the front of my sorority house

What Living in My Sorority House Has Taught Me

As the end of the semester looms and now that I have moved back to my hometown to finish classes remotely, I find myself missing not only my room but also the women that have made my sophomore year better, brighter and a little bit more hectic (in the best way). The following are just a few of the lessons that I have learned from living in my sorority house this past year.

That Sticking to a Schedule is ESSENTIAL

Even though it may be tempting to wake up five minutes before my Diffenbaugh or Williams classes, that are a mere three-minute walk away from the house, waking up with enough time to do my morning routine is imperative in starting my day right and setting a productive tone. Not only have I adjusted to being able to hang-out at the house between obligations, but I also plan my classes, study time and work schedule around house mealtimes (which is SO worth it, especially on Fried Friday). The proximity of the house to campus is a blessing and ultimately means that I can make it from a class at the stadium, a Saturday tailgate, a night out on college avenue, or work at the student union to my bed in anywhere from two to 20 minutes. This makes attending weekly chapter, philanthropy events, sisterhood activities and even just spending time with my friends all the more routine.

How To Live in a Small Space

I absolutely love my room, it was decorated beautifully by my mother, is home to some of my favorite possessions and memories, and has undoubtedly become my designated safe/study/chill space at school, but living somewhere that is a third of the size of my bedroom at home is no easy feat. As a top bunk resident, I have struggled with maneuvering into and out of my bed, finding space to fold laundry or get ready for an interview or night out, and even sometimes when my roommate and I attempt to walk around simultaneously. While the small scale of this space seemingly ensures that no more than five people can be in my room at once, this capacity is tested weekly. Though living somewhere tiny with a roommate has certainly taught me a lot about cleanliness, friendship and personal space, it is with enthusiasm that I will be living in a larger room next year, hold the bunk bed.

bunk bed in my sorority house Grace Castilow (me)

That I Don’t Need a Car at School

As previously mentioned, my sorority house is less than a block away from campus and, as such, an easy place to walk to and from throughout my day. Because I didn’t have a car my freshman year when I lived on campus in a dorm, why have one when I’m just steps away from each and every one of my weekday obligations? Walking everywhere has not only become an anticipated fixture in my schedule, but it is also a great way to stay in shape outdoors without having to go to a crowded on-campus gym, especially if you’re like me and have classes in the stadium twice per week. Carpooling, when necessary, is also made easier when you have 40 cars to choose from and reliable parking. In full disclosure, I will be bringing my car next year, but know that I’ll still be walking most of the time because parking on campus is admittedly impossible.

The Value of Friendship

Okay, this sounds cliché but there’s nothing more conducive to friendship than living 10 feet away from 40 of my closest friends. Not only do I have the privilege of rooming with my best friend, who I met during recruitment, I have also had the opportunity to make so many new friends since living in the house as I spend all of the time not spent in class or meetings and at work surrounded by them. As I am someone who needs time to recharge just as much as I need to be around people, living in the house has provided me with the perfect balance between quality time spent in bed casually chatting with my roommate over an episode of Love Islandand that spent watching Harry Potteron the upstairs couch with the other in-house girls (movie or Bachelornights are NO joke).

That I Miss Cooking my own Meals

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the most skilled cook and am eternally grateful to our chefs for making gourmet meals that I am privileged enough to eat twice daily, but I do miss the ability to cook my own meals when, or if, I want. Though we do have access to a kitchenette, we cannot use many of the appliances in the kitchen itself on our own time and, as such, can’t really cook our own meals or make that late-night grilled cheese that I crave literally once a week. With that said, a typical day of chef-approved meals could include bagels or cereal with a cold brew coffee for breakfast in the kitchenette, chipotle bowls for lunch, an all-inclusive pasta bar for dinner, lemon bars (my favorite) for dessert, an alternative salad bar at each meal, and, by request, options for those with dietary restrictions like vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free.

curtains in my sorority house Grace Castilow (me)

To Get Comfortable Sharing Everything

The first question people often ask me when they find out I live in the house is whether or not I utilize all 40 closets at my disposal. And though I wouldn’t say that all 40 are entirely at my disposal, I do find myself asking my big for an occasional face mask or roommate for a comfy tee every once in a while. With that said, it is not uncommon for someone to message in the in-house group message at all hours of the day (or night) asking if anyone has an extra fan or if they can borrow that one pair of boots for tomorrow night. Oh, and sharing everything also includes the communal bathrooms that are not-so surprisingly way nicer than anyone would expect.

Though living in my sorority house has taught me a lot about those around me, the greatest lesson that I have learned from it is about myself. Because of this experience and my belief that living in the house is a once in a lifetime opportunity, I plan on living there again next year and making the absolute most of the time I can spend with my sisters.

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