Fraternities and Sororities, TERRIFYING??

<p>I am thinking of going to the US for university but im really worried that I will end up in a sorority with no friends full of girls wearing matching pink track suits and with terrifyiing initiation ceremonies, advice???</p>

<p>Well, joining sororities (or fraternities) is completely voluntary. When I went to college in the United States I consciously made a decision NOT to join a fraternity.</p>

<p>Many people believe that the sororities and fraternities represent a negative part of college. Many seem to be devoted to binge drinking. Many are snobbish or even racist. This is why many people stay away from them. However, they often form "voting blocs" that can dominate college politics.</p>

<p>There are many other housing options besides joining a fraternity/sorority. Usually your first year you will be in a "dormitory" or "residence hall". Some people later move out into apartments, but others spend all four years in the dormitories.</p>

<p>I think you have gotten what a "sorority" is muddled up with what a "dormitory/residence hall" is.</p>

<p>There was the bizarre movie called "Revenge of the Nerds" where one of the fraternities burn down their own fraternity house, so they are all moved into the freshmen (first year) dormitory, and so the first years are moved out of their dormitory and told that the college is suspending the rules, and letting them join fraternities right away, but one group of first year students are not fashionable enough to be admitted into any fraternity (the "nerds" of the title), so they start their own fraternity. But that's all just a movie fantasy, such things don't happen in real life.</p>

<p>The sororities and fraternities themselves decide who to admit into membership from their applicants, who have all applied voluntarily. So really, you need friends to even get into one (and you wouldn't apply to a sorority where you hated the other girls!). Many Americans consider their fraternity or sorority to have been an important way of meeting people and making friends. And even after graduation, it provides networking opportunities that help land jobs (and yes, I feel I missed out on all that by not joining a fraternity).</p>

<p>But on the bottom line, nobody is required to join a sorority. There are always many other housing options.</p>


<p>^^Yes, joining a sorority is voluntary. But no you don't need pre-existing friends to get into one. Every college is different in the way they do recruitment. Some do it the first week of school when most people don't know anybody (yes some girls come in with recommendation letters for specific sororities, but not everyone). Others defer rush until later in fall or even second semester in which case you get to know people and different sorority personalities before you go through recruitment. At these type of schools, rules vary about contact with upper class sorority girls. At Ds school the older girls actually have "meet and greets" and "rush dates" to get to know incoming freshmen.</p>

<p>As you go through process you drop sororities off your list and some will drop you off theirs until, hopefully, you end up with a match. Most sororities are big enough so that there are all types of girls in each one. Yes, some sororities have specific reputations, but this also varies by school. You will meet girls in sororities who are athletics, scholars, partiers, religious, non-drinkers, artists, and any other label you can think of - basically all types of girls are represented. </p>

<p>If you are interested, go through recruitment with open mind. You'll meet lots of nice girls and in the end don't have to join if totally unhappy with where you get a bid. (and my D would never wear pink:))</p>

<p>And my mother went to college with my attitude, that she would not join a sorority, but ended up joining one anyway!!!</p>

<p>Note that scmom's use of the term "upper class" I'm pretty sure she merely meant "third or fourth year student" or maybe even a "second year student" as distinct from a "first year student". But many people accuse fraternities and sororities of being only open to certain socioeconomic classes.</p>

<p>There were two friends who applied to the same fraternity, one was admitted, the other was not. The only difference they could see was that the one who was admitted was white. They decided instead to start their own organization called "Sigma Phi Nothing" that would admit anyone who applied.</p>


<p>^^yes, sorry if that term is confusing. By upperclassmen (term I should have used) I mean students above first years/freshmen. Most sororities that I know of do actually have a scholarships process for girls who can't afford dues.</p>

<p>Most students who go to college in the US do not join fraternities or sororities. There are many schools here who do not have any such organizations. There are many many students here who wouldn't dream of belonging to them. Forget everything you have seen in movies or television.</p>

<p>Will echo the responses of others---you absolutely do not need to join one. Many colleges don't even have a Greek system. </p>

<p>Some colleges have "interest" houses (often co-ed)--for example, if you are particularly interested in a foreign language, or the outdoors, or sustainable living, or any number of things, you can join the appropriate club and live in the associated "interest" house if there is room. Or not. Lots of options.</p>

<p>Also, every organization with greek letters is not social fraternity or sorority. There are service groups, religious groups, and honors organizations for specific majors that also go by Greek letters. Most of these are co-ed and can be a great social outlet while also focusing on service or academics. (apologize if this is common knowledge to OP but wasn't sure where she is from)</p>

<p>Seconding pretty much all of the above, but to add a little context. Pretty much every college/university in the US- from the very small to the biggest state university- has various student groups where you can find other people who share your interests. Some of these are large and organized, others are small and informal. Sororities/Fraternities are one type of student group. Especially at very large universities a sorority/fraternity gives you a smaller community. </p>

<p>As everybody else has noted, they are all voluntary, but it is also true that some unis have a stronger sorority / fraternity social emphasis than others, so if you want to check out how strong of a presence they are at any given university, search for a site called college ******* and put in the name of the university that you are interested in. You can also go the site the sorority life, and take a look.</p>

<p>There are sororities that are somewhat Legally Blonde-ish, but they are a very small minority.</p>

<p>the starred out word is the word prowl with the ending er- CC doesn't seem to like it when I reference that site!</p>