In 1992, at the wonderful age of 44, I decided to go to college. I had been deprived of that right by my mother and father. By my mother, because we didn’t have the money and I had to go to work so we could survive, although no one ever told me about night school. In school, I had received the highest scores on stenography and typing scores and back then, the Civil Service sought me out immediately for a job. But that was not to be my destiny. By my father, I was prohibited from going to college, because by now, he had remarried and had two sons who he did send to college with no thought to my education, since they were boys and I was only a girl and not worthy of a college education.
The years went by and I received my Bachelors and then I decided to go for my Masters. But something wonderful happened that year. I had heard that one of the sororities was accepting pledges. I knew or thought my chances were slim, me being 44 and they were looking most probably for younger students, but I applied anyway. It was a dream I had never fulfilled, to belong to group of women with a purpose and who were highly respected on campus. And so, I applied. Much to my surprise, I was accepted.
Pledging was hard to say the least, but oh so much fun. One night we had to swallow a goldfish whole. Another night, we were dropped at a mall which was closed and had to find out way back to the van hidden somewhere around the mall area.
Other nights there were blindfolds and assignments. And then there were even more frightening things to do. I began to feel I couldn’t go through with, but the other girls kept my morale up and encouraged me to keep on. As the oldest pledge they had ever had, I had become something of a mother figure and nobody wanted me to fail.
Then after all that, the final night and ceremony took place and I was in. I received my paddle, which I still have and cherish, and my lifelong dream of joining a sorority had finally come true.
That was a part of my college experience I will never forget and it continues to bring me warm memories not only of the whole experience but being the mother to all my other pledges and helping them find the courage to keep going.
It was one of the best experiences in my college years and I highly recommend it to others.