Joining a sorority or studying abroad?

<p>I've been working really hard over the last year to save up the money to do something fun while I'm in college. Now, I'm having to decide between joining a sorority next fall or studying abroad in the summer of 2013. Here are a few pros/cons I've thought of for each option. If you have any input, please feel free to share it. I would love to hear it.</p>

<p>Joining a sorority: PROS
-FRIENDS! I don't really have any friends at college now, so going greek would help with that.
-After my first year, I could live in the house, which (at most chapters at my school) is cheaper than what I'm paying for my apartment next year. It's also closer to campus.
-For a scholarship program I'm in, I'm required to attend so many events per semester. Joining a sorority would make completing this requirement much easier.
-I haven't really found any good opportunities to participate in community service/philanthropic work here, but the sororities do a lot of work for their causes.
-Possible networking opportunities and lots of opportunities to have fun.</p>

<p>Joining a sorority: CONS
-COST! I have the money to pay for my dues, but that's still a lot of money. I could put that toward studying abroad, but then again... I could apply for scholarships + financial aid for study abroad.
-My family doesn't entirely approve. Aside from the possibility of cheaper housing, they just don't see me as a "sorority girl" even though it's something I've wanted to do for a long time. (Also, no one in my family has ever been joined a sorority.)
-Some girls say pledging is a huge time commitment, but others I've spoken to say it really isn't that difficult. I think I could handle it, but what if I can't?</p>

<p>Studying abroad: PROS
-Five weeks in London!
-Great educational opportunity.
-Would look very nice on my resume.
-all the other obvious "pros" to studying abroad...</p>

<p>Studying abroad: CONS
-Cost- I don't know how much the study abroad trip is going to cost, but I do have a ballpark estimate of how much it would be for a sorority.
-Study abroad is just for five weeks, while joining a sorority would last throughout my entire college experience and (possibly) beyond.</p>

<p>What would you do if you were in this situation where you had to choose between the two?</p>

<p>P.S. I'm having to choose because I only have the money for one or the other, and I don't want to put the burden of either sorority dues or study abroad fees on my family. I would much rather just pay for it myself that way they aren't burdened by the financial obligation of whatever I choose to do.</p>

The experience will be so rewarding and it is a great plus to your resume. And if you go to one sponsored by your university, whatever loans, scholarships, grants you have for tuition there will transfer and you would just pay the difference. AND you get credit for all your classes</p>

<p>Soros, I have nothing against them, but be careful and do alot of research. Some of them require a great commitment. Some of them aren't even serious about what they do. So just know what your getting into</p>

<p>STUDY ABROAD. I would never forfeit the chance to travel and learn more about the world just to join a sorority.</p>

<p>Study abroad.</p>

<p>Study abroad.</p>

<p>Being a member of a Greek organization, I'm kinda biased. However, I've never been outside the country, and I would encourage you to look into that opportunity as well.</p>

<p>For my school, study abroad is usually tuition, a round-trip plane ticket, and 5,000 on top of that because you have to cook your own meals while you study abroad. But that's a great learning experience, because you learn different measurements and possibly new recipes, as well as all the fun you'd have in a different country.</p>

<p>As for not being a "sorority girl", tell your parents that there can be chapters who are serious about studies as they are about having fun (my Greek group is).</p>

<p>Last, membership in a sorority is for life, but so are the memories from study abroad. Make of that what you want to.</p>

<p>Study abroad I would say. I would love to!</p>

<p>Being part of Greek Life, this message is biased.</p>

<p>However, do keep in mind that when you join a sorority, it is a commitment for life. I don't think it's anything comparable to studying abroad. The dues look expensive up front, but they really are just room/board and entertainment rolled into one. In other words, it'll replace several expenses instead of being additional costs. However, if that amortized amount is more what you're used to spending, there might be problems.</p>

<p>As for studying abroad: memories for life, but there should be a reasonable expectation that you can do that any time in life. In terms of joining a sorority, the window of opportunity is quite limited.</p>

<p>I'm very doubtful that you couldn't do both. You can join the sorority now and save up for travelling abroad later. Or, you can travel abroad and join a sorority when you come back.</p>

