Pros & Cons of Living in a Sorority House

When I joined a sorority as a freshman, one of the first things I noticed was the way the chapter women treated the chapter house. At UF, anywhere from 40 to 60 girls can live in their chapter house depending on which organization they’re in; but the house is so much more than just a progression of the communal-style life you experience in a residence hall. Although living with dozens of other girls in a relatively confined space has its ups and downs, living in the house is a unique experience I strongly encourage every sorority member to have. Here are a few of the best and worst parts of living in your sorority house:

PRO: 40 closets I’d be naïve if I didn’t start this list by saying living in a sorority house truly is like having 40 closets to choose from. When I’m getting ready to go to Midtown and I’m not feeling the same Henri Girl flowy pants and Tobi crop top I’ve worn a million other times, a simple post on the in-house Facebook page with a plea for a cute outfit solves most of my issues. There’s one caveat of having this endless supply of high-waisted shorts graciously given to you by your sisters: For as many times as you borrow clothes, you’ve got to be willing to lend them out, too.

CON: Lack of privacy Although now you are officially a resident of your chapter house, the other sisters are kind of like the unofficial residents. It’s hard to draw a line between who can or can’t be at a house shared by almost 200 girls based on who has a room upstairs. Sisters are always coming into your room, either looking to chat, take a nap or steal your phone charger for the next 15 minutes before they run off to calculus. And as far as I’ve noticed, knocking isn’t a very popular concept in the house, either. Because everyone pays dues, everyone feels like they deserve a tiny little piece of the house whether if they live there or not.

PRO: Convenience The sorority house is not only where you live, but it’s also where you eat, study and meet with sisters. It’s incredibly convenient for the lazy souls in the world (myself included) to roll out of bed and head into the dining room just in time for the waffles at Friday brunch. Going to chapter is no longer a hassle because it’s only 10 feet from your door. Not to mention, Sorority Row is within walking distance of campus, which is something very few other apartment complexes can brag about.

CON: DistractionsAs convenient as it is to live where you study, it’s also immensely distracting. How can you try to write your article for reporting when you know your sisters are watching E! Network in the room next door? You can practically hear them laughing through the wall at something funny Kim Kardashian just said. And staying in on a Saturday night is a definite no for in-house sisters because there’s always someone to remind you of all the cute guys you’d be missing out on at Fat Daddy’s.

PRO: Sisterhood At the end of the day, living in the house gives you an entirely new appreciation for your sisters. As cliché as it sounds, living in the house gives you the chance to see people at their best and at their worst. It’s a chance to bond with sisters outside of your pledge class. You’ll never be without a dinner date, a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen your day's events (boring or not). At the end of a long day, there’s no one I’d rather come home to than 40 of my sisters and best friends.

CON: The mess I’m a messy person, and when you multiply my mess by 40, the results can be disastrous. Luckily, we have house moms to keep us in line, but it’s definitely a myth that sorority houses can’t be just as downright gross as a fraternity house. We still share bathrooms, and we still have tiny cubicles.

Just like every other living situation in college, a sorority house has many ups and downs. Though you have to give up some of your privacy, chances are you probably went through dorm life during your freshman year and already know how to cope. The best part is that you don’t have to deal with random roommates or awkward hallway encounters because you’re living with 40 people you already know and love. I suggest living in your sorority house for at least one year because it gives you a chance to bond with sisters you may not be close with already.