Living in a Sorority House: Expectation vs. Reality

Living in a Sorority House: Expectation vs. Reality

It may just blow your mind.

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Living in a house with 47 other girls may sound like one's worst nightmare. However, what happens on the inside deserves its own TLC series. Though it doesn't fit the stereotypes, it's just as, if not more entertaining.

There are a lot of stigmas surrounding sororities in general, as portrayed in the media. Harvard shutting down sororities and fraternities have highlighted Greek life all over the nation. This is a very serious subject that takes away student rights, but I thought I'd address it in a very light-hearted fashion.

I highly encourage anyone reading this to look into the situation, but for now, I'll talk about the hilarious reality of living in a sorority house. Nevertheless, I wouldn't trade my quarter-hoarding, frequently-scaring, food-stealing, hard-working housemates for the world.

Expectation: We share everything-especially cute clothes

There's this stigma that a sorority house is a montage of girls running from room to room rummaging through closets for the perfect outfit. This is false.

Reality: "Bitch, that's my sweatshirt"

In reality, I'll see my roommate walk out of our room in my large men's sweatshirt and a messy bun. This is a daily occurrence, not us making cute outfits for each other.

Expectation: We take hour-long showers full of leg-shaving and singing

People think that sorority houses are full of pretentious girls who strive to have smooth legs and volumptuous hair. My showers are fast and full of fear.

Reality: An easy target

Showering in my house means you will either have cold water poured on you, the lights shut off, the curtain torn down, or a rubber rat thrown at you. I am at my most alert in the shower and I clean myself as fast as possible.

Expectation: We have elaborate pillow fights 

Just like the movies!

Reality: We have virtual fights

SuperSmash Bros is a staple in this house. These are the only fights we're having to be honest.

Expectation: We make sure we look presentable at all times.

The mainstream is that sorority girls don't leave the house without a full face of makeup and perfectly quaffed hair.

Reality: Wearing mascara and jeans is a transformation like no other.

When someone does so much as wear jeans instead of sweats on any given day they will hear forty plus girls say "Oh my gosh why do you look so nice? Do you have a presentation or date or something?"

Expectation: We sit and gossip about frat boys all the time

Okay so maybe this happens occasionally. But we have way more intellectual conversations, I swear.

Reality: We talk about existential crises and current events

The amount of times we stay up way too late talking about the universe or how we're going to solve world hunger far outweighs the gossip, which makes me have some hope for our generation, especially my smart friends.

Expectation: We only eat organic greens and rice cakes

This goes along with the whole image thing. People think that living with 47 girls would make you health conscious and super into counting calories. It is quite the opposite actually.

Reality: Infinite McDonalds and Taco Bell trips

This is self explanatory, thankfully we try to drag each other to the gym.

Expectation: We have parties all the time

A common misconception is that sorority houses host parties. HA! Try telling our house mom that. The houses are kept immaculate (except for our rooms). But otherwise, parties are still not our first priority.

Reality: We are actually quite lame most of the time

This isn't even just for all the adults reading this. We really do our homework and study a lot. We also watch a lot of movies, and like I said, SuperSmash Bros.

Expectation: Sorority girls never repeat an outfit 

In my broke dreams.

Reality: Quarters are like gold around here

Quarters for laundry are worth more than dollars around here. Doing laundry so we can re-wear our favorite leggings and trusty hoodie is imperative.

Expectation: We are cliquey and exclusive

Catfights?

Reality: We all cozily squeeze in one room more often than not

How many girls can you fit into a 12x10 bedroom?

Expectation: We pay for our friends

If we're going off of technicalities...

Reality: Hey, at least they're worth it

My friends are worth it. Not to mention the leadership experiences and philanthropy and service we do.

Expectation: We do each other's makeup for fun

I thin the only time I've done someone's make-up, they wiped it off.

Reality: "Why tf are you wearing makeup?"

When we are going to the store, to class, or to eat, we're always mad at that ONE friend that put makeup on because the rest of us feel like shit.

Expectation: We hate all other sororities

OMG Kappa Apple Pie is so annoying...

Reality: We actually hang out a lot

We all have friends in other houses all over campus. Who wouldn't want more friends?

Expectation: We have superficial friendships

"Superficial girls with superficial friends"

Reality: Best friendships

In my experience, I have some real ride or die friends-the opposite of fake. I have made the best friends in the world, and living with them is the craziest, most amazing experience.

I don't care how cliche it is, but living in a sorority house with all of its scary realities has been the best experience of my life. I'd rather be scared shitless 12 times a day and get woken up by my friends every day than live in a "normal" household. And although I didn't talk about it, yes, we do all synch up. Interpret that as you wish.

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Every Stereotype You Have About Sorority Girls Is Wrong, Hear Me Out

Twitter videos and jokes aside, sororities mean way more than letters of the Greek alphabet.

