K-Stew it and chop all my hair off at one point. Then freak out, look into extensions, then hats. At that point I'll probably have to become a chef so I can wear hats all the time.

  • Lauper

    Probably not what you were going for, but you have officially convinced me to start whitening my teeth. Even though I hate those things.

    • bunnygrrrl3000

      yah seriously. At times I was sort of reading this as a how-to for glow in the dark teeth.

  • Clairechambers

    Oh my gosh my story exactly. I cringe thinking about the days when it was all about "sameness"...couldn't get dressed without finding out what everyone else was wearing first. Photo 22 was the money Facebook profile picture back in the day!

  • sefjscjjx

    At a Texas sorority? Nah.

    • Shara

      I think what @kt_mo:disqus means is it is "in" right now – in this time in her life, being in the industry she's in.

      That being said, I think everyone experiences this 'transformation' at some point in their life, so this post is definitely something that we can all relate to. I love it when my friends and I gather around and dish about our 'old selves'! It's like.. a socially acceptable form of being mean, if you know what I mean XD

      Also, Annie seems like a great, funny girl! Welcome to ITG! How does it feel working in the best office in the world?

  • jambamalam

    Beautifully written! I had a very similar college experience and also a similar self-accepting/beauty/eyebrow revolution. You are beautiful in all of those photos, but particularly the last one. Great article, can't wait to read more.

  • Julia

    Appreciate the honesty. But could you gave us the secrets to those amazing hair??

  • Jasmine Alvarez

    I love this! I had a traumatic sorority rush incident and its so nice to read an article from a somewhat similar perspective

  • mjd

    You are like a chameleon in whatever is the environment you are in. Don't deny what you were and did with all this shit "I made a terrible mistake, this was my new family, my arms were broken" or , I tended to view myself as a cultural anthropologist simply studying the fascinating enigma that is Greek life—a participant observer". Be proud of what you did and own it. Today, you are proud to be in the trendy fashion new-york scene… but from my point of view it is no different from the greeks, still part of the popular group. You are not a unicorn… yet ;) !

    • ITG Annie

      Hey mjd, thanks for your comment. While it would be great to look back and be proud of everything in my past, this is simply not the case. Just because a girl goes through the motions and joins a sorority doesn't mean she can't also be doubting where she is and what she's doing. These feelings were very real for me, despite my attempts to fit in and make the best of it.

      I don't know if this perceived New York fashion scene is entirely accurate. I wouldn't say that my experience in New York has been a great parallel to being part of a "popular crowd," I just see people working a lot, it feels very removed from the dynamics of sorority life. And nah, I'm not a unicorn, just more experimental with my hair and makeup.

  • Denise Luisa Dulay Asuncion

    As someone who has "recently" emerged out of her 20's, I found this post really thoughtful and resonating. Can't wait tor read more from you!

  • ITG Annie

    Thanks for this! I rushed the hell out of those freshman girls, too. I still remember all the songs!

  • Victorious_me

    Glad to be reading your writing again! I hope you keep writing about the past and that at some point that includes some insight in to your time as a competitive partner dancer...

  • Harlowrose

    Annie! From xoVain? I hope you're the same person and I'm not confused, haha.

  • K Moore

    I loved every word of this. Preach girl.

  • Julia

    I think this has to be one of the best blog posts I have ever read. Rarely do we actually get looks like this into sorority life.

    and you did/do have amazing hair!! Lucky duck :)

  • Jen

    My college life to a T. Literally, my sorority house was around the corner from Annie's (ZTA). I never took the acrylic nails plunge but I'll forever regret buying into the pervasive tanorexia! If blogs had been as prevalent in '01 when I pledged, maybe I'd have found a voice like hers to inspire me to forge my own path...

  • BeverlyLeslie

    holy shit. she's part of ITG now? xovain has been a tad overwhelming.

  • Aline Bessa

    So happy to be reading you again, Annie!!

  • AG

    This piece on sorority life gave me surprisingly mixed emotions. It seems Annie was just trying to find herself, as we all do. However, looking at these photos, it makes me think she was not simply trying to fit in, but went above and beyond to perpetuate a stereotype. There were many times growing up I wished for nothing more than to look exactly like the girl in those photos. At the very least I guess I can feel good about the fact that even though it wasn't always easy, I was always true to myself.

