Sorority stereotypes

6 Of The Worst Sorority Girl Stereotypes That Everyone Believes But Aren't True

The worst sorority stereotypes that everyone thinks is true, but in reality, isn't anything they would expect.

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Throughout my whole life, I've always heard sorority stereotypes ranging from family members, friends, and even strangers. Most of it was solely based off of what movies and TV shows have depicted it as or even the worst real-life horror stories of hazing.

In reality, from becoming a sister of a sorority, I know it isn't anything like the stereotypes. I was terrified of joining a sorority and never did I think that I would join one in college. It actually turned out to be one of the best things I've ever done, but the stereotypes are still out there and they still aren't true.

I've given myself an opportunity to take and joining a sorority, to me, was a big one. I wasn't ready, but I still wanted to give it a shot and at least say I got the experience. Sorority life isn't anything you think it would be, and there are so many stereotypes surrounding it. Here are a few harmful stereotypes you might come across that you should be wary of:

1. All we ever do is party.

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Even if you weren't in a sorority, you would still party in college. You aren't forced to party if you don't want to (aka that's hazing) and you have a right to choose if you want to party with sisters or not. I've never felt pressured to do so and that's not all that we do in a sorority. We have philanthropy events, community service, chapter meetings, socials, etc. Sororities do a lot to expand their reputation and partying is not really one of them, I promise.

2. All sorority girls are fake.

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This one definitely isn't true. Every sorority girl has a personality, trust me. Being in a sorority doesn't mean you have to look perfect at all times. You don't have to wear pounds of makeup and keep your pretty blonde hair straightened. It definitely doesn't work like that.

You're allowed to be comfortable in your own skin and when going through recruitment, you have to be yourself so that you're put in the sorority that you're meant to be in. Going through recruitment and meeting some girls who might seem fake, probably aren't. They're probably really nervous and don't really know what to say so they're going to seem kind of fake to you. You meet so many different girls who all have their own unique traits, they're all going to be a little quirky, and it should always be like that.

3. Only rich girls join a sorority.

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Sure, some girls have money, but NOT ALL girls have money. Dues for sororities definitely are expensive, but it's up to the girl if she finds it all worth it. Some girls pay for their own dues (me) and work our butts off to get the money to pay for it. Financial probation is a thing and it is common for girls to get on financial probation because yes, it is expensive, and you might not have the money up front. Not all of our rich daddies are paying for our sorority dues. Some girls pay their own and most of us aren't as "rich" as you think.

4. You have your friends handed to you. 

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Finding friends in a sorority is just as hard as finding friends if you lived in a dorm. You still have to step out of your comfort zone and be outgoing to find friends. It might be just a tad easier to find friends in a sorority because you've already shared so many memories and have all gone to events together, that friendships just start forming.

People think that with joining a sorority, you just have your friendship handed to you, but it doesn't quite work like that. Many girls drop because they feel like they didn't have any friends in the sorority and didn't find a point to keep moving along with it. So no, you definitely have to form friendships on you're own.

5. We care about social life more than academics. 

Back to School Essentials photo by Matt Ragland (@mattragland) on Unsplash

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This one is a big fat no. Being a sorority, you have to meet academic goals. You need to have a good, or high, GPA and you're required to have a certain amount of study hours per week. If not, you can be put on academic probation. To even join Greek Life at a college, you must have a certain GPA or you can be put on probation.

There have been many times when I've missed events or a party to go and study/do homework. I've made it a priority, and honestly, if I wasn't in a sorority, I wouldn't be as motivated to keep my academics up. Academics is such an important aspect in joining a sorority that sometimes we might have to miss out on our social life.

6. It's a cult.

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If it was a cult, I promise I wouldn't be sitting here writing this article. Just because you see those two girls swiftly open the double doors and you see a big group of girls clapping and singing does not mean that it's a cult. It's to seem inviting and cute, not be seen as a cult.

In the movies, they have made this a big stereotype especially with hazing, but sororities aren't cults, I promise. We've come a long way with doing cute philanthropy events and donating community service hours, a cult isn't even in our vocabulary. Sororities want to have a sisterhood bond, and because of the old traditions they still follow, some rituals like initiation may seem "cultish" but in reality aren't at all.

