A University of Alabama student is speaking out about her traumatic college experience.
Miranda Nickoles (@daddysaban) is a 21-year-old student at the University of Alabama. And while her experience seems to have improved over the course of her college career, things weren’t always smooth sailing. In a nearly three-minute video, Nickoles discloses the stress associated with her earlier experiences — including the time she rushed.
“So I rushed in 2019 … and I was dropped by every sorority except Sigma Kappa on the first day, so I didn’t get any houses,” she begins. “But mind you, that is all based on 10 minutes of meeting me, barely any conversation. And if you don’t know, Sigma Kappa is ranked lower than the majority of the sororities here. So because of that, I found it hard to even, like, like the sorority.”
Per a self-identified University of Alabama alum who goes by the username /u/PopAdministrative796 on Reddit, Sigma Kappa, along with Zeta Tau Alpha, Alpha Phi, Gamma Phi Delta and Sigma Delta Tau, are considered the “bottom five” sororities. Conversely, Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega and Alpha Delta Chi are believed to be the “top five” houses.
“Joining a college society, like a sorority or fraternity, can be a significant event in a student’s life,” Dr. Ryan Sultan, director of Integrative Psych and assistant professor at Columbia University, told In The Know by Yahoo. “Young adults in college are navigating a critical period of growth and identity formation. They’re making new social connections, adapting to a new environment and juggling the demands of higher education. Experiencing rejection from a society during this vulnerable time can be particularly difficult.”
“Women believed that top-ranked sororities conferred social power whereas middle- and bottom-ranked sororities offered greater freedom from policing over members’ bodies, fashion, and socializing,” wrote Simone Ispa-Landa of Northwestern University’s Department of Human Development and Social Policy Program in 2020.
“I already had a bad taste from rush week already. I did end up dropping my freshman year before COVID even happened,” Nickoles added.
In addition to having a poor experience with rush week, Nickoles, who is deadly allergic to grapefruit, had her fair share of problematic roommates — the first two of whom she encountered during her freshman year.
“I knew them both for about eight months before we moved in. But one day, I introduced this guy to my one roommate and she got mad and tried calling dibs on him. And I was like, ‘OK, whatever, I’ll see if he’s into you,'” she claims. “And so when I came home one day that next week, my apartment was covered in grapefruit.”
As a result, Nickoles says, she went into anaphylactic shock and had to take herself to the hospital. After that, she met with several resident advisers to “mediate” the situation because the university was apparently unable to do anything.
This situation, while certainly traumatic, wasn’t even the worst one, according to Nickoles. In sophomore year, she had a roommate in an off-campus apartment near the Strip, which is the shopping and nightlife district close by.
“I, like, don’t even get how, like, anxious I got talking about this because it’s so traumatic for me,” she admits. “I lived with someone who I considered my best friend at the time. … She did not pay me rent for a few months, was super-late on things. I covered the bill on the majority of things, which was, like, whatever. But then she wanted to get a dog. I said no, obviously, because I had a corgi puppy and she wanted a pit bull.”
One evening, Nickoles decided to spend the night at her then boyfriend’s apartment.
“And I came home the next morning, he had been poisoned and was seizing,” she alleges of her puppy. “I took him to the vet immediately, tried to get him all the help he could possibly but unfortunately he did pass away. And neither the police nor Mississippi State University’s vet research even could give me answers other than that he was poisoned.”
While she lives by herself now, Nickoles urges people to be wary of who they surround themselves with, because she experienced a series of setbacks following this ordeal.
“I do live by myself now, which I really like,” she continues. “I will say that did cause me to, like, f*** up my grades even more than I already had. So this would be the day I’m supposed to graduate, actually.”
Still, Nickoles does think fondly of the University of Alabama as a whole.
“So I do love Alabama Roll Tide. This has been my dream school forever but I did develop IBS being here and extreme anxiety and depression. So yeah,” she says.
‘This sounds so trauamatizing, I’m so sorry. I developed IBS while at UGA in a sorority and also had to graduate later bc of it. Thank u for sharing!!’
Some commenters are sharing their own traumatic college experiences, while others are reacting to the video’s shocking revelations.
“Oh my god?? The grapefruit thing??? I hope you pressed charges I’m so sorry,” @whatsavivawhosthat wrote.
“Bro how could the police not go ANYTHING,” @anikan.skywalker asked.
“This sounds so trauamatizing, I’m so sorry. I developed IBS while at UGA in a sorority and also had to graduate later bc of it. Thank u for sharing!!” @nicholekalen replied.
These days, Nickoles is prioritizing her mental and physical health. Journaling and daily reflections have helped her immensely.
“Attending Alabama has been my dream since I was in the 6th grade but turned into a complete nightmare,” Nickoles told In The Know by Yahoo via email. “Following the incidents with my old roommates both freshman and sophomore years my grades and GPA took a toll along with my mental health. I was so depressed following the death of my dog Ollie that I failed classes, lost motivation in receiving my degree, & even contemplated self harm at times. I’ve since learned to cope with these instances and the fact that justice will never be given by exploring my religion, praying for guidance, & focusing my efforts on my mental and physical health.”
She added, “College is supposed to be the ‘best 4 years of your life’ as many would say but in my case its the complete opposite and will most likely take me 5 years to finish what would normally take someone 4 years due to everything that has happened.”
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