Hey, kids… I’m out of town this week. Finally taking that vacation I’ve been thinking about for eight years. Anyway, while I’m gone some friends have agreed to write some guest posts for my blog. Today’s post comes from Jess. I asked her the question, what is one experience that has shaped the person you are today?
Goodness gracious. It’s hard to pick JUST ONE experience.
One of the first thoughts that come to mind is something I’m sure many girls have experienced and feared at one point.
The dreaded line to the frat party.
This isn’t some ordinary line. It’s not the same kind of line as the bank, or the grocery store, or the check-out line at Target. This is a much scarier, anxious feeling. The feeling that you know you are about to be rated by a group of men.
Let me explain the process a little more clearly for those who are not familiar with this.
You get a group of your girlfriends together and do some math. If your group consists of all girls, you’re golden. If you have a guy friend or two who would like to join you ladies, you have to add more girls to the group. A good estimate is that for every guy in the group, you add three girls. Either way, in order to get into the frat party, you need to have more girls than guys.
So, you’re standing in line and watch as each group of girls dressed in heels and miniskirts jump up the steps and wait for the frat bros to discuss with each other whether or not the girls can get into the party. By doing this, they are pointing out which of the girls are hot, and which ones are not. After you see some head nods, the girls scatter into the party and then the next group are up to the challenge. Finally, it’s your turn.
You walk up the steps and can feel the heat rise in your cheeks. You hate this moment more than anything. How embarrassing would it be if you were denied? You and everyone else witnessing this trial would know that you were not hot enough to socialize at a party. You glance down at your shoes, jeans, and top, wondering if this is going to be enough for them. You watch the boys look you up and down, whisper to one another, point to your friend behind you, and you want to run away at that moment and hide in a hole. But your friends know someone at this party, and you want to be with your friends. So what can you do really? You sit back and wait for them to determine if you’re decent looking.
It’s silly, really. But it was my reality in 2009.
Everyone has insecurities. I had my fair share of them in high school, and I still struggle with it today. What’s different about it now is that I have a better attitude about it. I use humor to lighten my flaws. I even use sarcasm to point them out so that I can make it known that it’s not going to ruin my day.
That was only one of my frat experiences, but it played on loop. Sometimes, the frat brother was so drunk, he would openly make a Nick Miller face and shake his head “no” just at the sight of me. Some frat brothers barely looked up at my existence and let me on through. Some seemed to show interest in me. Each experience was different yet similar in so many ways.
It wasn’t until this college experience that I began to really see my insecurities. I knew they were there, but they weren’t acknowledged openly before then.
The day I realized how ridiculous frat parties were and viewed them differently was when a friend of mine, let’s call her Becky, said she was able to get us into a party because she promised one of the brothers to help them clean up after a fundraiser. I quickly said no and told her how unbelievable that request was.
“But I got us a connection!” she yelled. I told her that I was not desperate enough to do such a thing, and she shouldn’t either. Whether they found me attracted or not, they still expected something from me in the end, whether it was cleaning up a fundraiser or something else entirely.
From then on, I stopped caring about those parties. If I wasn’t allowed in, it no longer ruined my night. I started laughing it off if a frat brother openly called me ugly. I began asking myself, what makes them so special? Why do they seem to think I’m not worthy enough to be in the same room as them? In reality, there was nothing I found endearing in them either so I wasn’t actually losing, was I?
After that first semester, I pretty much stopped going to frat parties. If someone didn’t like me or find me attractive, it didn’t bother me nearly as much.
Even though many (not all) of the frat brothers I’ve encountered were jerks, I have to thank them. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have grown into the person I am now. After silently tearing me down, and analyzing me without actually getting to know me, I discovered that I was capable of loving and accepting myself without the approval of those who don’t matter to me.
* * *
Jess is the blogger behind You’re Fine. She’s terrible at making decisions, and is currently watching The Office from beginning to end simply because she’s never done it. When she’s not wasting her time watching Netflix, she likes reading, painting, and snuggling with cats. The state of Connecticut has stolen her heart forever.