After my freshman year of college, I was faced with the decision of living in the dorms for another year or living in my sorority house. I wasn't completely sure of what good or bad could come from the sorority house, but I was already familiar with the life of a dorm dweller. The idea of doing something a little less familiar was definitely a little more nervewracking, but I also knew it would be a great opportunity, so I officially decided on the sorority house. So far, I've only lived in it for a short amount of time, but since I moved in I've learned a lot about the living situation, so I'm hoping that by sharing my knowledge on the matter, I can help the rest of the sorority sisters out there decide on their living situation.
First are the pros and cons of living in a sorority house.
Pro: Living in a sorority is cheaper
In most cases, it costs less to live in the sorority while paying sorority member dues than to pay those dues and live somewhere else, so it's much more cost efficient.
Con: Living in can be crowded
You will be sharing a house with a large number of other girls, sometimes adding up to over 60. This can cause the house to feel rather crowded and can make certain everyday tasks more difficult to accomplish.
Pro: It's more social
It's a much more social atmosphere. If you ever feel alone, sad, or just want to talk, you can walk to the dayroom next door and your sisters will most often happily talk to and support you.
Con: It can be difficult to accomplish certain tasks
Referring back to the previous con, tasks such as laundry, showering, and even brushing your teeth can become more difficult. Once the school year starts, the washers and dryers start filling up and you have to try to find a decent time to do laundry when others aren't, there are only so many showers in the house, so you have to wait your turn to take a shower, and depending on the day and time, sometimes the bathroom sinks get quite crowded.
Pro: It's easier to attend events
It's much easier to attend events. Personally, when I lived in the dorms, I was much too lazy to walk up a hill for 15 minutes to attend a sisterhood, but when I began living in the house, I could just walk down the stairs.
Con: It can be loud at night
Because sororities are on the greek row, there are loud, drunk people often passing by the house at night. This happens mostly on weekends thankfully.
Pro: Food's not a problem
You don't have to worry about making your own food unless you want to. Sororities have personal chefs who make their meals, which often turn out being absolutely delicious. So instead of having pizza, a cup of noodle, or microwavable mac and cheese every night, I would actually eat a decent, healthy meal.
Con: Items may accidentally get lost
Multiple people live in close quarters, so others may accidentally borrow or steal your stuff thinking it's theirs, or your stuff may get buried in other people's belongings.
Pro: Dedicated study areas
Many sororities have areas dedicated to studying and school work. This can result in not only an encouragement to study, but also if you want to go to a quiet area with fewer distractions, you wouldn't even have to leave the house. This turns out being really nice in the middle of winter when you don't want to go outside because you feel that you will freeze.
Con: No pets
You can't have pets due to possible allergies, so if you want to have a pet anytime soon or already have a pet than this may not be the best option for you. Some sorority houses do have house pets though.
Pro: It may be closer to the center/main part of campus
You may be closer to campus/classes than some dorms and apartments. This may not be too big of a deal if you have a car unless you want to save gas money, but for those without a car, it makes their lives so much easier so they don't have to get up a half hour earlier than usual just to give themselves time to walk to class. It also can cause people to be willing to study in more efficient areas such as the library due to being closer.
Con: No boys
You can't have men/boys in the house. They may be able to be downstairs away from the day rooms for a short bit of time, but because multiple girls live in the house, there are multiple precautions when it comes to the opposite sex.
Pro: It's more homey
It's much homier than a dormitory. You walk out into the hallway in a sorority house and you will be welcomed with warm greetings. Also, not every room is the same, causing some variety and making it seem more like a normal house than just somewhere for college students to live.
If you break any major rules, it will have a negative effect on the sorority as well as yourself. This applies to people who don't live in as well, but there are more rules for those who do live in, as well as some of them may be more enforced.
Pro: They are cleaner
Sorority houses are cleaned often, leading to them being cleaner than dorms. Dorms are still cleaned, but not as often as a sorority is.
Then, there are the pros and cons of dorms.
Con: Fire alarms
If the fire alarm goes off while you are on a higher up floor such as the 12th floor, you would have to walk down 12 floors and out of the building.
Pro: On campus
Dormitories are always built very close to campus, if not on campus in order for the students to have a more practical distance between where they live and where their classes are.
Con: You can easily lose items and never get them back
It can be harder to locate items you lose in dorms because if someone found it, they most likely don't know you and therefore wouldn't be able to give it back to you.
Pro: Grouping together
Most times they group people together with similar age and interests so you won't have many conflicts as roommates such as heat or messiness.
Cons: Don't have many ways for you to get to know your fellow floormates
Dorms don't often have ways to get people together to meet each other, you just have to go up to them eventually in the hallway or maybe meet them in class.
Pro: You get a choice in what gender you'd rather live with.
You can live in an all of one gender dorm or a co-ed dorm.
Con: Maintenance takes a while
Dorms tend to take longer to fix cosmetic (i.e. holes in the wall, chipped paint) problems.
Pro: Ideal dining hall location
They are often close to dining halls or something of that sort so you can easily pick up food on the way to or from classes.
Con: Dorm room location
Dorm rooms aren't determined by certain aspects, but by more of the luck of the draw.
Pro: Diverse Personalities
You get to experience more diverse personalities due to possibly living with different genders as well as many other aspects.
Con: Quiet hours
Dorms tend to be more strict about quiet hours. This could be considered a pro for those of you who prefer silence, but if you like being able to have friends over and not have to worry about how loud you're being it might be difficult.
Pro: Personal rooms
You can request rooms for yourself. Yes, it may cost more, but if you have a hard time sharing a small area with another person it does provide you with that option.
Dorms aren't known to be overly clean. It's not like they are uninhabitable or anything, but there are cleaner situations. Especially when it comes down to the bathrooms and shower rooms.
In the end, both dorms and sorority houses have a variety of pros and cons. One may appeal to you while it doesn't to someone else or vice versa. Personally, I have enjoyed living in a sorority house much more than a dorm, although I have plenty of good memories in both. I'm sure there are more pros and cons in each category, but for the time being, I hope this article is able to reach anybody who may be struggling with such a decision like I had.