Although we all say that we want to be happy, sometimes it's difficult to take control of our own happiness, especially when it means letting go of something that used to make you happy. However, sometimes things change and what was right for you a year ago isn't right for you anymore.

This series is a part of the Hindsight series. If you don't know what that is, here's a brief summary:

The Hindsight series consists of guest posts from various bloggers sharing their stories on Bloomly about any personal experience that they might have encountered that reflects personal growth, self-improvement, and/or struggles with mental health. The Hindsight series is about looking back on experiences that shaped who we are and have helped us grow, which we only see now with hindsight.

Learn more: About the Hindsight Series 
More Hindsight posts: Read the Series

This post was written by Kristine (My Little Box of Tricks), who joined a sorority, loving the excitement of it all, only to soon find out that what made her happy at the beginning of her time at college, didn't anymore. Here's how she took control of her own happiness.

When I first landed on my college campus, I was thrown into all of the Big 10 excitement that welcome week brought. A new school in a new town filled with new people - I was exhilarated. The Sunday before welcome week begins, hundreds of student organizations fill the Quad with tables and try to convince you to join their organization. As I walked around the Quad with some girls from my floor, I saw herds of men and women walking around with Greek letters on their shirts. They all looked so happy and there were so many of them. Everything I had previously heard about sorority and fraternity members was that they partied a lot, slept around and were mean - you know, things you learn from movies. Sure enough by the end of the week, after many conversations with my roommate and a lot of uncertainty, I had made a decision: I would rush a sorority. After all, what could go wrong?

I absolutely loved the rushing process. As someone who loves to talk, there was nothing better (or more exhausting) than hustling to the different houses to sit in air conditioning and talk to new people. After the two week process, my sorority and I were a match and I was ushered off with 60 other young ladies to the house for Bid Day.

During those initial weeks, I became heavily involved in the sorority, so much so that it quickly took over many aspects of my life. Between squeezing in lunch at Panera with other new members between classes or blowing off homework to go to a social event, I was busy.

Despite a twinge in my gut telling me to slow down and reevaluate my decision to join, I pushed forward and deeper into the sorority. 

When I think back to the headspace I was in, I don’t blame myself for sticking with it for so long. I finally could say that I had a lot of friends and had a jam-packed social calendar. These people said they understood me and brought me soup when I was sick. I found people I told myself would be my best friends forever. I felt, at least temporarily, that I belonged. It was this desire for friendship and feeling of belonging that convinced me to run for the Executive Board.

I was elected to serve as a member of the Executive Board and loved it, initially. I was part of this exclusive club within an already exclusive club - I felt special. It wasn't until 2 years later when I was in the middle of Exec obligations and meetings that I reached my breaking point.

I was miserable, constantly conflicted between what my 'obligations' were and what I wanted to do.

I knew I should do my homework and study at night, heck, I wanted to do those things because I love to learn. Yet at the same time, I felt like I should be going out with other members because if they could find time to do their homework during the day, I should too. I was torn.

After many weeks of ceaseless crying and phone calls back and forth with my family, I hung up my hat and bid it goodbye. I write that very nonchalantly, but if you’ve ever had to leave an organization you were heavily involved in, it’s quite the emotional rollercoaster.

As I packed my things and moved them out of the house I shared with many of my sorority sisters, I couldn’t help but feel itchy. On one hand, I had the overwhelming urge to laugh - I had known all along that the initial, small twinge in my gut was right. On the other hand, I questioned why I couldn’t make it work. Was something wrong with me?

Why couldn't I make it work? Was there something wrong with me?

My question was answered as soon as I moved my last box from the house. Immediately after doing so, I felt like I could breathe. I realized that my only true obligation was to make myself happy. I was in complete control of my happiness. For me, being happy meant doing my homework at night guilt-free, spending my weekends in pajamas instead of at a bar and eating dinner that I made myself in my own kitchen.

Nothing was wrong with me. Nothing was wrong with them. I was just a circle trying to fit into a square - it wasn’t a true fit.  

I wanted to celebrate being able to breathe easy. I thought that in a few months, I would be able to look back on my time and reflect about what I learned about myself. But for the time being, I could finally smile easy and hold my head up high. I did what was right for me and removed myself from a toxic environment. I am still so proud of myself.

The moral of my story? Your gut knows you better than anyone else. The moral of this story is not about bashing those who are in sororities or those who want to join one. I still have positive relationships with many of the women who were in my new member class and those who are in other sororities. Rather this story is about knowing yourself and taking control of your life so you are happy.

If something feels icky or uncomfortable right away and that feeling never goes away, listen to yourself. If walking away will serve you best, that's what you need to do. Some fallout may ensue, but know that you are better off. I am thankful to have the strength and support to be able to share my story not a few months later, but a year and a half later.

Staying in situation where you are miserable, trying to make a circle fit into a square - it’s not worth it.

You are strong. You are brave. You deserve true happiness. Staying in situation where you are miserable, trying to make a circle fit into a square - it’s not worth it. You are worth more than staying in a unfavorable situation because you feel guilty.

moving away from a sorority that just didn't fit anymore and how it made me happier
Kristine (My Little Box of Tricks)
About the Author: Kristine
Kristine, the blogger behind My Little Box of Tricks, recently graduated from college at the University of Illinois and uses her blog to share adulting tips and tricks that will make the transition to adulthood much easier. She lives off of coffee, Friends reruns and puppy snuggles.

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