Friday, August 21, 2015

Five on Friday: Sorority Stereotypes That Aren't True

Let's be real- sororities get a bad rap. Throw on some Greek letters and people immediately have you pegged for a drunk, a ditz, or something a bit more colorful. As we teachers went back to school this week (four days followed by softball practice and a whole lot of new), my mind drifted to the activity that was taking up the entire week of many of my Mizzou friends. It's one that took weeks of my own time not so long ago: 
sorority recruitment. 

 As a college freshman, I stood in lines outside of sorority houses for a week, sweated through my t-shirts, needed help opening my mints, and found myself as a new member of Kappa Alpha Theta (the best sorority ever, not that I'm bias). Throughout my four years in Theta, I met some of my very best friends, made countless irreplaceable memories, learned to balance several activities and responsibilities, and genuinely had the time of my life. The media often paints sororities in a bad light, perpetuating assumptions that are perhaps met by some who choose to conform. But as a whole, sororities are SO much different than they may seem. So on this lovely Friday, I'm here to debunk five common sorority stereotypes that really aren't true.

1. All Sorority Girls are Dumb
First of all, my sorority was top in grades for every single semester that I was in college, and for years and years before that. Our GPA average hovered right around 3.7, and we had SEVERAL ladies who graduated with honors from our house. In fact, our stereotype was that we were the "smart girls". Studying was the norm, and we did it together without any required "hours". There are plenty of driven, focused, career-oriented sorority women out there that are incredible and very intelligent leaders. You work hard to play hard.

The Executive Committee my Senior Year. I was Vice President of Administration.
2. All Sorority Girls are Girly Girls
Okay, every sorority will definitely have its own handful of super girly girls. But I can honestly say that I know SO many girls who were definitely not girly at all. In fact, recruitment was one of the only times you would see some of them in a dress. We had an amazing time dominating lots of intramural sports at our school, where we even beat the Women's Club Flag Football Team (claim to fame). I loved that we could all be totally ourselves, and you didn't have to worry about impressing everyone all of the time. You were just you, and people loved you.

Intramurals Champs
3. All Sorority Girls are Partiers
Again, there for sure will be all types of girls in every house. And there will be some that really enjoy drinking. But not all. In fact, I didn't drink a single drop of alcohol before I turned 21. And I had a good chunk of friends that danced soberly right along side me. We knew exactly what we were doing, remembered it, and didn't have a headache in the morning. And you know what? We had a blast. We didn't need alcohol to have fun, and most sorority girls don't. 

4. All Sororities Haze
If you think this one's true, you definitely weren't a Mizzou Theta. I guess there may be a few sororities that actually do haze somewhere out there....but I've never heard of them. Rumors, sure. But in our house we just got presents when we were new members. Lots and lots of presents. And candy. No hazing at all- we were welcomed and treated like queens. 

A selfie before selfies existed. Made the front page of the school paper.
5. All Sororities are Full of Fake Friends You Paid For
Being in a sorority involves dues, just as many clubs or group require when you join. But you know what money can't buy? Friendship. With membership classes of 80+ members, sororities definitely aren't just instant friendships. But they ARE an amazing place to meet lots of incredible women that you may not know otherwise. Two of my bridesmaids, and some of my very best friends, are women that I may not have met without Theta. These women are funny, smart, driven ladies who balanced our sorority with jobs, nursing school, YoungLife, Bible studies, classes, internships, College Councils, and more. We have continued to be a part of each other's lives through graduation, jobs, cross-country moves, marriages, and even babies for some! Our friendships aren't surface level, and bought with a membership certificate. They are lasting, real, and worth the effort it takes to sustain them in a post-college world.

Kissing the 50 Yard Line on the Football Field our Senior Year. At like 5 am.
A sorority taught me how to live with someone else (8 different roomies in 3 years, woot woot), how to agree to disagree, how to make new friends again, how to stand up for what I believed in, how to lead a group of leaders, how to balance school and play, how to prioritize, and how to have a heck of a lot of fun with some amazing women. I encourage all of my graduating YoungLife girls and students to consider at least going through recruitment, because I know some really amazing friendships can be a beautiful result of the process. And if there's not a house that's a good match for them, no harm done. Though sororities may not be for everyone, they are much more than they are portrayed to be, and I'm oh so grateful that I made the decision to become a member eight years ago (yikes...getting old). 

And now, I leave you with one more kiting picture- partly because I'm feeling nostalgic, partly in honor of all the new members joining chapters all over the nation this week. Best of luck to all you new members joining chapters around the nation this year- you won't regret it. Enjoy every second. Theta love, friends.


Roomies my Senior Year


  1. These are spot on. I was in a sorority for one year but I still got asked "why do you pay for your friends??" way too many times. :]

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    1. Thanks so much, Carmen! Yes, I think many of us hear these same things over and over. But people usually don't really know what they're talking about. My experience was just wonderful and so different than the stereotypes, and I think that's the case for many!

  2. This is a great post! I've always been so curious about sororities (they don't really exist in Europe) and loved reading this! I know if I went to university in the States I would have loved to join one!

    1. Thanks Lisa! Yes, they are very interesting indeed. Sometimes people think they are one way, but really they're much different than you may see on TV or assume. I loved being a part of one. Thanks for reading!

  3. I love this. Sometimes I feel a little weird telling people I was in a sorority in college, particularly my students, because I know most people have these stereotypes in their heads. Being in a sorority most definitely improved who I am as a person, and I am so thankful for all the opportunities it opened up for me. Hope the rest of the world reads this!

    1. Thanks, Kayla! I'm with you- they often are like, "What??! You were in a sorority?" But I wish they could know all of these things. I agree- it would be awesome if more people could see that we are so much more than a stereotype, and that sororities have SO many benefits!

  4. Thank you for this! My 16 year old wants to be a part of a group of some kind and sorrority would fit her in many ways but we worried about the partying. She is more of the philanthropy type, sporty and smart and I hope she finds a good fit!!


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