Hazing. A word so prevalent in today’s society that you hear it whether you’re in a sorority or not.
According to StopHazing.org, 73 percent of social fraternity or sorority members have experienced at least one hazing behavior. Whether your sorority sister “makes” you run across campus singing a super embarrassing song or “forces” you to drink past your tolerance at a party, these scenarios fall under the category of hazing.
The first week that I joined my sorority, we had to attend a mandatory presentation about the dangers of hazing and how to report/prevent it. I remember thinking, “this is stupid” and how I was “wasting my time” because I would never get hazed.
Thankfully, my sorority doesn’t haze new members, so I never felt pressured to do anything that I wasn’t comfortable with.
But after attending the presentation and learning what falls under the hazing category, I realized that I have been hazed in other aspects of my life.
My senior year of high school, I moved to a new city, making me the vulnerable new kid. I met a group of friends who seemed popular and “cool” at the time. When I first started hanging out with them, I always felt pressured to do exactly what they did in regards to drinking and partying, even though I was going against my parents’ expectations of me.
I specifically remember one night where I told my friends that I wouldn’t be drinking because I had SAT prep later that night with my dad. The moment I murmured the word “no,” they started harassing and pressuring me to drink, saying that if I didn’t drink they would never be my friends and that I was a loser.
From an outside perspective, you are probably so confused why I continued to hang out with these awful people for the first part of the year. My honest answer is that I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be accepted.
Even though I wasn’t in an exclusive organization, my friends’ actions were still the same as the hazing that you hear about and see in college fraternities and sororities.
It's extremely hard to say no to hazing when you are new and desire friends. Often, you push aside hazing and make excuses, like everyone had to go through it to be in the friend group or organization.
If you are ever put in an uncomfortable situation or are made to feel like you have no way out, then my advice to you is to ditch the people who make you feel this way and look for real friends.
Even if you’re in the top sorority, it isn’t acceptable for them to treat you poorly. Just remember that you always have the option to say no and that saying no doesn’t make you a loser. In the end, if you wouldn’t treat your friends that way, then you shouldn’t accept those people who do that to you.
Have you ever experienced hazing?
Comment below and share how you prevented hazing or said no to a potentially bad situation.