  • CherHorowitz

    Lies, Annie! Your teeth are still white and perfect. Also, you totes look like K.Mid (Kate Middleton). Anyway, I heart you lots.

  • ld

    what the heck this is so good. you're stunning too.

  • Samantha Elisabeth

    In LOVE with our writing style, but it does make me a little sad at how much you wound up not liking being in a sorority. I'm from a SMALL sorority chapter in Maryland, so I cannot imagine Greek Life at my school is ANYTHING like Greek Life at a big, southern school (chances are, I wouldn't be in a sorority if that were the case). But I do have to say, in the defense of my experience in tthe soror-life, I get to be as weird or kooky as I want, right along side the white-teethed, tanned girls, and at the end of the day they'll still accept me and I them.

    I'm just wondering if you got anything out of Chi-O, even if it was just close friendships? I feel like, even if I roll my eyes at some of the cheesier things my sorority does, I'll still be forever grateful for the "sisters" like my big or my little. Also, it definitely has taught me a thing or two about communication skills...

  • Louise

    As an Australian, this is such a great read! We don't have anything like it here, so it is so interesting to hear this perspective instead of just seeing it in movies. Loved it!!

  • cat & tonic

    I loved this piece and am so, so happy to see your talents being utilised by ITG. I feel like if we had sororities where I live, I probably would have fallen into the trap too. xx

  • MB


  • amelia

    really interesting to read. personally i go for something a bit in- between; a little 'sorority girl' vibe sometimes doesn't go amiss, as long as it's not tan-teeth-hair-boobs all at once!

  • Hai Yen Nguyen

    Damn, you do have great hair.

  • beeswaxnoneofyour

    Yeah - unless you've been in one or had a really good friend in one, it's hard to conceive of the mentality of a sorority or being a sister. I never was, but had friends that were, and I have to say, it's like a whole different planet in some ways and probably seems like it's made up to some people.

    • hyacinthgirl

      Totally agree. My Dad is a vet and when my older sister rushed he was so freaked out by (what he perceived as) the similar methods of recruitment/treatment. Get people who feel like they don't quite fit or aren't ready to make it on their own, tear them down a little bit during pledge/recruitment time, then once it's time to serve (be it your nation or the frat lords) you've all gone through a unique sort of trauma together and everyone's one glorious buzzed/bleached hive mind. SEMPER FI DELTA FI

    • Anonymous

      I don't believe that's what "SA" meant, that this sorority girl mentality is unbelievable. Rather, it is unbelievable that someone could participate in that life--creating seemingly real and supposedly lasting friendships, as shown in the "photographic evidence" referred to above--all the while really regretting their decision and wishing they could have instead been reading Palahniuk or whatever was considered edgy à l'époque. Accordingly, I also do not buy it.

  • Shar

    Loved this!

  • Sarah Patrick

    While some sororities on my campus were very cookie cutter or Stepford housewife-ish, I have to say that my experience was much different. If anything, my sorority embraced the weirdness. I do agree that there is a certain expectation about looks and that recruitment is bonkers, but thankfully I think that obligatory feeling of looking a certain way is slowly fading in Greek life. No doubt, this is more of an issue at bigger schools. I hope that although the imposing "look" of sorority life tarnished your experience, you still got all of the benefits from greek life (networking, communication, leadership and values).

    On another note, your hair (and eyebrows) are fab. Absolutely love your transformation. Although your account on greek life made me cringe, I loved your writing style. Looking forward to more of your posts!

  • Haley

    As a former sorority girl turned actual productive human-being, who also often cringes at the bleached teeth, tanned skin and blonde haired pictures of my former life, I felt that this article was not the best introduction to the newest member of the ITG team. I think that many former sorority girls feel both amusement and shame at their collegiate behavior, my most substantial daily activity was often a 2 minute drive to Starbucks. However, lamenting over those "formative" days is about as cliche as a Golf Pros and Tennis Hoes party that we attended. Suffice it to say that I think that those days have little to say about who I or anyone else is today and that while entertaining, this article could have been saved for another rainier day.

