On Misconceptions of Sorority Life

The stereotypes are endless. Blonde, tall, skinny, mean – the list goes on and on.

These are just a few examples in a lengthy list of stereotypical sorority girls.

However, in my short time here at Central Michigan University, I’ve learned that these stereotypes are far from the truth.

When I first set foot on campus, I never thought I would join a sorority. Sure, like other girls, I considered it, but always thought “Is it really for me?” After joining my sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha, I realized that Greek life has increased my quality of life in ways I didn’t think were possible.

While I love my sorority, I’m not going to tell you why Greek life is awesome or why everyone should go Greek. I simply want to address the silly misconceptions that are associated with sororities.

Misconception #1: You are paying for friends

This is the first thing someone said to me when I said I was considering joining a sorority (and also one of the main things that drives me absolutely crazy). Like any other organization, funds are needed to keep it running. Each sorority has a national office where we send our money. The breakdown of dues are essentially seen in payments for the house, membership, philanthropy and other events done throughout the year.

While dues can sometimes be costly, they don’t constitute “paying for your friends,” like some people assume. One thing I’ve learned in life is that you can’t buy your friends – and the same thing applies in Greek life. You meet girls who are just as excited and enthusiastic as you are to be joining a sorority – it’s a new experience and you’re gaining a huge family. The more involved you get and the more Greek events you attend, the more friends you make. No amount of dues can pay for friendship, it’s what you put into it as a member that helps you make lifelong friends.

Misconception #2: Sorority girls are dumb

If this isn’t the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is. In order to even get into a sorority, a certain grade point average is required.

As a sorority, we also have study hours where groups of girls get together to do homework and maintain their academics. School is one of the main priorities in both my sorority and in Greek life in general. Our grades represent our sorority, our school and reflect how much we care about our future.

Misconception #3: All sorority girls do is party

Since films often reflect this, it may seem like a constant thing sorority girls do, but this is hardly the case. Movies tend to make it seem like excessive partying and drinking is acceptable, but that isn’t really how things work in the Greek community. Yes, there are lots of social events, but this doesn’t automatically equate to partying.

These events are not the only thing that we as a Greek community are concerned about, as we host philanthropy events in order to raise awareness for certain causes. Volunteer hours are also a necessity if you are a part of a sorority. While it’s important to help out other organizations, it is just as important to volunteer locally to form connections and create positive impacts in society. For example, “Greeks Clean the Streets” was an event created by someone from the Greek community in order to keep our campus and our city clean.

So, just like any other group, it’s important to learn the facts before believing in stereotypes. At CMU – and in the world in general – there are lots of different people. Be aware of this, step back and form your own opinion. Feeding into stereotypes only continues false beliefs.