“Fun” is in quotation marks because I’m still not sure if these points are good or bad… but I do know that if I had to choose, I would do it again in a heartbeat. For starters, I get that Greek Life isn’t for everyone, but I can confidently say that there is a Greek house for everyone. No matter your personality or what you are looking for in a group of friends, you can find it all in at least one sorority – and probably in a couple. Even the lone wolfs out there can fit in perfectly in the right house. The thing to remember is that sororities are NOT their reputation. They’re simply a group of people that you can relate to in some ways and learn from in others, and once you accept that, the whole greek world is at your fingertips just waiting to support you.
Ok now that I’ve hopefully helped you view sororities in a slightly better light, I’d love to highlight the most memorable and strugglesome aspects of sorority life that, no matter how long after graduation, you can’t forget. Here are the 5 “fun” things you experience while living in a sorority house:
The Sleeping Porch
If your first thought was “what the heck is a sleeping porch,” that is completely normal. Back in the olden days when a cross breeze on the third floor was the only way to escape the summer heat, a sleeping porch was created to help us stay cool at night with our many windows and MANY beds. It’s basically an entire floor of a house with beds where everyone sleeps. When I first heard this I pictured a hardwood-floored bunk-bedded attic which resembled an orphanage, but THANK GOD that is so not even close to what it actually looks like.
A carpeted floor, beds that you can rearrange (and push together with your best friends), a bathroom, and most importantly a constantly quite, dark, and cold place that is the ultimate napping location. On hot days I even did homework up there because the AC was a life saver.
I know this sounds amazing and I just sold you on the luxury of the sleeping porch, but wait… what about alarms? Yes, alarms are the only terrible part of sleeping in a room with more than 30 people, unless you are the one with the 8am class. There’s always that one person though who sets their alarm to the worst sound possible, turns it on LOUD, and then pushes snooze every 9 minutes for an entire hour. If you’re reading this, you know who you are and I’m not over it. Truthfully though, like I said earlier, I would choose to sleep on our sleeping porch again if I had to. It was so cozy I even miss it sometimes.
* Slight disclaimer, not every house has a sleeping porch. If yours doesn’t I’d love to hear the struggles of sleeping with multiple roommates!
2. Somebody Is Always Awake…
The crazy thing about college is that it messes up your sleep schedule to a whole other level. There were nights I’d be up at 2am like it was no big deal, and others were awake too. But then there were those nights that you can’t even consider nights anymore because all of a sudden it’s 4:30 in the morning and Starbucks is opening soon. One strange fact about living with 50 girls is that somebody is always awake in the house either because of studying or a really good Netflix series. And if you’re walking around at 4am wondering if anyone is awake, I hate to break it to you but YOU’RE the one awake and keeping the house alive for those 15 minutes until somebody else wakes up to use the bathroom too.
The best part of someone always being up? There’s never a sense of loneliness. At least one person will always be an impromptu watchdog and will keep the place on lock. Plus at a certain hour if somebody else is awake with you there’s a sense of camaraderie, like “we’ll both be zombies tomorrow, cheers.”
The worst part? If your bed is the one closest to the door of the sleeping porch, you don’t get much sleep. Because someone is always awake, you get an ungodly amount of doors being slammed all. night. long. The best way to avoid this? GET THE BED THE FARTHEST FROM THE DOOR. Aka rack up a bunch of housing points for good grades and leadership, move in early, and claim you territory ASAP. We may be sisters but I will fight for the bed I want.
3. Privacy? What’s That?
Speaking of a large room where everyone sleeps and the fact that someone is always awake, there is no such thing as privacy in a sorority house. “But what about in the shower” you ask? The amount of time’s I’ve had my shower door opened while occupied proves that is a lie *cue Maury show*. Honestly after the first year, you become numb to the lack of privacy proving the true meaning of sisterhood. And if the lack of privacy is an actual issue for you there are ways to get some quite space if you have to. I’ve shamelessly taken a call in a closet before.
The best part about this point? You’re never alone. What I mean is that if you had a particularly hard day, there are at least 10 people ready to cheer you up, or cry with you, or eat frosting out of a can with you… you get the picture. Or if it was a great day they will immediately go get Margaritas with you (and I do mean immediately at 2pm on a Thursday). What you lack in personal space you make up for in quality friendships, relatable roommates, and a plain old fun college experience thanks to the constant support provided by housemates.
4. Unlimited Closets
This one sounds like Barbie’s dream house, but take it with a grain of salt. Yes you get to wear other people’s clothes, and yes that makes choosing an outfit every weekend WAY easier. I miss being able to pick out a shirt or dress when I run out of my own outfits…
At the same time, I think the biggest struggle with living in a sorority house was the amount of borrowing that happened. 98% of the time when people borrow your clothes/shoes/anything, they either ask or they’ve been given permission to indefinitely do so, but then people get upset when things don’t get returned or when they don’t get returned in the same condition they were given. Granted, this is a valid frustration (and as someone with only child syndrome I was overly cautious about who I let use things or what they used), but when it happens for 3 years of college you have to learn how to deal with the issue and move on! 50 girls living in one house is going to be a little chaotic – so here’s the best ways I kept track of my stuff:
1) Understand intent vs. impact. Nobody is intentionally stealing clothes or jewelry or lipstick, but they probably did forget they even borrowed it and didn’t give it back. Ask them nicely and maybe remind them again 3 days later, and you’ll get your items back without burning a bridge by accusing anyone of anything.
2) Do your own laundry! Letting other people put your clothes in the dryer or even take your clothes out of the dryer is usually fine, but sometimes items of clothes get lost in transition. Everybody owns a pair of similar looking leggings or has the same shirt, so don’t let anything get lost just because you couldn’t do your own laundry.
3) Keep your room clean! I’ve never seen a clean or organized person “lose” anything. Real talk. And if there are 3 or 4 people living in a room who have the same shirts and leggings, then don’t let messiness confuse who owns what items and then lose items in translation!
5. The Amenities
This last point is the most fun because the perks and amenities that come with greek life are unbeatable. A mansion to live in with roommates who are great friends, a chef who serves you two meals a day, a house mom who has all the updates on the latest tv shows and political issues, and an actual sisterhood – without the negative connotation or bad reputation. At the end of the day, we’re all just singing High School Musical in the hallway together and/or staying up until ungodly hours together, but because we want to… and because we don’t care what other people think.
Students who are a part of the Greek system understand the good, the bad, and the ugly, and we want to stick with it because it is worth it. It’s worth the effort for the rewarding network that comes with it. And just to drive one last stereotype home – no we don’t pay for friendships… We pay for the place to live and the amenities associated with being a part of something greater than ourselves.
If you just scrolled to the bottom to read the recap, check out the summary points below! And if you read this entire thing then you are probably a part of the Greek system and can relate. 🙂
- The Good: There’s always a friend. At any hour of any day you’d be surprised how many people will support you.
- The Bad: You actually have to put effort into both friendships and laundry/cleanliness.
- The Ugly: No privacy ever (but eh, you get used to it).
Is living in a sorority everything you expected it to be, or does it compare to living pretty much anywhere as an 18-22 year old? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Greek system too and hear how your experience was different than mine! Comment your thought below. 🙂
Life is an adventure, so keep exploring it.