The Truth about Sororities

Looking back at my college days I wonder why I ever thought it was a good idea to join a sorority. I dunno yall, I think I just wanted to fit in somewhere? I really dunno.

If I could do it all over again I’m not sure if I would. Or at least I would probably do things a lot differently.

To be completely honest it is kind of a rich person thing to do. There were a surprising amount of women in my sorority that had literally never worked a day in their life and didn’t understand that I had to work.

That ultimately was the biggest reason I dropped my Junior year but we’ll get more into that.

(lol me in 2017 😂)

I joined my sorority, the second semester of my Sophomore year during secondary recruitment. This is waaaayyyyy different than rushing which is the primary way you would join a sorority. The whole process is SUPER over the top and dumb and thank GOD I wasn’t recruited that way but I did have to do on the other side. That is, being the person who has to recruit people to your sorority. It was a cool experience, but I feel like it didn’t add much to my college experience and didn’t really add anything to me or my life. It really just put me into debt.

I have several points I wanna talk about and Im gonna organize it by title.

First up:

  1. It’s a Super Judgmental Community
  • This is probably super obvious but it’s a super weird world to live in. You’re judged to get in and then once you’re in you’re under a microscope. You’re under a lot of pressure to be perfect. You have pressure to show up to events and look good and perfect all the time. Every meeting they bring up how you are always representing your sorority so you are always held to higher standards. Which makes sense, and you signed up for it but it’s also not a good feeling to feel like you’re being watched by other members of your “sisterhood.” They judge you for everything, and while they say that you don’t have to look like a “sorority girl” to be in a sorority you are under pressure to conform.
  • At socials with other greek community members people are looking at you and always checking the letters on your shirt. Other members of the community really judge you based on what house you’re in. I really didn’t like that. I don’t wanna be put into a box. People really treat you differently once they find out what house you’re in.
  • You get super judged being in it BY the members in it AND you get super judged by the people who aren’t in it. You can’t win y’all. People will just form super strong opinions of you based on not even know you.
  1. It’s a HUGE Commitment
  • It’s so goddamn expensive, AND almost all sororities require you to live in the house for at least one year. And THEN you have to pay for it. The living situation also usually isn’t that good and you could get your own apartment, across the street from campus for the same amount that you’re paying to live in your sorority house.
  • You have to buy ALL of the sorority shirts and they’re expensive af.
  • It’s also a huge time commitment. Like I mentioned earlier, I had to work while I was in my sorority and it took a lot of time away from me working. Which really made a dent in my bank account which was already dented because I was paying for my sorority. It ended up I had to work so much to even pay to be in the sorority that I couldn’t even participate in any of the events. AND you’re already under a lot of pressure to show up to things. It really sucked.
  • The money and time commitment alone is why this whole community is really made for rich people. If you NEED to work for your money then you just can’t be in a sorority. It’s so expensive and for the first couple years of you joining you spend more time on sorority stuff than you do in school.
  • If you want to join a sorority and get the most out of it, you really need to go all in and spend a lot of time with it. I really don’t like when people say that “it is what you make it,” when you are REQUIRED to do certain things and show up to things.
  1. It’s NOT Centered Around Community Service
  • When I joined I was really excited to give back to my community but that was really only 5 percent of what the sorority even did. It was mostly socials with other sororities and fraternities and sisterhood bonding events.
  • So… it’s really just an exclusive social club for rich people with the community service aspect hacked on there so they can get away with existing.
  • We truly BARELY did anything related to community service and I was in it for a year.
  1. Hazing
  • Hazing wasn’t a thing in my sorority at all. My sororities definition of hazing was “anything that made you feel uncomfortable” and they took this really seriously. However, some girls would use this definition to get away with not doing things. Like for some rituals we are all required to wear the same colored clothes and some women would say that it “made them uncomfortable to wear the same colored clothes as other people.” They would literally bring this up and argue this at chapter that it was hazing to require us all to wear the same color 🙄
  1. You May Not Fit In
  • There were so many women that I really really loved in my sorority but I really just didn’t click with most of them. Out of the 100+ women, I was really only friends with like 20? Which sounds like a lot but out of a group of 100+ its a pretty small number.
  • I dropped purely because of money reasons, but after the fact the girls who were supposed to be my “sisters for life” were horrible to me. Which just proves that all that “love” and “sisterhood” is just performance and only applies when you’re in it.
  1. Recruitment is a Joke
  • When joining a sorority they tell you to just “trust the process” and you’ll find where you belong but recruitment is really so all the sororities can meet their number quotas. This is literally true all the sororities that do primary recruitment work together to ensure that each sorority recruits enough members to survive. It’s not about bonding at all AND I was on the other side of recruitment and while we are were all VERY respectful of the women we rejected or voted No, on sometimes they would STILL get invited back to recruitment events when we literally all voted No on them. Our votes didn’t even matter when deciding who got into OUR sorority.
  • Recruitment isn’t about you finding your home. Sororities are a business that requires members to make money.
  • You could get sorted into a chapter that you just don’t belong in. I know I’ve been bashin on sororities pretty hard this whole article but I didn’t hate my sorority at all. I just feel like I didn’t belong there and it was costing me so much more than I was getting out of it. I really really loved this other sorority on campus and was better friends with the women in that sorority than I was in my own. I feel like for this reason I wasn’t that proud to wear my letters and felt that I didn’t belong. To this day, Im friends with women from that other sorority and only a small handful from my own.

Okay lol Im done with my mini rants. These are just some things I wish I would have known before I joined my sorority. I feel like it’s important to note that at this time also, I had really low self-esteem and no confidence what-so-ever which obviously really didn’t help at all, BUT I feel like If I had had good self-esteem and some confidence in myself I probably would’ve hated it even more lol. Probably because I would have been way more aware of how I didn’t belong there and how I deserve to be treated better.

All in all, I don’t think that sororities are inherently bad and Im not saying that you shouldn’t join them. I do feel that you need to be aware of what you’re getting yourself into. Its super important that you love the sorority that you’re in and feel like you belong there. You also NEED to be aware of the time and money commitment. If you join as a freshman, you will be spending your entire freshman and sophomore year on sorority stuff — if you’re super into it and I feel like if you choose to do a commitment like this you should go all in. Also if you wanna join a sorority, but know that you can’t afford it then DON’T DO IT. Don’t even try to make it work, you’re just not gonna get hardly anything out of it.

Going off of that, I really don’t recommend joining as an upperclassmen. When you’re an upperclassman you’re really buckling down on your major and figuring out your life after college. You’re also older and in a different place than most of the women joining sororities. If you join as a Junior, you’re gonna be in a class of all freshman and you’re gonna just be in a much different place that your peers. You also won’t be able to grow with your class and its gonna be harder to make friends in your sorority who are also upperclassmen because they’ve already been initiated and aren’t gonna be in the same place as you are within the sorority.

If you really really wanna join a sorority, you can. But just know you don’t need to and honestly I got more happiness and bonding by joining Anthropology Club than I ever did in my own sorority. If you wanna be part of a club or some social group. I really recommend joining a club on campus that is something you’re interested in. It’s usually free and the group is small and you all have similar interests so making friends is easy. You’re not judged, and commitment is low. If you can’t go to certain events, no one would be mad at you. The connections you make are natural and cozy 😊 I really recommend that route for being social in college.

That all being said, If you know what you want, you should go for it. Just make sure you’re aware of what you’re committing too.

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Kathryn McCarville

Kathryn McCarville

I’m really just at the mercy of my own perspective. Instagram — @katie_mccarv