As hilariously ironic as it is that I now make a living writing for TSM, I was never super involved in my chapter. I loved my sisters, my letters, our house, and the Greek system as a whole. But after I moved out of that beautiful white mansion, the majority of my involvement was the result of mandatory events that I had to show up for to avoid fines. At that point, I knew I had gotten everything I wanted out of my chapter; I met most of my closest friends through sorority life, and I was perfectly content spending my free time outside of Greek Town. I still frequented the house for lunch, and lent a helping hand anytime they needed someone remotely artistic to paint a dinosaur for Homecoming or help a procrastinator sophomore finish a cooler. But I just didn’t have the will to show up for every event, so I spent less and less time at the house.
People outside of Greek life assume that sorority girls spend every waking moment contributing to chapter events, but that’s just not true. I could sit here and tell you how much time you should or shouldn’t commit to your sorority, but the truth is, there’s no one way for a sorority girl to behave. Being in a Greek organization doesn’t define your identity; it’s one aspect of the many qualities that make you who you are. Everyone experiences sorority life in a different way, so to say that you have to dedicate a certain amount of time to your letters would be a presumptuous waste of time.
That being said, there are a certain amount of events that are mandatory for new members. This load severely decreases the older you get and the longer you’ve been an active. As a freshman, you’ll have more on your plate than a senior, because you don’t yet understand the inner workings of your chapter. You’ll most likely be required to attend recruitment workshops, new member meetings, serenades, philanthropy events, and chapter. This is to show you the ropes and help you become familiar with everything. It may seem overwhelming at times, but you have to remember two things. The first is that every single active at one point in time had to put up with all the same shit you’re going through. The second is that when you’re an upperclassmen, you’ll 100 percent understand why it’s necessary for freshmen to attend so many seemingly pointless events.
After you become initiated, there will definitely be less events with forced attendance (with the exception of recruitment, which will absolutely rob you of two weeks annually). By this time, you may have a clear idea of exactly how “into” your sorority you want to be. Some girls may want to rally for every single event, while others will only show up for a few so they don’t get fined. Neither is better than the other; it all has to do with your personal preference. If you want to be super involved, score an exec position, and one day be the president who leads your chapter to world domination, you’re looking at a much larger time commitment than girls who are really just in it for the t-shirts and free food. If you’re perfectly happy doing the bare minimum, more power to you.
At the end of the day, you really do get out of it what you put into it. I wanted to make friends, establish myself within a sisterhood, and have some really good fucking times. One of my close friends wanted to climb to the top of exec, get her name out to every edge of Greek town, and dedicate every waking moment to bettering our chapter. As a freshman, your job is to test the waters and find your place within your sorority. Once that happens, you’ll have a clear idea of how much of a time commitment your letters are going to be, and what kind of difference you want to impose on your sorority. Try not to roll your eyes every time your new member educator tells you that you have to show up for something, because it’s the only way you’re going to find out what kind of sister you want to be. .
This featured image is a stock photo from our database. The people photographed are not in any way associated with the story.