The Hidden Fees Of Being In A Sorority

The Hidden Fees Of Being In A Sorority

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I almost didn’t rush because I was so intimidated by the idea of paying dues to be in a sorority. After grappling with the initial shock of the amount I would be dishing out of my bank account every month, I have realized there are even more costs to joining a sorority that I didn’t recognize at first. I call these the “hidden fees.” For the last two years, I have been trying to come up with ways to be inventive and resourceful in hurdling these fees.


'Swag'

It seems like we have T-shirts for every sorority event: recruitment, date functions, philanthropies, formals. We also have sweatshirts. And tanks. And vests. And quarter-zips. Even socks. The list goes on and on.

My first year, I bought every T-shirt that was available to me, because I thought they were so cute, and I wanted all of them. But at the end of the year I realized that I really did not need that many T-shirts. In fact, I realized that I had more T-shirts than I ever wanted; I started wearing T-shirts more than my regular clothes, which has really never been my style.

The best advice I can give is to limit your T-shirt purchases. Pick your favorites. You really do not need every single T-shirt.


The Coffee Culture

Most sorority girls live in a “coffee culture.” A world where the words, “let’s get coffee” are uttered almost daily. We love to show up to class with a Starbucks cup. Sometimes coffee dates are a social activity. I cannot tell you how times I have paid for coffee just to “catch up.”

This is not just with coffee. I hear “Let’s get lunch” or “Let’s get frozen yogurt” frequently as well. While we all love going out to eat, the reality is that paying for this adds up very quickly.

I can make a cup of coffee at home for so much less than it costs at Starbucks or cook dinner for someone at my house for so much less than it costs to eat out.

Our society is losing the art of hospitality, and we need to start embracing the sweetness there is in inviting others into our homes.


Meal Plan

I do not live in my sorority house, so I have dinner at the house once a week with my paid meal plan. Different sororities have different meal plan systems.

My advice: Don’t miss your meal. You are paying for it, so make sure you plan it into your day as a must. It can be a great study break and a fun time to be with your sisters. The food is also probably much better than what you would have been eating. So really appreciate it. 


Big Sis Week

This can be a really big money sucker. I know some girls can spend upwards of $400 on making sure their little’s big sis week is absolutely perfect with all kinds of elaborate gifts, food, and activities.

I would recommend simplifying; it is okay to pass down T-shirts and gifts to your little; in fact, it is really fun to have traditions of passing things down.

Also, use your connections. There are some really fun things you can do for your little if you get creative. (I had my little’s best friend from another school surprise her, and she loved it.) 


Formal Dresses

One of my absolute favorite parts of being in a sorority is getting dressed up for a formal. I love curling my hair and putting on a fancy dress. But formal dresses can be really expensive.

My best advice is to be smart when shopping for a formal dress; look at different stores and websites to find a dress you love for less.

Also, borrow, borrow, borrow! I recently started a Facebook message thread with some girls in my sorority who wear the same size as me to share dresses. I love sharing my dresses, as do many others. There is no reason why we cannot utilize that resource. This goes for jewelry too, which can quickly become expensive.


While these hidden fees can be frustrating, if you are smart about how you handle these areas of your life, you can avoid wasting money you did not intend to spend. At the end of the day, being in a sorority is worth every penny. 

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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The Football World Loses One Of Its Finest Players

Bart Starr passed away and NFL players, coaches, and fans all mourn the loss of the Packer legend, but his life and career will live on in hearts of Packer nation forever.

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Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 in Birmingham, Alabama. The NFL lost a great player. The Green Bay Packers lost a hero. And, the world lost a true gentleman. Starr's legacy has surpassed his accomplishments on the gridiron. He inspired not only his peers but the generations that have come after him. He is — and always — will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, a champion, and a Packer.


Bart Starr was a Packers legend. Starr led Green Bay to six division titles and five world championships. As the quarterback of Vince Lombardi's offense, he kept the machine going and executed the plays like no other. His mastery of the position was a large part of the Packers success in the 1960s. Starr was also the perfect teammate for the perfect team. His leadership put him in command of the Packers. Starr's time in Green Bay will not be forgotten by former players, coaches, and the fans.

Bart Starr's resume is rivaled by few in NFL history. He played in 10 postseason games and won 9 of them. He led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and won the MVP award in both games. He was the MVP of the league in 1966 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s. The Packers retired his number 15 and Starr has been inducted into the Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame.


After his playing days, Starr would become the head coach of the Packers. He could not repeat the success he had on the field from the 1960s teams. His coaching years do not take away from his legacy as one of the all-time great Packers. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

One of Starr's last visits to Lambeau field was on a cold November night in 2015. Starr and his wife attended a ceremony in which the Packers retired Brett Favre's jersey number. Starr was the perfect personification of what it meant to be a Packer. His most heroic moment came in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The Ice Bowl came down to a third and goal in Lambeau Field's south endzone against the Dallas Cowboys. Starr came to the sidelines and bravely told Vince Lombardi that he can sneak it in for a game-winning touchdown. Lombardi then replied, "Run it, and let's get the hell out of here." Starr ran a quarterback sneak for the game-winner and the Packers were off to Super Bowl II. Without Starr, Green Bay would not have won a second straight Super Bowl. His leadership in big game moments will live with Packers fans for a lifetime.

Vince Lombardi: A Football Life - The Ice Bowl

Starr leaves behind his wife Cherry, his son, and three granddaughters. Packers fans will have a tight grip on the memories Bart Starr and the 60s teams created. Starr left behind a template for being a Green Bay Packer. He also left a template for being a good man and a gentleman of the game of football. He was a competitor and a leader. Packer nation mourns for the loss of one of the finest human beings the game has seen.

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