Today on sorority misconceptions debunked: Isn't being in a sorority just paying for your friends?

No, kind reader, I do not pay for my friends. I pay for some of the experiences that I have with the women in my chapter, who quickly become my friends because of the values that we share and the experiences that we have together.

I would not have known or been friends with many of the women in my chapter had it not been for my sorority. Our school is small, so we probably would have run into each other, but I doubt we would have had the bond that we have because of our chapter. Once that common bond gave us the opportunity to spend more time together, our friendships grew. We didn’t become friends because of our chapter alone—not everyone in a given sorority is best friends with every single one of their sisters, and that’s okay—but our chapter helped us to see in each other the potential for friendship.

So yes, we do pay membership fees to be a part of our chapter. But as VP of Finance, I can tell you pretty confidently that I do not pay for my friends. We pay for leadership opportunities, sisterhood weekends, and events for our philanthropy, among other things. But nowhere on the budget variance report does it say that we pay for our friends.

What’s more—if you’re going to apply this stereotype to sororities, it seems like it should be applied to other organizations. Fraternities, sports teams, clubs—heck, even Girl Scouts! Why aren’t these groups stereotyped as having to pay for their friends? One reason is because they haven’t been portrayed as negatively in the media as sororities have—if you watch any show or movie featuring “sorority girls,” they are almost always vapid and catty and the type of girls that you would expect to have to pay for their friends. Perhaps it also has to do with the fact that the cultural perception of women makes it hard to believe that a large group of women is capable of being friends.

Whatever the reason for the stereotype, it is totally false.

Money doesn't create friendships—common interests, values and experiences do.