Before I ever joined a sorority, I believed each and every single one of these stereotypes. I'm glad I took a chance in doing recruitment because it has brought me so many friendships and memories I don't ever want to let go of. A lot of these stereotypes will most likely live on, but from my experience, not one of these stereotypes have become true and I'm sure a lot of other sorority girls can agree.

I wouldn't give it up for the world and I've been surprised a lot throughout my time of being in a sorority and have realized that it's a lot more than just all the frat boys you meet and all the relations you get to have. From doing cute philanthropy events, sisterhood retreats, semi-formal and formal, etc. you get to keep some of the best experiences you will ever go through in your life.

So don't believe any of these countless sorority stereotypes.

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Greek Life Does More Harm Than Good And It's Time We Canceled It

Greek Life is considered an almost essential part of campus culture, but do we really need Greek life?
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If you are a college student in the United States, you will be affected in some way by Greek life.

It doesn't matter whether you want to join or not. When you go to school, you will hear about it all the time. You will hear about which frats throw the best parties, be asked which sorority you are rushing, and see them hosting charity events. And of course, you will hear the criticisms.

It is impossible these days to not hear about the criticisms surrounding Greek life, the most common one being the high rates of sexual assault. There are also the criticisms that it promotes binge-drinking and partying, it fuels nepotism, the hazing, and there have been numerous racist incidents involving fraternities.

If you ask anybody in Greek life though, they will usually tell you these criticisms are overblown. Yes, occasionally there might be some racist jokes. Yes, sometimes a sexual assault might occur, but they will assure you that these are just a few bad apples. Then they will wax poetic about the various benefits of Greek life, how it fosters lifetime friendships, instills good values such as serving the community, and grooms young adults for professional life.

But there is another question you should ask. Who reaps these benefits?

In a study conducted by Princeton University, researchers found that at their school 77% of fraternity members and 73% of sorority members were white, despite making up 47% of the student body. Additionally, 30% and 19% of fraternity and sorority members were legacy admits, meaning they were children of alumni. Obviously, this is only one school and not necessarily reflect the entire United States. Fraternities and sororities do not publish statistics on their demographics, so it is impossible to tell exactly how pervasive this phenomenon is. Nonetheless, it is worrisome and is surprising, considering that the first fraternities were founded by the people that have always been most privileged in our country: white, upper-class men.

You do not need an extensive, university-sponsored study to understand that it is difficult for students of lower incomes to join Greek life. Not only must you maintain a certain GPA, but you must pay monthly dues in order to stay in. These can range in cost from $250 to $775, and that is not counting “new member fees" or “badge fees" that may be added to the overall cost. Additionally, members must attend regular meetings and functions. If somebody comes from a low-income family and has to work in order to make it through college, it will be significantly harder to join Greek life.

Some organizations offer payment plans, but many potential pledges still say this is not enough. This begs the question: is Greek life really creating new leaders, or is it just fostering a culture of nepotism and providing a pathway for those born into privilege to access high-paying jobs more easily? This is not to say it is impossible for someone of lesser means to join, but it is significantly harder.

In recent years, excessive drinking and hazing-related deaths have also caused Greek life to come under fire. It is not uncommon for college students to abuse alcohol, however, members of Greek life are significantly more likely to abuse alcohol. One study by Harvard found that 4 out of 5 fraternity and sorority members are binge-drinkers in comparison to 2 out of 5 overall college students.

Another study at Brown University found that fraternities are often opposed to alcohol education and intervention because they view it as an impediment to their social and sexual goals. Again, this is not to suggest that only Greek life-affiliated students binge-drink. Many college students engage in binge-drinking while they are in school, but they are much more likely to do so if they are involved in Greek life.

These are only some of the problems associated with Greek life. There are many, many more, which I will discuss in next week's article. But for now, I want readers to sit and consider the facts they have been presented with, and ask themselves the kind of mentality that Greek life promotes through its culture of exclusion and binge-drinking.

Cover Image Credit: Stephen F. Austin State University

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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.

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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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