<p>I say join a sorority. It was a wonderful experience. Twenty plus years later I still have close friendships with many of my sorority sisters. You can travel through Europe any time of your life. You can even take a class abroad or work abroad. This is your only chance to enjoy the wonderful experience of Greek life.</p>

<p>As a member of Greek life, I say join a sorority. But why make the choice now? You can always go through recruitment when you start at school, and if you see the potential for you to love an organization, then go for it. And if not, you can still study abroad</p>

<p>I am not now, nor have I ever been, a "sorority girl." Still, I would recommend, if you really can only do one, going with the sorority. My reasoning is thus: You can go abroad, if you plan for it, after college. You can't join a sorority after college. Make sure your parents know all the good things you're going to get with sorority membership. (But, as another poster suggested, do choose wisely to make sure you find a sorority where you are likely to reap those benefits.) You can tell your parents, in the nicest possible way, that they may need to adjust their vision of you, because this is something you want!</p>

<p>I really appreciate all the responses, but I did some thinking last night and I think I'm going to have to choose studying abroad. For what I want to do with my career, I think studying abroad would be a wonderful opportunity. Plus, once I graduate, I have a ton of other stuff to save money for (business school, moving, getting a car, possibly a wedding, etc.). It's like after graduation... real life starts and I may not have the time or money to go abroad. I think I should take this opportunity while I can. </p>

<p>I also think I'm just going to become more involved with the organizations I'm already in. This should help me build friends to take care of one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to join a sorority. </p>

<p>Thanks again for the input, everybody!</p>

<p>IMO you can't really study abroad after college either. Studying abroad is basically being in college in another country, with another culture. Vacationing is hardly the same, considering you're probably not gonna have more than 2 weeks of PTO for a while unless you work somewhere awesome or join the military (4 weeks then, lol).</p>

<p>This is hard because either can be a wonderful experience. By joining the sorority, you will be able to make friends that might last a life-time. But by studying abroad, you get the opportunity to go out of the country and experience the world, which is extremely hard to do once you graduate since you'll be worrying about finding a stable career for the most part. I'd say do both if you can! Maybe join a sorority this upcoming year and study abroad near your senior year?</p>

<p>I'm guessing that since you want to study abroad in the summer, you would be paying extra to do that. Could you study abroad instead during a regular semester? Because then since you'd have to be paying tuition anyways to go to your school, you'd just be paying it somewhere else instead and it wouldn't be adding so much extra like a summer abroad does. If you check with your university, tuition and your scholarships usually transfer over when you go abroad during a semester and can usually get your credits to transfer back. Then you could still join the sorority and pay for that. </p>

<p>I'm planning to go abroad in a semester, probably fall 2013, and I still joined a professional fraternity (I'm a girl, but it's a professional music fraternity for girls).</p>

<p>I definitely say STUDY ABROAD, because I went to Canterbury for a semester and it pretty much changed my life. It's also MUCH easier to go to other parts of Europe while you're there, so I def recommend saving up & taking separate trips with the other students, too. I got to go to Paris, Dublin, and even Cairo, Egypt (I don't recommend going there now). </p>

<p>I mean, both things are things that you can only do in college, but when you study abroad, you grow soooo close to the other students because you're stuck in another country & you pretty much have to. It makes you develop your cooperation & teamwork skills and gives you a more open mind about meeting new people, and stretching out of your group of people that you're normally comfortable with. I studied abroad over a year ago and I still get together with the other students, and we're all still friends. So it's not exactly like being in a sorority, but you DO make lots of close friendships that can last just as long... plus there's the added bonus of going to another country. </p>

<p>So if you want to open your mind and explore the world & appreciate diversity more, definitely study abroad because you'll get to travel AND make tons of friends :)</p>

<p>Being away for an entire semester just isn't an option for me at this point. Maybe later on- I might go abroad while I'm getting my Master's. At this point, I'm pretty set on the study abroad trip. I kind of took a step back and looked at the situation and realized how ridiculous it would be to turn down an opportunity like this. </p>

<p>Thanks for the recommendations on other places to go, aprokcndy! I'll be sure to keep them in mind. (:</p>

<p>Yayyyyy! Lol I totally understand- I was apprehensive at first and my mom was pretty much the one to tell me "don't pass up this opportunity!!!!" and I'm really glad I listened to her. Np, and good luck :)</p>