A True Guide to Sorority Life: Written by an Alumni
Formal Recruitment Right Around The Corner? Look No Further. Here is a look into what life is really like when you join a sorority in college.
Is it really like what I see in the movies?
Great question! Yes and No. Depends on where you go to school. Some sororities are just like what you see in the movies. The girls are beautiful, they are rich, they all look the same, they only care about themselves, etc. They make it out to seem like there is a “queen bee” that runs the whole show. They also make it seem like every girl in the sorority is BFF’s with each other and we all live at the house, laying around in our PJ’s while we talk about boys. Nah. In fact, most of them are NOT like that! Most of them are pretty laid-back. You show up to your required meetings, make some friends here and there, and then you go on about your day. There are (some) date parties, homecoming activities, and the annual recruitment that is exactly like the movies, but that is pretty much it. And not every girl is going to be your best friend. I can be honest when I say that I really didn’t even know half the girls in my sorority (which had about 200 people). They were either way older/younger than me and I didn’t keep up with meeting them. Most of us are like that. The people you get to know the best will be the girls in your pledge class, or the class about/below you. So, in the end, each chapter is different, you just have to find the one you like the best.
Unless you are in the south… that’s where they take sorority life to a whole other level.
Sorority girls don’t care about grades. Do they?
Of course we do! We have to pass all our classes just like everyone else! Being in a sorority holds you accountable for doing well in school. We have GPA requirements we have to make, we have study tools (past exams and homework saved from girls who already took the class), tutoring, study rooms at the house, mandatory study hours, and the most important of all, other girls in the same classes as you! It’s an instant connection that you make with each other! Now you have someone to study and go to class with! Plus, the better you do in school, the more merritt you get for the fun stuff! In my sorority, they assigned the best rooms at the house to the girls with best GPA, so you bet we worked our asses off. Also, if for some reason you don’t make good grades one semester, you will get put on academic probation. Then you won’t get to do anything fun because you’ll be forced to study your life away. Think about this as an automatic accountability and support system when you join. They force you to be proactive with school, even when you REALLY feel like procrastinating.
Is It More Than Just Partying?
Are you kidding? Of course! You will gain so much experience being in a sorority! The biggest thing is the grades, like I already talked about. You will academically be stronger if you join the chapter. The other thing is that you have so many huge opportunities for leadership development! If you become an officer, you will be in charge of some aspect of chapter life. Whether that be social chair, president, finance chair, or even the girl who makes sure you get your study hours done, it’s still leadership experience and it’ll look good on your resume.
The other HUGE aspect of sorority life is philanthropy. Each chapter will include a charity in which they spend a large chunk of time and energy promoting and raising money for! My sorority’s charity was St. Jude. That is something that till this day I still support and encourage people to support. Make sure when you join a chapter, that you believe in the philanthropy that house supports. Make sure to also pay attention to what local service hours you can get done, because you will have a ton in which you are required to participate in over each semester. We’re talking 10-20 hours required. In my chapter, we were ALSO required to support other sorority and fraternity philanthropy events on campus. This means that when you’re not studying or partying, you are volunteering. This goes back to boosting your resume! Joining a chapter is just a huge benefit for experience in academics, leadership, philanthropy, and social skills.
Why Is It So Expensive?
College is ridiculously expensive. The last thing you want to do is spend more money taking out loans, I get it. But joining a sorority is almost always keeper than getting an apartment or living in a dorm. When you pay your dues, you are paying for parking, housing, utilities, all your food, printing, laundry, and so much more! Think about it like an all-inclusive hotel. It might not seem like it at first but you really will save money in the end. Now, obviously this doesn’t apply to all sororities in the country but as a general rule of thumb, it does! You don’t have to pay it all up front either. Check to see if the sorority you want to join has payment plans for you and your family. This will allow you to pay over time so that you can still participate in the chapter!
Isn’t It Annoying To Live With 100 Other Girls?
Girl, you won’t even realize you live with 100 other girls! I maybe saw 10 a day because we just so happen to be on the same schedule. The only time you realize there are a bunch of people living in the house is when they all show up at the same time for dinner. Other than that, you really aren’t going to be surrounded by crowds of women. It’s honestly amazing to live in the sorority. There is a chef, study rooms and computer access, laundry, sooo many rooms you can go and lounge in, and a house mom to give you candy and rides to class when it rains! Don’t knock it until you try it. Living in the house rocks. You build stronger relationships with the girls you meet and always have a door to knock on if you need someone to talk to.
What Are Real Life Date Parties Like?
Ugh. I miss date parties. You meet so many cool people. And no, date parties are not keg-parties at frat houses. At least, when you’re in a sorority. Panhellenic requires that nationally we have to be dry houses. That means no alcohol at the party or at the house. So our actual date parties are usually themed parties at an undisclosed location. There are photo booths, lots of food, and a DJ. There are also date parties that are during the day and might be something that isn’t a “dance”. Sororities will have date parties with fraternities, other sororities, and the occasional “sisterhood event” where it’s a party for just ourselves. They are all different. Depends on the social chair and what she comes up with. It’s a great way to meet girls from other chapters, boys from different fraternities on campus, and other girls in your house! Some of my best friends from college were girls from other sororities. You just have to take the time to meet them!
Recruitment… Are The Girls Being Fake To Me?
We all know there is the occasional girl that yes, will be fake to you. But most other girls are truly trying to see if you will be a good match with the personality of the house. That’s why you talk to so many different people when you go through recruitment! That way you meet different types of girls, and they meet you to determine if you are a good fit. And almost every girl there really does love the house that much. We truly believe in everything we do and we want to show you that.
Also, believe it or not, we are just as scared as you when we recruit. Meeting strangers is hard. We are trying to impress you just as much as you are trying to impress us! We only act like scary robots this one week out of the year, then we all go back to our super low key lifestyle. It’s crazy how different real life is when compared to recruitment. Moral of the story is just be yourself and you’ll do fine.
After My 4 Years, Is It All Over?
Heck no girl! You become an alumni! Now, this will depend on your chapter, but you will still be connected to the house by alumni events and newsletters . You can also join local alumni chapters in whatever city you live in! It is a HUGE opportunity to network with other women who are passionate about the sorority and what it has to offer. Now, most of the women will be older in the chapter groups, but this is a useful tool when you are trying to network because you will meet people who will help you figure out your career choices! If you are in a post-grad quarter life crisis like me, then this is a tremendous thing. Get close to these women, because if you need references for future job offers, these women have got you covered!
Moving when you graduate? Great! You can find that alumni group in pretty much any city! And if you can’t find one, there are Facebook groups that you post in to meet other girls in your area. I met one of my really good friends this way last year!
Should I or Shouldn’t I do it?
Yes. 100 times yes. I was super anti-sorority when I went through rush my freshman year of college. Honestly, I don’t even remember why I did it in the first place. And I almost dropped mid recruitment. But boy am I happy I didn’t! I have gained a lot of incredible experiences through my 4 years of college and 2 years of alumni-ship. Just take a risk and do it. If you hate it, then drop. But what if you don’t? What if you love it and it changes your life? A sorority should be a positive force in your life. It teaches you how to bring out the best in yourself and how to become a powerful force in society. A sorority girl is smart, determined, honest, powerful, loving, beautiful, generous, and so much more. It’s only getting better. Sign up for recruitment. Take the risk. I promise it’ll be for the best.