I have never agreed with the idea of sororities. Never, ever. Growing up, seeing movies with sororities in them and big, girl-only friend groups reminded me of the girls that relentlessly bullied me all throughout school and even out of school online. My mindset on sororities was confirmed when I came to JMU and saw how they acted, but even more when I rushed to join one myself. Now you may be thinking, she just made it clear that she hates sororities, why would she rush to join one? I have one answer for you: my mom. She was in a sorority and loved it and felt that I would too if I just gave it a chance and tried it. I gave it a chance. I gave it a chance all week and even made it to the last round before I was dropped. I was dropped by most houses before that, but blamed it on my several facial piercings, visible tattoos, and the fact I had neon purple hair at the time… I don’t know how much some of the sorority girls were into that.
Ever since I have held the belief that I am better off without being in one and that no girl in them actually likes it. I had friends from other sororities complain about how much they hated the girls and how toxic the environment is and how much they wish they could drop it. However, the other day I was doing a group project on positive feminism in society in my communications class and some girl started using examples from her sorority for the project. I was taken aback. Some of her examples were actually really sweet and impressive and definitely played into positive feminism. I went home after class with it still on my mind. Are there actual benefits to being in a sorority? Have I been wrong this whole time?
I started looking into it online which I have never really done before. The first article that popped up was published by the Pi Beta Phi national sorority chapter where they listed ten different reasons. Some of the reasons to join a sorority included:
- You’ll join a community of like-minded women
- You’ll find a sense of belonging
- You’ll gain campus connections
- You’ll have access to a network of women
Some of the reasons listed were very understandable and attractive, but I think the overall environment that surrounds those benefits outweighs them (for me). The girl in my communications group described her sorority as very non-toxic and welcoming and an overall really enjoyable place to be, which led me to continue my research. Can sororities be non-toxic and welcoming? According to an article by Buzzfeed titled, “Former Sorority Sisters And Fraternity Brothers Are Getting Very Candid About Their Experiences With Greek Life In College”, several anonymous sources submitted their experiences from their fraternities or sororities. There were several negative ones but I wanted to find and focus on the positive ones. To my surprise, there were more than a few. One anonymous source stated that her sorority made her feel like she “could let [her] hair down” and finally feel like herself and like she belonged for once.
I think the right people can find substantial benefits in joining a sorority. I think the right people can also feel welcomed and loved and respected in a sorority. I think I have never been one of those people and I let my preconceived notion of how I think they are and how I think they treat everyone get in the way of that. Just because I don’t agree with sorority culture and don’t feel welcomed in one, doesn’t mean everyone else has that same viewpoint too. Learning and growing is an important parts of life and I think this random girl in my communications group helped me grow and open my mind.
6 thoughts on “I Don’t Like Sororities”
A really good read! I also don’t think a sorority would be a good fit for me and may be a bit biased with my more negative opinion around them but it is nice to know that there are positive and welcoming sororities out there!
My mom also really wanted me to rush a sorority, but it was not for me. I can see the benefits for why people join them, but so many girls have also had similar experiences to yours, and I find that really disheartening.
I have always disliked the idea of being in a sorority but I did consider it at one point. I decided its not really my cup of tea. I know for a lot of people who do join Greek life, it’s all about where you go and who you are surrounded by. I’ve heard good and bad stories from people at JMU and other schools, but I do think that the bad ones often stand out the most. Thanks for sharing!
As someone who is in a sorority, I really liked this take. I can see where you’re coming from with all of this, and I even agree with some of it. For me, I have made some of my closest friends through my sorority that I did not think I would have met otherwise. But, I have also made super close friends in class and just on campus. I think there are benefits to both.
I’m not personally in a sorority but I do know some women who are and some really like it and some don’t. I’m glad that a person could change your outlook on them because I had a few friends who opened my eyes to the complexities of sororities and the fact that each one has their own unique ideals. Sometimes I feel like the judgment on sororities from people outside of them stems from a competitive idea on women to be “different” or “not like every other girl.” I myself this past year stopped judging sorority life because I realized I was only doing it because I liked feeling different and not “basic,” by not being in a sorority…(noted though, there certainly is a discriminatory culture in some, especially at PWIs like JMU when it comes to body types or ethnicities but that isn’t speaking for all of them so not saying they are all good). But, theres ways in appreciating ones own uniqueness without putting down another for the sake of it and I think it’s really important to reflect in ourselves why we have certain ideals of groups and where those came from as well as how to change them.
Great post! I have never really like sororities and greek life all that much because I found them to be cliquey and toxic, but I really like the perspective you brought to this topic and recognized that sororities can be a place of community and inclusion for some people.