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Dropping Out of a Sorority: The Pros & Cons

Posted Jan 18 2014 - 2:00pm

A sorority sounded like a great idea when you were a freshman—you were promised a group of girls who would clue you into campus and love and support you like a sister, hooking you up with great information about where to go, where to find great dates, how to participate in awesome campus traditions, and providing you with tons of other benefits. By sophomore, junior, or senior year, however, sorority life can start seeming a little less great. If you’re no longer feeling the “Alpha Phi love” or “Phi Beta warm-fuzzies,” check out some of the pros and cons of disaffiliating from or leaving your sorority.

Pro: You’ll have more flexibility.

Think about a typical week’s worth of sorority activities. Now think about what your schedule would look like without weekly chapter meetings, charity events, dinner hours, study sessions, and weekend events. Disaffiliating from your sorority could lead to more free time to spend on new things, such as participating in other clubs and activities, volunteering on your own, spending more time hitting the books, hitting the gym, or simply allowing you to have a little more “me time.” Now that you’ve been in school for a while, you also no longer need the plus of having tons of girls around to show you the ins and outs of campus and nightlife in your college town. In fact, you might even have more fun exploring different things in and around campus on your own instead of with a huge group of sisters.

Having more free time could be a huge pro, especially if you’re looking to bring your grades up, devote more time to another organization, nab a killer internship to boost your resume, or develop other skills and talents outside of your sorority commitments.

Think carefully about how you’d use the extra time you’d have before you decide to drop your letters. Do you need more time to tackle a tricky class? Is there an activity you wish you had more time to devote to or would like to join? Are there things you feel like you’re missing out on because you’re busy with all of your sisters?  Reflect on questions like these before making a final decision to make sure you wouldn’t regret leaving.

Con: It might not be as easy to meet people, including alumnae who could open doors to possible careers or internships.

We get it—you’re human. You’re not going to enjoy every event your sisters plan, every fundraiser you throw, or every party you’re expected to attend. These events sometimes carry a huge bonus, though; they can introduce you to people with whom you share similar interests, who support the same cause the fundraiser event is supporting, or who have connections that can take you places. (Beauty parlor scene in Legally Blonde 2, anyone?)  There may be alumnae who work for a company that you’re dying to intern at or work for. “A lot of girls really don’t see the value in a lifetime membership,” says Julie Johnson, College Panhellenics Committee Chairman for the National Panhellenic Conference. She says the experience of being in a sorority extends long after you graduate your school or university. “It really is more than those four years in college,” she says. Johnson advises those thinking about leaving to “think long-term about what could happen.”

Your sorority can also introduce you to some influential people on campus who are in your sorority or in sororities you work with or (single!) hotties in a frat you’re partnered with. Obviously a sorority isn’t the only place where you can make these kinds of connections, but it’s an easy in, and it works as an instant conversation topic. Think about if you can still benefit from the network your sorority provides before you decide whether or not to leave.

Pro: You’ll probably see more of your non-Greek friends.

One huge bonus of no longer going Greek? You’ll now have time for your non-Greek friends. “Once I quit the sorority, I found friends that had interests much more similar to my own, so I do not feel like I missed out on much by quitting the sorority. I could simply go to a bar if I wanted to be in the party scene and I no longer had to pay thousands of dollars to be part of a sorority,” says Leslie*, a recent college grad who left her sorority after a year. This can be great if you’re in a sorority with a lot of mandatory weekend events or mixers, or if you’re in a chapter that celebrates big events like homecoming or spring break together. No longer needing to spend these days with your sisters means more time for friends you’ve met outside the Greek system.

You could also have more flexibility with who you date. Some Greek collegiettes say they feel pressured by their sisters to date guys from certain frats and avoid others in less desirable groups or ones outside the Greek system. Of course, this isn’t the case in every sorority, but it might be easier to meet someone special when you’re not spending every weekend with guys from a specific frat that your sorority has paired up with for a mixer or date party. This is also a major plus if you find you’re no longer as tight with your sisters as you used to be, or you don’t have many friends in the house and didn’t bond with the group like you thought you would.

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