What People Don’t Always Tell You About Sorority Life

Recruitment season is here, as you can probably tell by the signs all over campus and girls wearing their letters everyday of the week. While Greek life can be a great way to get involved on campus, it has its downsides, as does any organization. Here are a few personal stories from Mason women involved in Greek life on the cons of joining a sorority.

1. It can be difficult to balance school work, mental health, a job and a sorority all at the same time.

According to one sophomore, she had issues trying to balance every other aspect of her life and still stay involved.

She said, “I think for me it was because I worked a lot. I went out for recruitment to have a sense of security and having a place to belonging. When I got my bid, I was super excited, but it was like, now what? I had to get a job and pay for it. And that’s where it was a struggle for me. Because I had to constantly work to make ends meet. I worked 25-30 hours a week and by the time I was done with work and school, I was super exhausted. At that time too I was also dealing with my mental health and trying to get help, because I had very bad depression and anxiety. So by the end of the semester, I paid all my dues, and I never got anything out of it because I never really hung out with the girls especially my pledge class. I was so ready to drop out, but my big told me to give it another go. Next semester came along, I tried again. I tried to be out there more, and it was very challenging. I still was struggling with my mental health, not to mention I still had to work and was trying to focus on school.I did end up having a little better of a better time because I got to know some more people and I hung out with them a few times. So by the end of the semester, I had to make a choice. Should I continue to stay only to feel left out? Or should I not? I also had to make a money based decision because I was gaining more responsibility by paying for a car and spending 500 dollars each semester is tough. In the end, I did drop out, and it was very difficult for me. I see all these girls look so happy when they post on the page, and how happy they feel when they spend time with one another and it makes me sad because while I had that opportunity, I couldn't make it work because I had to work and put other responsibilities first. And just to add, I think if girls are looking to go through recruitment, they have to remember a few things. Take care of yourself and your responsibilities before you take on something that’s time consuming. Your mental health and your school comes first. And also while it is hard to be in a group full of different personalities, be open and put yourself out there a little.”

2. You will be stereotyped

According to another affiliated woman, she’s sometimes scared to even mention that she is in a sorority because of the assumptions people often make about her. She said, “There’s honestly so much negativity and stereotyping that comes with being in any sorority and it sucks. Like every sorority has so many negative stereotypes attributed to them. Like when I meet new girls I’m scared to tell them my affiliation because every time they always treat me differently and automatically assume I’m a bitch”. Make sure to also check out this article by another Her Campus George Mason author.

3. There are often issues of racism

Make sure to read the article Greek Life *Is* Racist for a personal account of a George Mason student. While all of Mason’s sorority chapters are incredibly diverse, that doesn’t mean they don’t have their issues. If you are in a sorority or plan to join one, make sure to check your privilege often and to hold not only yourself, but also other members of your chapter (and all other members of Greek life) accountable for these actions.

Related: The Smoke and Mirrors of Sorority Recruitment

4. You might rush and end up not getting in

“I went through the entire rush process, just to end up without a bid from either of the sororities I was interested in, when I was feeling so confident I would get in. I was devastated. These organizations claim to all be about building each other up but what about girls who don’t get in? They feel discouraged and, in my case, honestly feeling like I wasn’t good enough. Luckily, I went out to meetings for various other organizations on campus and found my home. My advice is, don’t let yourself get so down if you don’t get in. You can always go out for recruitment again or find somewhere else where you belong,”, said another Mason student.

5. Your parents might not be understanding about your decision to join

“I have been affiliated for a year now and still haven’t told my mom. I don’t know exactly why, I just feel like she wouldn’t understand. She has always been very protective and traditional so I don’t think she would get why I want to be involved in a sorority when all she knows about them is what she sees in movies or on television,” said another student.

Remember, this is in no way meant to discourage anyone from rushing or to disrespect anyone in Greek life. Joining a sorority can be a great way to make new friends, have volunteer opportunities, to hold leadership positions and much more, but it isn’t for everyone. Make sure to go in with an open mind and see what happens. You can always check out Get Connected to check out a variety of other organizations, from religious groups, to organizations focused on your major, student government, and more, you’ll be able to find your home here at Mason. I would like to end this article by giving a huge thank you to everyone who gave me quotes for this article and everyone who was supportive about me writing it!