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An Epidemic of Loneliness: The Neglect of Penn’s Little In-Laws


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I’ve been thinking about how to make Big-Little Week more about me, and I finally realized my very close personal connection to the various sisterhoods across campus. 

I’m a little-in-law! Which can only be defined as someone who is a roommate of other pledges, or at least in very close proximity to them. My fellow attention seekers, feel free to stake a claim to this identity, no matter if it’s been weeks since you have last spoken to your roommate. Hell, have you ever been within 5 meters of a sorority pledge? You may be entitled to call yourself a little-in-law. You’re welcome.

This week has been especially hard for me, though. I just don’t feel the sisterhood right now, Bigs. I’ve been cast aside watching as you all pamper your littles with love, while I get no recognition for my efforts during rush. 

Do you know how many times I’ve had to smile and nod when hearing about rushing various sororities whose existences I was previously not privy to? Such as… STD? Like, crabs...? Is that even real?

When coming home to a conspicuous envelope with swirly handwriting lodged under the doorframe, who made that effort to step around it? Yours truly. I knew it contained all the secrets to sisterhood, and it took a lot of self-control to not seek out those answers for myself. Also, it’s like a felony to open people’s mail. 

And don’t get me started on the text messages. I was so excited to receive that ping! from an unknown number, but just when I thought I was finally going to bond with my Big-in-law, the rug was ripped from right under me. I hoped to receive warm-hearted, sisterly messages that said “of course you can borrow that top!” and “I don’t blame you for our parents’ divorce,” but instead I got “hey, do you think you could open the door for me? I have a surprise for your roommate.” This was peak devastation for me. How did they get my number anyway?

The main takeaway from this is that a Big-Little relationship is not simply a union of the two aforementioned groups. Bigs, it’s time to start looking out for the little guy: your little-in-laws. I anxiously await my special week.