Whether you are an incoming freshman or a transfer junior this series will guide you in the right direction toward an exciting chapter in your life. When I was beginning my college career, I knew I was going to join a Sorority. However a lot of women are not as sure about it as I was. Myths and concerns about sorority life often hold back women from joining. To start off the series let’s clear up some rumors about being in a Sorority.
“If I join a Sorority, I will be paying for my friends.” – When I hear other women say this it makes me cringe. Did you know that most clubs and organizations on campus have dues or membership fees? When joining a sorority, anything you pay toward the organization will be budgeted and dispersed back into the chapter locally or nationally. This means the money is used to put on events, give out rewards and donate to philanthropies. Trust me when I say that your money will not be going into a black hole. You will still develop life long friendships with the women in your chapter.
“I refuse to be hazed." – Even for someone who always wanted to join a sorority, hazing was one issue that would have stopped me from becoming part of the Greek Community. I was scared out of my mind that I was going to be stuffed into a coffin or something crazy like that. If you are worried about being hazed, don’t be. If anyone tries to make you do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed, stand up for yourself. Joining a sorority is a life-long sisterhood with women who have similar morals and values as you do. For more information on individual state laws regarding hazing, check out http://www.stophazing.org.
“All you do is drink and party.” – I am once again cringing at the thought of this. The portrayal of sorority women in movies and television is completely distorted. Yes, you are going to college. There are going to be parties in college. Does that mean you have to go to them? No. Not only are you going to be part of a social organization, but academic as well. Every sorority has GPA requirements that must be met. Typically there are study hours located at the chapter house or campus library each week. Another thing to remember is that you are joining an organization that will likely have between fifty and one hundred and twenty members. You can’t expect all eighty women to have the exact same interests. Once you join a sorority, you will find women within the chapter who have the same hobbies and interests as you. Some of your sisters might like to party and others might like to stay in and have movie nights. In time you will find your niche.
“My parents/boyfriend don’t want me to be in a Sorority.” – I was always fortunate to have parents who supported my decision to join a sorority. They encouraged me to take on leadership roles, live in the chapter house and get the most out of the experience that they never had. Find out about specific events that you can bring your family to throughout the year. For example, my chapter has a mother-daughter tea each spring and a parents BBQ in the fall. We also have an open house celebration after our initiation ceremony each semester. If your boyfriend is worried about you joining a sorority, let him know that he shouldn’t be. You will be able to bring him along to formals, date parties and other functions hosted by the organization. He can come to any philanthropy event that your chapter hosts. Talk to someone from each individual chapter to find out the events that other members bring their boyfriends to. I can guarantee you that other women who are in the chapter will have dealt with the same issue.
“I’m not going to have time.” – One of the greatest things I have learned from being a Sorority woman was time management. My planner is with me at all times and I would be lost without it. Your first semester in sorority will be a challenge. ou are going to be expected to start going to weekly meetings and events on top of continuing to attend class, making time to study and of course have some sort of social life. I am here to tell you that it is possible though. My one piece of advice is to have your priorities straight before you decide to join a sorority. If going to parties is at the top of your list, remember that you are in college for your education first and foremost. Know your priorities and find a chapter that has the same. Together, you will find fun and success that will last for your entire college career!
Next Time in A Greek Love Affair: The Two R’s, Recruitment and Rush
By Marysa Miller | Photo: dojiggy.com