Living In A Sorority House: Expectation VS. Reality

Living in a Sorority House: Expectation vs. Reality

It may just blow your mind.


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


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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The ABCs Of Greek Life

Greek Life From A to Z

When you enter into Greek life, it's like having to learn a whole new language, but it's a language that everyone comes to love. So here's the Greek alphabet, from Alpha Chi to Zeta.

A is for Alum

The members of our chapter who have graduated. These members are a range of ages and can participate in all kinds of alumna events.

B is for Bid Day

The best day of the year when our chapters get to accept a new pledge class of members.

C is for Chapter

Our weekly meetings where we learn about sisterhood and philanthropy events, date parties, etc., as well as take care of any sort of chapter business.

D is for Date Parties

Some of the best nights of the year are getting dressed up with your friends and your dates and attending date parties.

E is for Executive Board

The people that make the chapter run smoothly. The chapter wouldn't function without your president, VP, finance, standards, etc.

F is for Fried Friday

The best day of the week at the house. When the chefs cook up chicken, mozzarella sticks, fried pickles, french fries, corn dogs, fried mac n cheese, fried corn, fried green tomatoes and whatever else your heart desires.

G is for Greek Week

One of the most competitive and most fun weeks of the year. Spent playing dodgeball, whiffle ball, doing dance-offs, and more!

H is for Hand Sign

No matter what sign it is, we love to throw what we know!

I is for Initiation

The day that we get to cross from new member to active member of our chapter.

J is for Just Here So I Don't Get Fined

As much as we love to hang out with our sisters, sometimes life gets in the way and we wish we had more free time. Sometimes we're only attending an event so that we don't get fined.

K is for Kick-Off

Of course, all college students love football but game day is something special when you're Greek. From getting ready with your sisters to eating at the house to tailgating with the fraternities, it's all a part of the game day experience when you're Greek.

L is for Letters

Our identity within the Greek community.

M is for Mom

Our house mom can never take the place of our real mom but she is great for lending an ear and helping solve any issues that come up within the sorority.

N is for Norts

Part of the "sorority girl uniform." We can't get enough of our Nike shorts

O is for Organized

With constantly running between classes, chapter meetings, and other events, you become extremely organized when you join a Greek organization.

P is for Philanthropy

One of the biggest reasons many people choose to go Greek. We love to spend our time, money and energy towards a cause that's close to our heart such as Ronald McDonald House, Make a Wish Foundation and CASA.

Q is for Queso

Okay, maybe a bit of a stretch but it's true! Ordering Fuzzy's to the sorority house or going out to eat at Moe's or Chuy's are not uncommon activities. We love chips and queso!

R is for Recruitment

The craziest week of the year where the chapter decides which PNM's would be the best fit for the chapter and new members run home to your chapter at the end of the week!

S is for Sisterhood

What a sorority is really all about. The friends you make in your sorority are some of the most interesting and genuine girls you'll meet!

T is for T-Shirt Tuesday

The one weeknight that tons of people go out. Whether you're at Harry's bar or Rounders, T-shirt Tuesday is sure to be a blast.

U is for Unique Experience

No two people have the same experience with Greek life. Whether you're the most involved person, just in it for the sisterhood, or you're fairly uninvolved, your experience will be different than everyone else's. You get out what you put in, as the saying goes.

V is for Vineyard Vines

One of many popular brands among sorority women and fraternity men alike.

W is for Wine Wednesday

Another fan favorite of the week is Wine Wednesday. Whether you're celebrating at Gallette's or from the comfort of your own dorm or apartment, Wine Wednesday is awesome.

X is for XL T-Shirts

Another part of the "sorority girl uniform". The bigger the T-shirt, the comfier and more confident you'll be. It's science.

Y is for Youth

Many philanthropies work with children, which is great because we love to spend time with the youth in and around Tuscaloosa!

Z is for Zero Sleep

When you're taking 14-18 credits, working, in a Greek organization and you're involved with several other organizations it's easy to see why we never get our full 8 hours of sleep. We're always going and we're fueled by coffee and a passion for whatever it is we're doing on and around campus.

Cover Image Credit: UA Panhellenic

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I Didn't Join A Panhellenic Sorority

It's okay if you don't join a panhellenic sorority. Sometimes a different organization can turn out to be the best thing.


Before going to college I was faced with a dilemma, should I rush? I wanted to rush just for the social aspect, I thought it would be my best shot at making a bunch of friends. However, deep down I knew that greek life really wasn't me. I didn't want to do something if I wasn't one hundred percent behind it. There was a part of me that did want to be in a sorority but the other part of me really didn't want to rush. Let me be clear, I don't think Greek life is bad, I just think it wasn't for me. I talked to my brother and sister-in-law about this because they both were in Greek life at the college I attend now; they told me that they didn't think I would like it either.

What my brother and sister-in-law told me that I might like was, a Christian sorority called Sigma Phi Lambda. When they described it to me it seemed like exactly what I was wanting. As soon as I got to college I sought them out; and I went to their recruitment nights. I loved it! It was exactly what I was looking for. I ended up joining. This sorority brought me an amazing group of friends! Most importantly, I have joined the perfect sorority for me! A few things I liked most about Sigma Phi Lambda was the people were so welcoming, it was more low key and laid back, I was still able to have a big and a "Pham", we still did lots of sorority things whilst also having activities that strengthened us on our walks with the Lord, and I gained so many sisters that I now have strong relationships with. Sigma Phi Lambda gave me so many friends and something to be involved in on campus. They gave me somewhere to belong and I am so glad I chose to join them.

Rushing may be exactly what you need when you go to college, but if it's not that is okay. Just join something that makes you happy. Join an organization that helps you grow and surrounds you with people that you want to be around. I promise when you get to college that there is an organization for just about everything, find the one that fits you. No matter what you choose I promise it's good. Just make sure you choose what is right for you.

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