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Greek Life

mcheers101mcheers101 2 replies1 threads New Member
Hi everyone! I will be attending college in a month and one of the things I am interested in doing is possibly joining a sorority. I've talked to my mom about this before and she doesn't want me to join one ATALL. Me personally, I’ve gone through a lot of personal things my senior year of high school mentally, such as seeing the school psychologist every week, going to group therapy, struggling with school, and losing a lot of close friends who arent there for me when i needed someone, or them the most. I honestly am interested in a sorority not just for the parties, but to make friends. I've never truly have had friends that I have felt like I belong. I feel as if I join a sorority I could have a chance at making these friends. And not just only friends,I love being involved within my community outside of school, volunteering and doing community service events. I have talked to my mom about this multiple times and she doesn't understand my side of the story, to the point where she just yells and just tells me to stop asking about it because it's not going to happen. My brother was in a fraternity and she still let him join. She thinks I’m too young, naive. Not responsible enough and she’s seen how I’ve been that one friend who isn’t included in everything or is left out. Another big reason is that she doesn't want me to work at all my freshman year because she wants me to get used to college, rather than focus on making money. She essentially is helping me with my rent, food, and books, which I am very thankful for but I feel like she just wants me to eat, go to school, study and repeat. I feel like whenever I talk about wanting to do something or be involved outside of school it is ignored by her. I really want to join a sorority but the financial aspect is weighing heavily on me because my mom doesn’t want me to work and if I do, she won’t help me at all ( that’s what it was like with my brothers ). It saddens me because I want to do something that I can enjoy, and I just want to make friends and find a group where I can truly fit into. What should I do? ( Thank you to everyone who has listened! )
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Replies to: Greek Life

  • oldfortoldfort 23463 replies308 threads Senior Member
    Can you share with us which school? Depending on school, sorority rush and time commitment may be different. Both of my kids joined a sorority and had good experience. The older one is still friends with her sorority sisters 8 years out of college (they get together once a month). That being said, rush can be brutal at some schools, and many women are disappointed when they do not get into THE sorority. My kids' sorority dues weren't outrageous, and the year they lived in the house was cheaper overall than when they lived on campus. A lot of expenses were related to clothing for mixers and fees for their own parties.
    There are many ways of making friends in college. You do not need to join a sorority to do that. My kids had many friends outside of their sorority - dance club, student council, study groups, and their dorm mates. I would say some of their best friends were from their freshman dorms, and they ended up pledging the same sorority, but they would have been friends with or without the sorority.
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  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1720 replies2 threads Senior Member
    I would wait until you're at school and see how you feel. There are many things you can do to get involved besides pledging. Not all sororities are created equal - get to know the school, see what fits, see how each sorority fits with you.
    I was Greek, still get together with my sisters now that we're hitting 50. But my son is at my alma mater and my sorority is now known for their hazing - definitely not what it was about when I was there! My own son decided not to pledge after seeing what other pledges went through his first semester (first semester freshman can't pledge there).
    And my son is cheap! Frats are relatively cheap there (about $1k), but he made friends on his club sports team and in his dorm. He didn't see the need to spend the money when he had other options.
    Give it a semester and see how you feel then.
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  • momocarlymomocarly 1019 replies12 threads Senior Member
    I agree it depends on the school and the sorority. My son pledged a fraternity and his gf a sorority. At their school it is cheaper to live in the house (room and board and fees) than it is to live in a dorm. At some other schools it is crazily expensive! He didn't pledge until second semester his freshman year but his gf pledged from the beginning. Neither had any hazing! My son is now president of his fraternity and it has been a great experience for him. He has gained maturity, leadership, and contacts. (He and his gf also have 4.0's taking pre-med type classes).
    I will say I didn't want my son to be in a fraternity but due to the cost we told him we would give him a semester and if his grades were not good that was it. It can be a great experience but in the wrong situations, or the wrong person in the wrong sorority it can hurt. Just take a good look.
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 10320 replies71 threads Senior Member
    I would not recommend working, a sorority, and schoolwork together.
    The sorority time will depend on the school, but it is a large time commitment and can be very expensive, again, depending on the school.

