The first semester of my freshman year of college, I joined a sorority. After endless laughs from my friends who know I am not the “sorority type” as well as the worry ensued in my parents, I have spent the past three semesters joining committees, participating in philanthropy events, and attending dinner/study hours with my sisters. Sure, we’re all aware of the stigmas and stereotypes that come with the territory of being involved in Greek life.
While alcohol might be present as well as creepy ritual ceremonies and overly-peppiness of girls that consider other members to be their legitimate sisters for life, there are certainly aspects of being in a sorority that pay off, for instance huge networking opportunities through alumni, embracing the philanthropic side of life, and having always having people to go out with on the weekends. My time in a sorority thus far has taught me the following:
1. You always feel like you’re up to speed with everything on campus, both socially and academically speaking.
You constantly receive updates via the Listerv you are added to upon initiation into your chapter.
2. By the same token, the internship, job, and post-graduation opportunities you learn about through being a member in a well-connected sorority are endless.
Similarly, according to USA Today, 85% of Fortune 500 executives were part of Greek life. The first female astronaut was Greek. So was the first female senator. And college graduation rates are 20% higher among Greeks than non-Greeks.
3. The whole “Big sister, little sister” idea isn’t as lame as you’d think.
My big and I became very close, and she truly showed me the ropes in the beginning by serving as my mentor. I constantly went to her for advice, we established our dive restaurant in Georgetown, and now have a third addition to our “family” who is wonderful too.
4. Boys in frats are actually obsessed with each other.
They would never look twice at their brother’s ex-girlfriend, have countless traditions and inside jokes within their brotherhood, and pretty much hang out only with people in their designated frat. I kid you not a picture was uploaded of two fraternity brothers getting a pedicure together. Case in point.
5. You gain respect by wearing your letters around campus and displaying to everyone that you are involved in Greek life.
Pledging a sorority can be tedious, and all the meetings/chapters/activities a member must attend can prove to be time consuming, so the effort you put into your chapter is well acknowledged.
6. Stereotypes 100% exist among the chapters at a given university. There is the pretty sorority, the fat sorority, the smart sorority, the sexy frat, the loser frat, the creepy frat, the rich frat, the stoner frat, you name it.
And, you guessed it, the pretty sorority and the sexy fraternity hang out primarily with each other just like the creepy/loser/stoner frat will hang primarily with the less popular sororities. Hate to have to admit it, but in terms of your social standing at school, your given chapter sheds much of that responsibility.
7. Semi-formals and formals are unfortunate reminders of prom.
We didn’t get off when we graduated high school; prom like activities, among them “date parties” and formals are fully integrated into sorority life. Beware.
8. Never a shortage of parties and booze, should you chose to participate in them.
Frequent themed parties, day drinks and the like.
9. Disaffiliation is looked down upon.
Same with not attending sisterhood events, among them midnight trips to Ihop, pledge class brunches, even slumber parties in the sorority house.