  • Tracy
  • AngularFrequency

    I take from this that you're implying that sorority girls cater their beauty routine to attract frat boys, but you're beyond that now. However you're beyond it by catering your routine to attract a different kind of guy. Seems you're still doing the same thing, just with a different persona and crowd.

  • L

    Wow, I thought I was the only one who felt this way. In high school I started out as a long haired cheerleader, then sophomore year ditched the whole thing and developed a more individual and fashion minded approach to my appearance. Cut my hair short junior year and continued dressing in a man repller-y way until senior year when the social/male pressure finally got to me and I felt like I had to dress more simply and have long straight hair to get a prom date. Now that I'm in college (NYU) I feel like I've found my true style again. I'm wearing a oxblood leather skirt and chunky cowl sweater as I write this, my eyebrows are, like yours, now on the messy side and I rarely get manicures. I never really considered joining a sorority… all those kinds of girls look like clones to me. Especially here, I can usually guess if a girl's in a sorority just by looking at her. Can't wait to hear more from you, Annie!

  • grumblemama

    Ermagerd it's Annie! Great piece.

  • Laura

    I completely understand! I also lived in that UT bubble. I was lucky to find a great group of friends who also felt as alienated from it at times as I did. Luckily my beauty habits have changed since that time- and I owe a lot of it to reading ITG. I'm now as pale as could be and keep telling my hairdresser to not make my blonde "pretty." I want it the same shade as Elin Kling's in her post. Haven't used my blow dryer in weeks- i now prefer the air dried hair Emily Weiss does so well. It's so freeing to embrace my flaws and leave the house without the fully rimmed raccoon eyes I used to sport at Abel's...

  • A

    As one of your former pledge sisters and someone who has also evolved into a completely different post-collegiate lifestyle, I have to say this seems like little more than a convenient way to perpetuate and exploit a stereotype, while publicly critiquing a group of girls you actively chose to associate yourself with.

    Blanketing every "sorority" girl into your categories of tanned, manicured, and overly-enthusiastic seems unfair and frankly, cruel. Trust me, I showed up to many a meeting unkempt, ungroomed and in anything but pin-attire, yet I still managed to emerge from the insanity that was Greek life feeling like myself and with a few choice ladies who certainly weren't wanting in style, looks or quirks.

    As much as I love a good, if blurred, ITG cameo--I just ain't buyin' this, baby hooter.

  • Erica Rae Deutsch

    I just graduated from UT so I absolutely loved all the references in this article (Nike tempo shorts, huge neon tshirts, and, i shit you not, scrunchies are the sorority uniform on campus nowadays). I was never into the greek life, but was always somewhat fascinated by how perfect it was made to look to the outsiders. Interesting to see another viewpoint!

  • Mary ann

    K, we get it, you're bad ass and better than all those boring girls you left behind in texas. A poorly constructed and poorly written article. ITG, I expect more from you.

  • angela

    Oh, yes. The Annie I remember so well. The Annie that called Mi Cocina "Mico."
    miss u boo
    -angela bellhoe

  • Katie

    Wow, this is so inspiring Annie! As a fellow college-aged Austinite who didn't choose the sorority route (but almost did), it's nice to know others had similar struggles. You've definitely gained a new reader!

  • lace

    purest words from the soul.

    you are beautiful on the inside and out,

    thank you - from a sorority girl at ucla who deactivated for those reasons exactly

  • ba

    this is fantastic, thank you for putting words to this phenomenon

  • June Lei

    I missed your writing so much!

  • PS

    oh man you really give me so many conflicted feelings about this article. the idea behind it is nice but the whole time you kept justifying your years as a chi-o and kept insinuating "yeah i was too good for them and i knew this was one big joke but i did it anyway because i love/hate myself too much. ps sorry not sorry im pretty to pull off this huge stunt" if your intentions were not to bash sorority girls/ the institution then your tone says something completely different. we get it you're cool now.

  • nieszka

    I totally
    agree- where is this girls womanhood- who is she- I feel profoundly sad to hear
    her struggle- she is a beautiful women yet she is not accepting herself- just
    searching to be something - empty - so empty - I hope she finds herself one day
    - maybe through really love - where someone teaches her - what’s lovely about
    her is her womanhood - her womanhood not - what mold she fits into to please
    someone or something - so sad...this girl doesn’t get her value -

  • Lisa

    you're an amazing writer!