    Working is hard just to balance life-even just 10 hours a week.

    Studying in college is VERY different than the studying in high school. You will have "forced" study groups and projects where the professor may group you and you have to meet on your own time with 4-5 other students who have time commitments. Plus the amount of reading will be hard to balance sorority life with work and personal time.

    You also have to plan time for your chores: laundry, cleaning your room, etc.

    Pick one thing and try to stick to that.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10112 replies118 threads Senior Member
    There are plenty of ways to find your tribe in college without rushing. Your dorm, clubs, activities, etc..... I agree that if your school has early rush, first semester freshman year, you might want to hold off. IMO, it's not possible to really appreciate which house is right for you in such a short time. There was lots of heartbreak at my D's college.

    Another note - there are some great academic sororities. That might feel different to your mom but still provide you with a sense of community. At my D's school, the academic houses don't have a selective/competitive rush but still have the same social benefits.

    As far as working, definitely wait to get your feet under you. There is a big uptick in work and responsibility between HS and college. You can always work in the summer and save that money to use during the school year.

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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24727 replies20 threads Senior Member
    My daughter #1 was cheaper (by quite a bit) to live in the sorority house than the dorms. The houses are on campus and actually a little closer to her classroom buildings than the dorms too. Other daughter didn't live in the Greek housing (it is owned by the school and costs exactly the same as the dorms) and her fees were about $700 per year, which included her national dues and the social activities for the chapter.

    Depending on the school, it is usually pretty cheap to go through the Rush process and see what it is all about. Some schools do rush for freshmen in the spring so you have a semester/quarter to settle in to school. Some schools it is almost impossible to get into a house in the spring because the get filled in the fall.

    I'm a supporter of sororities/fraternities. 40+ years out and I still get together with my sisters all the time, both those from the time I was in school and others I've met through the alumni group. I just got a text from my BFF and sorority sister (and she's the godmother to my children) who needs me to run over to her house to check on her MIL (96 years old) because my friend and her husband are at the hospital with her brother who is dying. Life long friendships were made and we still support each other.
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  • rickle1rickle1 2596 replies21 threads Senior Member
    As mentioned, there are many ways to meet new people and "find your tribe" in college. That's what's so great about it! I suggest having an open mind. Lots of people arrive to campus predisposed to love or hate greek life (and other things). You never really know until you experience the people, the atmosphere, etc. We know some kids who swore they wouldn't rush and are very engaged (and love) greek life. We also know others who were planning on rushing and decided it wasn't for them.

    Greek life will also have a different feel at every college. Some it's everywhere and others barely noticeable.

    Just have an open mind and do what feels right for you. WIth or wihtout greek life, you'll meet all types in college.
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  • scmom12scmom12 3220 replies21 threads Senior Member
    Yes depends on school. When is rush? Some are before school starts, some not until 2nd semester. Some that have early fall recruitment also have a chance to join in spring or sophomore year.. I would worry if it is early fall or before classes start. That can be a lot of pressure and you seem to be putting a lot of stock in this is a way to meet people. Is your mental health good enough to withstand not getting a bid? I have known about more than one girl who did rush that happened before classes began and when they didn’t get a bid (or the bid they wanted) actually dropped out and went home.

    Honestly a better idea is to not set too high an expectation on making “best friends” the first few months of school and take time to focus on classes and gradually get involved. Then either consider sororities if they happen later in year or in sophomore year. If you hadn’t mentioned mental health I might say “go for it” since some girls enjoy meeting a bunch of people but don’t really care if they join or not. Only you know if you’re that person or if not getting a bid would tank your first year.

