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The Truth About Being in A Sorority

Updated: Mar 18, 2020

What do you think of when someone says they are in a sorority? If you don’t know much about sororities, you generally think of what you’ve seen in movies or TV shows. In the show “Gilmore Girls,” Lorelei refers to sorority girls as “Kappa Kappa Bimbos.” When asked, most people think we are a cult, host raging parties every weekend, that we always dress and look the same, attend school to get an MRS. Degree… and then there are the billions of questions about hazing.

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What we see in movies may be hilarious, but being in a sorority can be different than one suspects. Yes, sometimes we do dress alike and spend a lot of time together, but there is more to being in a sorority than this. Movies always portray situations and life very different than reality, but how else will they make money? 

For example, movies never tell you that you have monthly dues that have to be paid in order to be in the sorority. Contrary to popular belief, we are not “paying to have friends.” We choose to be a part of this organization, but, unfortunately, nothing in this world is free! In order to have weekly meetings, recruitment, socials, service events and even being a chapter, you have to pay. Which, believe me, this came as a big surprise. 

Another thing that surprised me when I joined Greek life was the fact that we do not haze. You may find yourself thinking, “Everyone says that they don’t haze!” However, in our case, we never even call our new members “pledges” because it has such a derogatory meaning and history. We strongly believe that hazing is wrong and that we cannot force women to do anything that we, the initiated members are not required to do. In other words, if it is not required for us to wear pink every Wednesday, then we cannot enforce prospective members to do so either. 

These Hands Don't Haze

A Picture at Tantalus Lookout with some of the sisters last year.

Anti-hazing in the sorority I joined, Phi Mu, and the other sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, can be credited to The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC). Essentially NPC is an umbrella organization for 26 national sororities with the goal to promote a positive atmosphere for prospective, active, and alumni members of each sorority. It is an organization which advocates for empowered women. Helping us in greek life, school, and even in future careers. One great thing about being apart of Panhellenic means that there is no hazing! Letting us focus on recruiting in a positive and healthy way. 

NPC also gives us the ability to collaborate with one another in a positive way. Standing by each other without competing. It gives us a reason to promote Greek life as a whole instead of individual sororities. We see each other as sisters and always look out for one another, regardless of which sorority we are in!

One last thing that you should know, “sisterhood” means everything to us! This may sound very cliche, but we truly do see each other as sisters. For many of us, our original homes are all over the country, making each of us live on our own (possibly for the first time ever). Having people to call family when ours is so far away helps! It may be a difficult concept to understand, but being in a sorority creates a sacred bond that we all uphold and cherish.

Finally, You may see a lot of sorority girls’ refer to someone as “My Big” or “My little.” This is a simple concept, basically meaning big sister and little sister. Within every sorority, and we all have families. Every semester that we recruit, if you are already an initiated member, you have the chance to take a little (little sister). Therefore, making you the Big (Big Sister). For example, this year I had the privilege of getting two beautiful littles (2 little sisters) which makes them twins!

Having families is simply another way that we all stay connected and feel more at home. Sometimes your little is older than you and sometimes they are younger. The important thing is that we are never limited to our families, but we always have them for support and love, just like a real family!

Movies never show the service projects, have weekly meetings, and genuine love for one another. There are many traditions and values that we goal towards as a Phi Mu and sorority girl. Being in a sorority requires a lot of time management skills and good grades! Most of us actually have busy schedules where we balance school, work, volunteering, and Greek life and let me tell you, it can be difficult sometimes, but it is always worth it! Yes, you may see us all dressed in white sometimes, but no we are not a cult, or a club, or a random organization. We all choose to be a member of Greek life. To us, it is more than just a club, we are sisters and we will always be proud of that. 

What about you? Are you in a sorority or fraternity? Do you think that the reality is different than the way movies portray? Comment below and let me know what you think! 

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