Joining a sorority is a huge time, financial and social commitment. It’s more than choosing a place to live for the next school year; the chapter you join determines who your friends will be, what your social life will look like and even your life post-grad. (Seriously, I know so many girls who have gotten a foot in the door at their jobs based on connections they have through their sorority!)
So should you do it? Why or why not? Is Greek Life right for you or should you spend your money elsewhere?
We asked a panel of sorority women (all from different schools with different backgrounds and experiences) to weigh in on that very question. Below, their reasons for joining a sorority…and a few reasons why you shouldn’t.
Ariana: Gamma Phi Beta, Penn State University
Joining a sorority provides you with an immediate social and professional network that is incomparable to any other organization. You are presented with the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of activities and events, and take on leadership positions in your chapter. However, if you are just looking for a social club, and don’t have any desire to get involved in anything other than partying, sorority life may not be for you.
Gabby: Phi Theta Chi, Winona State University
The number one reason I would give to join a sorority would be the amazing social life. Being greek guarantees that your calendar will always be full and the opportunities to get involved on campus and in the community are endless. Honestly, though, don’t join a sorority if you can’t handle conflict, because with this many people involved a difference in beliefs and opinions is unavoidable.
The best reason to join a sorority house is probably the food. OK, so that’s not the best, but having a cook to prepare your meals and getting to live in a beautiful house with a bunch of girls like you is definitely a perk. At the same time, Greek Life is a major time commitment and it takes time to learn how to juggle everything you will have on your plate.
Rachel Cerrone: Chi Omega, Indiana University
Being in a sorority is the most fulfilling experience someone can have at school, both socially and academically. Sororities provide a wide array of community service opportunities, tutors, study aids, exposure to many other student activity groups (the girls are always involved in tons of things outside of the sorority), and the chance to make life-long friends. However, if you do not enjoy getting woken up at 3 A.M. due to a random club-music dance party in the hallway, I suggest not joining a sorority.
Kellyn: University of Michigan
The best reason I can give for joining a sorority is that you truly make your best friends. The friends that you make in your sorority are the friends that you will have for the rest of your life. These are the girls that will go abroad with you, the girls that will help you get ready on your wedding day.
A reason to not join a specific sorority is reputation. If you hear that one house is the “hot sorority” or the “party house,” do not let this affect your decision. Join the house that you feel comfortable at. Chances are, if you join a house just because you think the sorority has a good rep, you’ll drop in the first week because you will feel no connection with the other girls in the house. If you are considering joining a sorority, look to the houses where you don’t have to change who you are to fit a stereotype. If you have to change yourself at all, you won’t be happy. And if you are yourself, chances are you’ll meet your best friends for life.
Megan: Chi Omega, Purdue
I would say one of the best reasons for joining a sorority is the study buddies!! It is a lot easier to go to class and be productive at the house studying when you have sisters in the same classes! What sucks about Greek life in general is all the negative, false scrutiny we face as Greeks that just isn’ true.
Kit: Alpha Chi Omega, Ohio State University
Joining a sorority gives you an opportunity to create connections and join a lifetime network of women which can benefit during college as well as after graduation. One reason someone might decide not to join a sorority is that the time commitment may put a strain on friendships outside of Greek Life.
What do you think? What are the biggest reasons to join a sorority and the biggest reasons not to?
[Got a question for our Panhel Panel? Post it below and come back the last Tuesday of every month to hear what they have to say.]