    As someone said, if you tell which school you’d get better advice since all are slightly different.
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  • TS0104TS0104 1402 replies31 threads Senior Member
    Just trying to figure out, OP, how rushing and working seem to be tied together in your post. Has your mom said that she won't pay for any sorority fees, and therefore you would have to get a job in college to pay for them? (If this is the case, that IS a lot to take on, while in the first few months of transition to college). Are you saying that regardless of rushing, if you get a job, she removes all support for rent, food, whatever?
    Just an aside, when she says that she doesn't want you to work because she wants you to get used to college, to me this does not translate to she doesn't want you to have any interests, or she wants you just to eat, study and go to school. Many parents don't want their kids to work in college, or start right away, to help them adjust to the demands of college academics and time management. Also, I don't know that you need to talk to her much about what outside activities you think you will want to do? Just get there, and do them...most college activities don't really have any fees involved and certainly don't require parental permission.
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  • mcheers101mcheers101 2 replies1 threads New Member
    My mom said I would have to be on my own once I do start working because ( my parents are strict like that ) and, that is how she treated my brothers as well. Oncethey both started working their sophomore year of college, she didn't financially help them as much ( every here and there kind of scenario ). So in my case yes, she would stop fully supporting my once I do get a job, even if I didn't rush. She has said yes to not helping me pay sorority fees whatsoever, which really makes me sad, because it's something my brother did and she helped him, and it's something that I really want to do and she doesn't want to support me whatsoever. She completely hates the fact of me wanting to join one, all she thinks I am going to do is party, get drunk, and sleep around sadly.
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  • mcheers101mcheers101 2 replies1 threads New Member
    My mom completely hates the idea of me joining a sorority because she thinks all I am going to do is party, get drunk, and sleep around sadly. I told her what if I get a job to help me pay for a sorority and she dislikes that even more because she doesn't want me to work, and if I do start working, she will not help as much as she is doing right now. I'm not saying I am ungrateful for how much she is helping, I just wish she would understand where I am coming from and why I would like/ I am interested on why I would like to join a sorority. She says if I do join one, she will stop helping me, and she would not help me with sorority dues at all.
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  • dcolosidcolosi 535 replies23 threads Member
    My D is in a sorority, she did have a small job for fall semester last year but the spring semester she couldn't work due to her class schedule and she is on her sorority bike team and training took a lot of her spare time. It is possible to be in a sorority, work and maintain grades but it is hard and there were plenty of nights my daughter was pretty stressed. For us, it has been cheaper having her live in the sorority house than her dorm. Room and board was about $1k cheaper than the school dorm but that savings went back to covering her dues and some extra's but in the end I saved about $200 so it wasn't that bad.

    Each school is different and my D's sorority social schedule is insane but that being said, she doesn't go to every event. None of the girls do. They all pick and choose based on what they have going on with school. My D is at a Big 10 school who has a party reputation with their Greek system. It really does depend on the school and what your majoring in but it is possible to manage sorority life, school and working. Just make sure the school stays as the top priority and you'll figure out the balance between the other two. If you do rush, you should get information about the cost of sororities and just know each house will be different. My D's is in the middle of the 21 houses as far as cost.
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  • scmom12scmom12 3220 replies21 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    Also, if can’t afford regular sorority there are other options. If applicable look into Christian sorority or one of coed service fraternities. Both less competitive and less expensive. Wouldn’t include housing options (but not all school sororities have houses anyway) but often include sisterhood/friendship and some social events (formals, etc).

    I know sororities at D1’s school had some scholarships to help with girls who had financial issues. Something else to check into although I stand by earlier advice about getting settled into academics first.

    BTW, the most close knit group of kids at D2’s school were ones involved in student government. So there Are other ways to make friends.
    edited July 2019
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  • rickle1rickle1 2596 replies21 threads Senior Member
    ^ Is a great idea. S is in a coed business fraternity. It's open to all majors and there are many from outside the traditional business route. Although not your typical frat, it is quite social. They meet every week, have parties, formals, outings, etc. S has made a great group of friends and it gives him time to participate in other things. Also has friends in coed service frats which do a lot of volunteer work. Lots of ways to get involved and meet new people in college.
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