What It's Like To Be Non-Greek In A Greek Town

What It's Like To Be Non-Greek In A Greek Town

I’m too much of an individual to be herded into a group of girls with the “same interests and likes as me."

Living in Tallahassee means one of two things: you’re either Greek, or you’re not. For those living in non-Greek towns, that’s just a fancy way of saying someone is in a fraternity or a sorority. Majority of Tallahassee boasts Greek letters on T-shirts and car windows, while everyone goes on with their day, some stopping to ask what those strange symbols on the front of someone’s laptop means. As for me, I’m proud to say I am not in a sorority, nor will I ever be in one.

One of the most common questions I get is, “are you going to rush?” and the answer is simple: no. Never in a million years would I see myself in a house full of girls who barely know each other’s names but know too much about each other’s private lives. I’m too much of an individual to be herded into a group of girls with the “same interests and likes as me.” That’s what clubs at school are for. Sure, some people really are just like me, but I know how I am and behave when categorized as anything other than an "individual."

I’m not saying everyone in a frat or sorority is the same, but I’m also not saying that they aren’t. My first time witnessing rush week was with some friends as we were on our way to Pots, and we were all baffled. Every single girl that walked down the street was dressed in rompers, all similar colors and styles. They all carried their tan wedges in their hands and they scurried along in their sandals. Their hair was curled ever so softly, and we could see their accessories bouncing along as they tried to beat the oncoming traffic. It was like watching Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Sorority Edition. I soon found out from my sister (my real sister, not a sorority sister) who’s in Zeta Tau Alpha, that the girls have a list of what they have to wear, which includes the color scheme, accessories, and how they have to wear their hair. It’s like grade school all over again, with the uniform requirements and dress code.

I don’t know about most people, but I know I’m not wiling to pay $1,200 a semester to be a part of Greek life. If you’ve got the money and you can afford it, by all means, go for it, but I know what I could really do with that money, and it rhymes with “shpay my stuition.” Greek life is far too expensive, and for college students that pay their own rent, make their own car payments, and buy their own groceries, Greek life is just a luxury, not a necessity. Not to mention all the dues that need to be paid, rent if you decide to live at the house, and money to be spent on all the outfits required for certain events. Even with a job, I couldn’t afford it if I tried.

I spent 18 years living under my parents’ roof, following their rules and respecting their authority. I'll be damned if I'm about to pay $1,200 to have someone just a few years older than me telling me what to do, how to act, and what to wear. I am too much of an individual with my own plans and thoughts to be manipulated to be like someone else. These girls are not allowed to go out during rush week. They can't go to Happy Hour or parties and they can't have fun with everyone else during syllabus week. Frats, however, have all the freedom in the world to do the complete opposite. Frats can go out whenever they want during rush week, and can also party and drink while wearing their fraternity's letters, unlike sororities.

Sometimes I feel left out, like when date functions or spring formals roll around, but I don't lose sleep over it. I'm okay with not posting the same picture as twelve other girls, fake laughing into the camera or holding hands with my little. I enjoy long strolls down the grocery aisle without worrying about what I eat because formal is coming up. I find the light in being a non-Greek, and it's a very bright light. Some people want to be Greek so they can "make connections," but I've made enough connections working my little minimum wage job and being friendly with people in suits.

It's hard being a non-Greek in a Greek town, but I've learned that it makes you more of an individual. When you've got the freedom to do as you please, get a job, attend school full time, and not have to worry about chapter meetings, it's a great feeling. I applaud those who have jobs and work hard in school and can still be an active member in their frat or sorority; it's not an easy task and it is very demanding. But I know I won't do that, not because I can't, but because I enjoy my time and my freedom.

Cover Image Credit: Zeta Tau Alpha FSU

Popular Right Now

10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.


1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten

Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Joining A Sorority Was The Best Decision Of My Life

I have met my future bridesmaids, my best friends, and now my family.


When I was in high school, I always thought about how college would be once I graduated. I thought about what classes I would take, what the campus would look like, and what I would major in. The thing I was concerned about the most was how I as going to make friends. I was moving to a college a couple of hours away from my home and I was not going to know anyone. I was literally picking up my life and moving it without knowing what lies before me.

I was talking to my aunt right after I graduated and she asked me if I would be interested in sorority life. I had never thought about being in a sorority before. We talked it over and she told me about all the things she got to do when she was at college. She told me things such as what events she got to be in, the people she met, and the friends that she still keeps in touch with to this day. I decided right there that a sorority was a good choice for me.

The closer towards the end of summer, the more excited I got for college and possibly joining a sorority. I did my research before coming into college about what sorority I could see myself in. I was super nervous and doubted myself at times but I pushed forward and kept pursuing sorority life. I was invited to a summer social where you go and get to meet a handful of the actual girls in these sororities and ask them any questions you have.

When I got there, my mom and I were so excited. We got upstairs and everything looked so pretty. All the girls were so nice and welcoming and it really made me fall in love with my college even more. I got to talk to each sorority through a representative. I knew by the end of the day that sorority life was going to be a great adventure, but I had no idea just what I was getting into.

The recruitment weekend was super stressful. I had to get up early each morning and be in full glam mode which for me means hair done and makeup fully on. We had specific outfits to ear each day. I was very nervous that something would go wrong and I would not get picked or the girls would not like me. Each party that I went to was different but it showed me all kinds of different aspects of each sorority.

Each one had something great about them and I thought I knew which one fit me best, but I would soon be proven wrong. The last day of recruitment was Bid Day. This is the day you find out what sorority you will be joining if you accept the bid from that sorority. I opened my envelope and saw a name that I was not expecting and I was devastated. I felt unaccepted. I had received a bid from Delta Zeta. This is not the name I wanted to see on my paper, but it is what I got so I stuck it out and tried to look on the bright side.

I quickly realized that getting the bid from Delta Zeta was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have found that sorority that I dreamed of when I first thought about joining a sorority. I have made so many friends and met some many wonderful people. My sisters love me for me and it has made me the happiest girl in the world.

Not only are they your own personal therapist, but they help you with school too. They hold you to a higher standard and you are placed on a pedestal of honor when people see you in your letters. I have met my future bridesmaids, my best friends, and now my family. I am so thankful for Delta Zeta for picking me to be apart of this amazing organization. I will never be able to express my love for Delta Zeta because the words are endless.

Related Content

Facebook Comments