  • Alana Peden

    Hi Annie!

    I actually went to UT and am now a magazine beauty editor. I identified with much of what you said during my time at UT, and I wasn't in a sorority. I couldn't subject myself to what I saw as an extremely limited and oppressive system, but I often wondered if I would've had more fun if I did.

    Love to connect with you some time!

  • Alicia Brooke

    Thanks for saying everything that I couldn't put into words.

  • Brittany

    Any community or organization one joins is all about what a person decides to get out of it. Annie seemed to spend her college years focusing on the superficial, outward side of Greek life. She even seems to continue this mentality into her adult years in choosing a partner and her glorified hipster look. As a member of Greek life at a small college in the Midwest, I find it important to note that not all Greek systems are what is described above and by focusing on the outward appearance of the sorority, this article is shamming to collegiate, Greek women. Maybe if Annie had chosen to participate in activities where she actually had conversations with her sisters, she would find that one shares the same taste in music, television, or passion for philanthropy as herself. We do not expose who we truly are just by our outward appearance or grooming techniques. And not all sorority women care about tanning, eyebrows, or manicured nails. Sitting here right now, I can tell you that my nails are chipped; I am paler than Casper, and no shave November may have carried over to April (okay that's an exaggeration; but seriously, it has been a while). And to top it all off, my sisters and I enjoy marathoning Pokemon on Netflix, while talking about Foucauldian ideas of women and body. Don't lump Greek life together; but most importantly, do not lump all of your sisters together. You may have missed out at meeting a girl just as lost in her Chi O family as you.

  • thesweetestthing

    Great article! I had a similar experience at University of Michigan. I had been kinda a drifter with friend groups in high school and never really fit in. So when I got to Michigan, it was such a big school, that everyone kept saying I had to make it smaller somehow, hence rushing. I don't regret it, but I wish I had been more true to myself throughout those 4 years. I feel you girl.

  • KH

    Hi, I'm feeling the almost the same and I just don't know what to do.

  • Amanda

    Being someone who went through EXACTLY the same emotions and experiences as Annie (Only at Auburn) I feel that she is voicing her opinion of a situation that she tried to make the best of while she was there. I don't enjoy reading the negative comments of people picking at every little sentence in this article. Until you have walked in someone else's shoes, don't judge. I was treated awful by my "sisters" and unethically fined by my chapter numerous times "on accident". We do not know every single experience she had during college, and some days were probably fun and happened to be photographed. I honestly have never felt more myself since dropping my sorority. It was the best decision I made and has led me to be more of an individual and express myself in ways that was never comfortable before because I was afraid of being ridiculed, judged, or fined. GO YOU ANNIE!

  • Stacie

    A little controversy never hurt nobody.
    This article just really spoke to me. I feel some of the readers misunderstood how you explained the road to being yourself. I too felt obligated to tan, whiten, and grow my over processed highlighted hair as long as possible. Entering college at a very impressionable age, I just wanted to fit in and didn't understand the importance of being myself. I always felt a little ridiculous during rush and the ceremonies. I didn't comprehend that I wasn't ment to be a sorority girl at a southern state school. I felt comfortable being myself in a more open-minded environment, like a city. The current trend of beauty in urban areas just happens to be accepting your flaws and natural self! Which I happen to think is awesome! Society is changing for the better. I don't think you are following the trend with your current look, just accepting yourself! It just so happens the beauty norm for a sorority girl is very stereotypical and you had the balls to write about it and readers have mistaken it as being "cruel." If you want to experiment and dye your hair blonde go for it! Why do people keep nit picking at every line in this article?

  • Tiffany Nichol

    You definitely got it right that you look better now instead of trying to fit in with tons of other girls that all look the same. You look beautiful in that last pic for sure. And I love reading your articles.

  • clarkebarrandthezagnutz

    Poor, pretty white girls. So hard for them, this life.

  • Emily Dando

    I just discovered this, and I feel this so much. So exciting to get older and grow into your weirdness, but I always have regrets that I didn't use college as an opportunity to gravitate towards who and what I really was into. Good shit, you are really cool.