Back to School
College Beat: Should I Join a Sorority?
Written by Christi Given | May 7, 2015
This week, I want to cover the pros and cons of joining a sorority. Every college is different, and each school system may vary when it comes to sororities regarding “rush week” (the decision-making process) and competitiveness. Of course, being in a sorority is optional, but it can build good people skills for your future, and can be difficult as well. I have never joined a sorority, but I have known people who have.
Before deciding to join, you may want to consider the pros and cons of the Greek housing life. There are some positives when becoming part of your group of choice, but it also can be very hard on the girls applying and can involve some peer pressure and/or lots of events and parties. There are also great aspects of sorority life, because you can build lifelong relationships, are part of a sisterhood, have philanthropic opportunities and get to partner with charities. Depending on the house you choose and get picked to be in, it can be a positive experience or a difficult one. Find out if you are cut out for the sorority life and if it’s something you would want to do.
For those who are attending private schools, you may not have the chance to join, but it’s good to learn both sides of becoming a Greek girl. Mostly, being a part of sorority can be enjoyable, but I have heard stories that there can be a lot of partying and it can actually take up a lot of your time and money. This may not be the case for everyone, but if you are seeking a sorority that is more easygoing or accepting, try finding a Christian sorority or group of like-minded girls who will be accepting and loving, and won’t subject you to peer pressure.
Some schools have more competition than others, and some can be more or less brutal regarding the process of being accepted into Greek life. There is a week when you apply to be in the house of your choice, called “rush week,” where you are interviewed, and there are several rounds where some people are eliminated and some are chosen. Keep in mind when venturing into the application process that certain Greek houses have more credibility than others and have higher social status than others. Some sororities can be more cliquey, so it is a risk, if you are willing to take it, either to be accepted or rejected by a house.
Personally, I don’t believe this process is always good for young girls, especially for freshmen, because you are already under so much pressure going to a new school, just newly moved in, and some people are new to the area, too. On the other hand, it can help build your skills to handle the competitiveness of the business world.
To sum it up, here are some positive reasons to join a sorority:
1. Sisterhood: You get to make friends and, depending on whether you blend with the girls, can build lifelong friendships.
2. Networking and community: It’s a fantastic opportunity to build your professional business skills and expertise. It’s also a great way to be part of a community and to be able to give back, learn from others and build a support system.
3. Accountability and charity: You have others around you who are like your sisters who can be there for you during your college career. You also get to be involved with charities, social work and giving back to your community.
4. Credentials: Being part of a Greek sorority adds to your portfolio and work history. It also gives you more experience to handle your future employment endeavors.
5. Interview experience: During “rush week,” girls applying for sororities have to go through a rigorous interview process (generally speaking, but not for all), which can help build your skills for future interviews.
There are also cons to being part of Greek row:
1. Peer pressure: The rush week and elimination process can be brutal on a young girl just entering college, but for those who think they can tough it out, go for it! Overall it should be fine, and most get through it, but it can be challenging and can feel like a popularity contest.
2. Time: According to most schools, being in a sorority is a large time commitment. There are several events during rush week alone that you must attend during the selection process: doing house tours, going to dinners, joining activities, being interviewed and also being present for mandatory meetings. Make sure you don’t feel overloaded on units and/or be distracted by being recruited. Remember there are a lot of events required, which is awesome, but also know how to balance your time.
3. Money: Joining Greek row may cost a pretty penny or two with the events, housing costs and also the different fees, outfits and other expenses. Be ready to add this into your college budget, and to approve joining with your parents.
4. Parties: Some sororities seem to be a way for people to create community, but for not-so-good reasons like binge drinking, drugs and partying. Hopefully you will not have to deal with this if you choose to join a sorority, but in general, partying can be an aspect of college, whether or not you join in.
5. Distracting from studies: You may find that joining a sorority may actually be distracting from your academic career in college. You may need to look at your units and make sure you don’t overload yourself with extracurricular activities. Most people will be able to juggle both, but consider your time with the Lord as well and if you’re going to be doing any athletic or other outside activities.
[Sources: huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/23/best-sorority-college-rankings_n_1824548.html; seventeen.com/life/school/q-and-a/a27808/involved-sorority-cqa-0706; college.usatoday.com/2014/11/17/how-much-does-it-really-cost-to-go-greek/]
PI Girls, do you have any other comments about sorority life? Also, would you join one or are you currently a part of Greek life?