Part of being in a sorority is accepting the fact that there are a crazy amount of misconceptions regarding Greek life. Movies like “Animal House” depict fraternity life as that of extensive binge drinking, drug use, hazing, and sexual escapades. We’ll give them that much–though these scenarios are exaggerated for theatrical purposes, they’re not that far off. However, the perception of what living in a sorority house is like is wrong in just about every movie and TV show that attempts to illustrate our lifestyle. The sad truth is that many of these depictions are meant to amplify negative connotations. This is really annoying because not only are these portrayals totally false, but every non-Greek viewer goes on to believe that this is how we actually live. It’s time to debunk these myths and learn the truth about what living in a sorority house is really like.
We don’t throw parties in the house.
Sorority houses rarely allow alcohol inside. For the most part, alcohol is banned and the only way you can sneak it in is by being incredibly obvious and using that huge Vera Bradley tote that you never use. I love that scene in “House Bunny” when the girls throw a huge kegger–moronic frat guys dance all over the house and dunk themselves in giant bins of summer brew. Yeah, okay. Just no. The most laughable part of the scene is that the house mom is totally chill about the whole thing. If any real sorority house mother came home to that sort of ordeal, there is a 100 percent chance that she would keel over and have a heart attack right there in the foyer. Then she would regain consciousness and personally deliver a grade A ass whooping to every boy in the vicinity.
Studying is not just encouraged, but required.
Many people outside of Greek life think sorority girls value drinking and partying above our education. Sure, we like to have a good time, but this doesn’t mean that we don’t take our grades seriously. Every chapter has a minimum GPA requirement that each girl has to meet in order to pledge and retain membership. This is obvious when you actually enter a sorority house, because there are countless girls in questionable groutfits scattered about the house with their noses in a book. Nothing strengthens your house bond quite like watching a sister lose it after three Red Bulls and a six-hour study binge. The benefits of living in a sorority house are deeply rooted in academics, and we have countless resources for those purposes, such as older undergrads, study hours, incentive programs, and study groups–and not to mention God’s gift to us lowly, undeserving peasants: test files.
We do not walk around in lingerie.
I’ll be the first one to admit I hate pants, and yeah, I might not always wear them. Just because our number one priority after returning from a stressful lecture is whipping off our pants, it doesn’t mean we look like those chicks in “Legally Blonde” who flounce around in their underwear. In reality, when you live in a house with 100 girls, there is absolutely no motivation to look sexy. Comfort is key, and by comfort, I mean multiple layers of baggy clothes and a messy bun that tiny woodland creatures could easily mistake for a nest. I’d also like to make it clear that we do not convene in one giant shower to gab about boys and stare at each other naked. In a house packed with way too much estrogen and multiple conflicting beliefs on what is an appropriate level to blast the “Frozen” soundtrack, the shower is one of the only places that we get to actually be alone. We relish that.
Boys are not allowed to freely roam and shack in the house.
I love it when movies show a guy who wakes up in his girlfriend’s disturbingly pink bedroom and casually walks out of the house, passing unconcerned sorority girls as he goes. This doesn’t happen. Most houses implement a strict rule stating boys are only allowed in first floor common areas, thus banning any suitors from sleeping over. The punishment that comes with getting caught hosting a shacker is way too steep to risk on a most likely unsatisfying drunken night with a frat boy who smells like stale beer and dip spit. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, because who are we kidding, it totally does. I’m just saying that when it does happen, it’s not a public spectacle like it might be in a frat house. After drunkenly sneaking in a boy through a window or a rarely used door, your slam basically has to James Bond on his way out in the morning in order to help you avoid an awkward Standards meeting and severe judgement from exec.
We are not a cult, and we do not haze.
Every chapter has rituals, and these rituals are sacred to each member. This does not mean that we put on black cloaks and sacrifice an albino goat on a candlelit alter once a month. On that note, the only real use we have for paddles is glittering the shit out of them, bedazzling on our letters, and hanging them on our walls for decoration. Movies like “Sydney White” convey the idea that it is totally normal and acceptable for older sorority members to wake up pledges in the middle of the night with outrageous commands and demeaning harassments. Any real sorority girl knows that both Panhel and Nationals would throw a mega bitchfit if this were to actually happen.
Pillow fights don’t actually exist. Sorry, boys.
I don’t even know why this myth exists, but I suspect it has everything to do with perverted male fantasies. The media is no help in this area and has, for some reason, encouraged the idea that we spend our free time jumping on beds in our underwear and gently swatting each other with fluffy pillows. A more accurate depiction of a typical night in the house would be a group of girls being lazy as fuck in XL sweatpants, eating pizza, and watching TLC. For the record, I have a feeling that if a pillow fight were to take place in a sorority house, there would be nothing sexy about it. It would be to the death. Seriously, there would be blood.
To be honest, living in a sorority house is a great experience. You get to bond with your sisters through movie nights, stolen fraternity composites, drunken 2 a.m. pizza orders, and a mutual love for your house mother. There’s always a shoulder available for you to cry on, and an ear to listen to you bitch about your problems. You never have to pull an all-nighter by yourself, and there’s always someone willing to join you on an ice cream run. There is a seemingly endless line of hilarious pranks, and at least 10 faces peering out onto the front porch every time you kiss your date goodnight. At the end of the day, people can think what they want about sorority house life. We lived it and we loved it, so isn’t that what really matters?