7 Things That Non-Greeks Get Wrong About Sorority Girls
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7 Things That Non-Greeks Get Wrong About Sorority Girls

7 Things That Non-Greeks Get Wrong About Sorority Girls

Non-Greeks tend to have a very narrow-minded view of Greek life that, in reality, often plays out to be largely false. While stereotypes are based in reality to some degree, we, as Greek women, do not take well to being pigeon-holed.

Let’s explore some of the major misconceptions and stereotypes the public and the media have of the "typical sorority girl."

1. “Every sorority girl is rich”

Despite what movies would tell you, reality tells us that sorority girls come from  every walk of life and every socio-economic standing. There are girls who have  credit cards from daddy, usually for emergencies -- but not always. There are girls  whose parents could pay for their educations and Greek life but choose not to in order to instill work ethic, and there are girls who do not have the option not to pay for all of their own dues, house fees, T-shirts, events and everything else.

2. “Every sorority girl is conservative” 

The longer I spend around Greek life, the more girls I meet who are liberal but not  particularly vocal. I believe this to be a side effect of this stereotype. There’s this  notion in popular culture that if you’re in a sorority, you are by default a Republican.  Look at any “sratty” Twitter account, and you’ll see what I mean. I have always been liberal. I grew up in a liberal community with liberal friends and a liberal family, and I love my sorority just as much as my conservative sisters—whom I love  just as dearly as I do my liberal ones—love our sorority. Now, if only Fraternity Collection will see this and make some fabric designs with cute donkeys on them to go alongside the five different elephant prints they have named after conservative  presidents.  

3. “Every sorority girl is stupid” 

If there is one stereotype about sorority girls that is most harmful, it’s this one. We all hear that statistic that Greek GPAs everywhere are consistently higher than the university average, but I know that before I went Greek I chocked that up at least partially to the notion that those who are likely to be academically successful are also more likely to go Greek in the first place due to any number of factors. Another (bogus) notion is that sorority girls choose only easy majors. I know now that  joining a sorority was the single best thing I could have done for my academics.  These are women with every major (and sometimes multiple majors), ranging from English, Integrated Strategic Communications and languages to Chemical Engineering, Nursing, Biology and Chemistry to taking the road to law school, dental school, pharmacy school and medical school. These are women who graduate early or are so passionate about what they do that their eyes light up when they talk about their studies. These are women who are studying the same things you are and can help you when you get stuck because they have already been through it. Greek organizations teach you to put scholarship before any other aspect of college life, and I can tell you from first hand experience that rivalries with other sororities and recognition in front of 250 of your biggest cheerleaders are excellent incentives to get that 4.0.    

4. “Every sorority girl has an immense wardrobe of Lilly Pulitzer dresses, Norts,  running shoes, Comfort Colors tanks, Marley Lilly accessories, Jack Rogers shoes,  Michael Kors watches, Hunter rain boots, and Longchamp purses” 

This kind of speaks for itself. You might notice that the girls wearing these things also might be wearing letters, but there are plenty of girls wearing jeans and sweaters with their lavalieres hidden under scarves. While I admit that I own a few of those things, I am far more likely not to be wearing any of those things (okay, or maybe only one of them at a given time) than I am to be wearing multiple of them. 

5. “Every sorority girl is in school primarily to get her MRS degree”  

There are always going to be people going to school to find an acceptable human with whom to reproduce, but Greek life is not some kind of goldmine for bachelors and bachelorettes. Girls go to frat parties not in some kind of weird modern mating ritual (though it is mildly disconcerting how much it looks like that sometimes), but to meet friends and bond with sisters and to have a good time. There are plenty of girls not interested in the party scene but would like to find someone to settle down with after college in addition to receiving an awesome degree, and there are plenty of girls who do go out but are either in a committed relationship or are otherwise uninterested. Girls know that they are probably not going to find “the one” pouring them some awful mixture of Heaven Hill and off-brand cola.  

6. “Every sorority girl is self-centered and self-serving”  

When it comes to service, sorority girls kick ass. In addition to contributing to my chapter’s philanthropic efforts (which culminated in a total to the tune of  $175,000 this year), I also had the opportunity to participate and compete in events benefiting many other organizations’ philanthropies, and felt the incredible force of good will that the whole Greek community has to support one another’s philanthropies despite rivalries (and sometimes because of rivalries—who cares why you’re doing it if you’re helping kids with cancer, their families, or some equally worthy cause?). When is the last time you heard of an organization of college students raising $15,000,000 nationally for charity in five years like Tri-Delta recently did? That’s what I thought.

7. “’Good’ chapters only take skinny pretty girls”  

Before going through sorority recruitment, I had this mental image of the “top tier” sorority girl. She was bronzed evenly, had perfectly manicured nails, perfectly waxed eyebrows, perfectly coiffed and curled hair. Her skin shone not with oil or sweat but with saliva from the kisses of unicorns. When I got to those houses, I was met by girls with flaws; girls with smearing, heavy eyeliner, girls with thin hair, girls with normal muscle-to-fat ratios. Of course, there were those “perfect” girls too, but they were everywhere I went and not just those few houses I had perceived to be  elite; and so were girls who looked a little more like me with hair that grows really slowly, earlobes that flip up instead of lying down, and hips that are unfortunately wider than my butt. It turns out that chapters care more about a girl’s character, achievements, and personality than her appearance! Who knew? 

I will not claim this to be a comprehensive list of common misconceptions and  stereotypes centered around Greek women—but of course that only speaks to just how many there truly are. The moral of the story is not to judge a book by its cover or a girl by her letters. You might find yourself to be terribly, terribly in the wrong if you do.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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