Truth Is, You Don't Get What You Pay For In A Sorority

Truth Is, You Don't Get What You Pay For In A Sorority

You can't buy friendship even if you wanted to.

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Here in Blacksburg, we are getting ready for primary recruitment for all the National Panhellenic Sororities. It is no secret that our nation has seen a decline in the participation of recruitment for Greek Life. More recently than ever, media has been covering some of the not so good aspects of Greek Life. In turn, this has negatively impacted the amazing things these organizations do accomplish and throw on brutal stereotypes that are never true in all cases, although some choose to take them that way.

So why should you fork over hundreds of dollars every semester to be in a sorority?

Well, I can promise you one thing, the money means nothing once you are in a chapter that is home. People love to say that you pay for your friends in greek life, but what you are actually paying for is the house in which you get to meet friends, the philanthropic events you plan so that you can help get the community involved with your organization and the other social events that you get to share with people from outside of your organization.

A sorority gives you people that will stand behind you through the good and the bad of college, not because they have to but because they genuinely want to. What brings that support together is the understanding that every girl in your sorority has agreed to stand behind the same core values and to grow together for the betterment of women in society.

There is no price anyone could put on the endless opportunities you receive through greek life grow in leadership skills. People might bash the endless positions and committees sororities have, but when you get the chance to make a difference, to lead people, and to accomplish things right alongside people who care for you, that is priceless.

If you think sororities are about buying friends, I have news for you. No quality friendship can be bought with anything other than trust and respect and love.

If you think sororities are about paying for more social events, I have even more news for you. Virginia Tech is one huge social school from countless on-campus events to a jam-packed downtown all the time.

Everything else you get out of joining a sorority is priceless.

The money girls pay each semester to me members of a sorority is simply about keeping the lights on and providing spaces for its members to grow and find joy in spending time with each other. You don't keep those things. Developing lifelong friendships is just the side effect of being present in such spectacular organizations, and that isn't what you are paying for, but that is what you are holding onto for the rest of your life.

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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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To My Big, My Best Friend, Sister, And Future Bridesmaid

You're the big sister I never had, but always wanted.

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Coming to college wasn't the easiest. I was far from home and barely knew anyone when starting. First semester quickly flowed into second, and sorority recruitment came around. My experience was tough and nothing about it felt right.

I ultimately joined a chapter that I was unsure about and slowly started to find my place. It might not have been what I wanted, but it was what I always needed.

I met amazing people and that included you.

Getting a big was something I had looked forward to way before being in a sorority and even college. It was always something I had wanted to do. I grew up with a younger brother but had always wanted a sister.

Thank you for giving me that.

You're the big sister I never had but always wanted.

It's funny how similar our lives and selves are. Our entire greek family really does fit together so well, and it all happens for a reason.

It's nice to have someone that I can relate to and talk to about anything. Know that it always goes both ways and I'm always here.

You quickly became a person I could turn to in good and bad times. Someone I could share clothes, laughs, and hard times with.

In the year that we've been "big" and "little," I can honestly say that you are my best friend. I look up to you so much and finally got that sister relationship.

College wouldn't be the same without you, and I'm so glad we get to share these experiences together. Thinking about you graduating next spring makes me so sad since you won't be so close.

Wherever you end up, know that I'm cheering you on and can't wait to see only success come into your life.

Now that I have a little, I'm trying to build the same relationship with her. Thank you for showing me how to be a great big and person.

I've gained a bridesmaid, a best friend, and a sister.

Love you forever!

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