The Path to Lifelong Friends

October 6, 2020

By Julianne Llerena, Alpha Upsilon – University of Maine

I’ve always struggled to make friends. Nervous I’ll say the wrong thing and everyone will hate me. As much as I know this isn’t true, I can’t let the feeling go. Often I am told I am “too quiet” or “I don’t talk enough” and one of those comments was said by a former boss. I try not to let comments like these affect me, but they do They constantly run through my mind, making me wonder why normal conversation is such an effort for me. Every time I go anywhere, it feels as though I have a fake personality that acts as a mask, not allowing others to see who I truly am or what I’m actually feeling. I spent a lot of my high school career at home, alone, crying and wondering why I wasn’t good enough to have as many friends as my classmates.  


Like most others I wanted college to be a fresh start. Although I live about 30minutes from the University of Maine campus, I decided to live in the residence halls. I figured that the cost of room and board would be worth the opportunity to make friends. I’d done a small amount of research on clubs and Greek life on campus, so I knew about formal recruitment.  I saw it  as a way for me to potentially make friends, so I jumped at the chance and registered for recruitment. I knew it involved lots of talking. I was extremely anxious about it and I thought I was going to throw up. I was concerned none of the different sororities on campus would even give me a second glance after the first night of recruitment. But, I was invited back, and trusted the process. I knew during preference round that Delta Zeta was home. 


One of my neighbors on my residence hall floor also decided to go through recruitment. We met during move-in day, Maine Hello, where I remember her holding onto oyster crackers meant for soup.. We began to hang out quite a bit before recruitment began and then all throughout the process. On Bid Day, we found out that we both had received invitations to join from Delta Zeta, I’m so thankful that I can call her not only my friend, but also my sister! I ended up moving in with her and we have been friends ever since. She is an extremely hard worker and encourages me to be a better person, even when it’s hard. I still don’t know how she manages to have three positions within our chapter, but every day she amazes me. She is always there for me when I need her most, and she is quick to reassure me when I become anxious. If I hadn’t met her during the first week, or joined Delta Zeta together, I don’t know where I would be now. 


I was so happy to have an amazing group of women welcome me and the other new members into DZ, but I soon found myself nervous again. The group was new, and I was still worried I could say the wrong thing and I’d lose these new friends. During big/little I was so worried that none of the potential “big sisters” would want me as a little sister, which made choosing who I wanted a much more stressful process. I wanted whoever wanted me. I cried several times over making a list of who I wanted, I had only met these members a few times. How was I supposed to choose? I’d been assured that at least one of them would want me as a little by my roommate who was also a new member of Delta Zeta. I still couldn’t convince myself of that. During clue week I felt like a mess. I was nervous that whoever had gotten me was upset and wanted someone else. During Big/Little Reveal that all changed! The whole family, the “dynasty” as we call ourselves, welcomed me and the other new little sisters with open arms. I am so lucky to have a big sister who makes sure I know she loves me, knows that I get anxious sometimes and worries a lot. She’s always there whenever I have a question or just need to talk. 


Delta Zeta has given me the most amazing and supportive group of women to call my sisters and I will always be thankful for that. 


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