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There are lots of movies that feature us. By "us" I mean sorority girls. We are portrayed as immoral, cookie-cutter, status-obsessed, perfect, and mean. The title of a sorority girl is often associated with a life which revolves around date parties and socials, the "sorority squat," and clapping and yelling in videos on Twitter of recruitment chants. If you look up "sorority girl" on Urban Dictionary, you are bombarded with phrases like "high maintenance" and "cliquey."

That is how we are perceived by strangers on an anonymous website. As if we are all the same. As if all we care about is what lies on the surface. As if this is all that we are. As if there is not infinitely more to us than what you can see in a photo, dozens of photos, Instagram accounts, Twitter videos, Urban Dictionary definitions, and jokes made between people who have no knowledge or experience in greek life, let alone a sorority.

Stereotypes are usually pretty similar when it comes to classifying us.

Some believe that we don't care about school, that we are in college for the fun, and the connections, rather than to work hard to get where we want to be.

I wonder if people who believe we don't value our education have ever seen the determination of the "sorority girls" I know in studying for their tests in Neuroscience and Political Science classes.

They probably haven't watched my fellow sorority sisters earn 4.0 GPAs semester after semester, or choose to stay in and do their homework on a weekend night. And they definitely haven't seen my friends and sisters help others with their work, without expecting anything in return.

Another stereotype heaped upon sorority girls is that we "pay for our friends."

Sororities have dues, yes, but they cover the price of philanthropy events, maintaining our chapter, keeping our part of a larger organization strong. In my experience, every single one of the friendships I have made with girls in my sorority and other sororities has been anything but fake. I can honestly say that I have never met more genuine girls in my entire life, and it is all because of organizations that were formed over a hundred years ago. And so, to those who believe this stereotype to be true, I say that I must not be paying enough for my friends, because they have enriched my life in so many ways.

My sisters, as cliche, as it sounds, are my support system, biggest encouragers, best friends, the first people I want to share the good news with, and a shoulder to cry on. They uplift me, bring me joy, make me laugh until I cry, and are the best dance partners.

Some people may also believe that we only care about what we can gain from our sorority, rather than what we can give back to it.

Anyone who believes this stereotype is turning a blind eye to the money raised for dozens of charities and worthy causes, such as the Make A Wish Foundation, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and the Ronald McDonald House, to name a few. A sororities philanthropy is the heart and reason behind why members stay members. Giving back to the community, and raising money for important causes are just a few of the reasons why being in a sorority cultivates a sense of serving others for a lifetime.

We are not "sorority girls."

We are women in sororities, members of Greek organizations, devoted to our shared values, and determined to succeed. We are scholars, sisters, friends, mentors, achievers, and philanthropists. We are more than what meets the eye, or what is said about us on online or between people joking around. We are kind, we are leaders, we are devoted and we are determined.

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No Matter How Much You Flaunt Your Letters, Greek Life Does Not Define You

Do what makes you happy, not what everyone else is doing.

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As a student at a university with a major sorority and fraternity presence, I know that those unaffiliated, like myself, can't help but wonder if there's something that we're missing out on. Seeing everyone walk around flaunting their letters can make a non-member feel a little left out. I have been told straight to my face "you're going to regret it if you don't rush." But, in all honesty, I don't.

Now, don't get me wrong, being a part of a sorority or a fraternity sounds incredibly fun. With formals to hold, fundraising events to be a part of, "sister photo shoots" to have, and socials to go to, there never seems to be a dull moment for a Greek life member. Not to mention, those affiliated say they have made their absolute best friends through their sororities or fraternities. My friends that are a part of Greek life are always gloating about it, and I can see why. I joined my past roommate at one of her sorority formals and I genuinely had a ball being able to dress up and pretend it was prom again.

However, as wonderful as all of this is, you don't need to be a part of Greek life in order to have THE college experience. Having letters on your shirts does not mean you are any better or any worse of a student than those without them. The letters do not define you.

As an unaffiliated college student, I have still been able to find my group of "forever friends," join clubs, spend nights out, and get an education (since that is, after all, what we're all here for). As cool as it is to be able to stick Greek letters on the back of your laptop, for me, it just leaves more room for stickers of Harry Styles.

Thankfully, college is a lot different than high school — there aren't really any cliques or status rankings. So, if you aren't a part of Greek life, that does not automatically put you at the bottom of the social ladder. At the end of the day, your affiliation does not matter at all. Instead of using a sorority or fraternity as a resumé booster, unaffiliated students can fill those blanks with other work, internship, volunteer, or extracurricular opportunities.

Sure, being a Greek life member may allow you to network and get connections for future careers, but it isn't the only way to do

so. Employers will not pick those in a fraternity over those who are not. They simply look for well-rounded individuals who are involved in something.

So, whether or not you're a part of a sorority or fraternity, I applaud you for making your own decisions and hopefully taking the college route that you wanted to. It does not matter what you are affiliated with, as long as it makes you happy. Otherwise, you aren't missing out on anything special.

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