I’m not sure if this is a tradition everywhere, but in my sorority, shirts are passed down through classes, from graduating senior to younger member. I’m not going to be back from study abroad in time to give my stuff away with the other seniors in the spring, so I have to do it this semester. In the next two weeks.
I don’t even like my sorority that much, but the part where I’m finally doing things that are involved with leaving for good is still freaking me out. I just had to go through my wardrobe and pull more than twenty shirts off shelves and hangers so I can give them away, and that’s not even counting the massive box full of items I wear less often. I looked down, and I was wearing the first sorority shirt I ever got.
It’s a strange thing to do, to purge yourself of the outward markers of something that has been a huge part of your life for three years. To literally take the clothes off your back and leave them behind.
Before I started actually getting my sorority stuff together to give away, I could only think of it in the practical sense: what will I wear to the gym now? What will I wear to bed? But now that I’m nearing the point where I actually have to part with these things, I’m realizing that the act itself is much, much harder. There’s the first shirt I was ever given–frankly, a bit of a strange pattern and generally useless for my adult life, but so very mine. There’s the bookbag I use every single day and the first set of letters I bought for myself and the shirt from back when I was still so happy to be a member. Do I really let it all go? What do I keep? If I keep something, will it still be meaningful to me two years from now?
I’m sure it’ll be good for me to leave a little lighter, to have at least this crappy sort-of “goodbye” moment for my undergraduate career(I also will not be back in time to walk for graduation). I really think I’m going to have one of those classic Mr. Feeny moments when I shut the door on my empty room for the last time and I think it might be a lot more genuinely heartbreaking than I planned.