15 Greek Life Myths Debunked: Why Joining a Sorority was the Best College Decision I Made

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The Panhellenic community at my school 

Before we start, let’s just put this out there. Yes I am a sorority girl, and I am damn proud of it. But I know what you must be thinking; she’s just another sorority bimbo working on her MRS degree, who just cannot even. There is so much more to being a sorority woman than what our Instagram accounts say because, let’s be honest, our hashtag game is not actually representative of who we are. #Mixer #TSM #sorostitute #sooooodrunk – we don’t actually all talk like that, but the media sure does like to make it seem like we do.

I have been a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon for 2.5 years now. I am in my last semester of college, and, looking back at my whole college experience, I can honestly say being a sorority woman has shaped me into the person I want to be. I’ll be honest; it was not always easy balancing Greek life with the other aspects of my life. There is much more that goes into being a sorority sister than just partying and drinking with frat stars. But I’m just another sorority girl preaching to the choir, right? Right. If you don’t want to believe me, let’s look at some statistics.

According to USA Today, “since 1825, all but three U.S. presidents have been members of a fraternity. 85% of Fortune 500 executives were part of Greek life. The first female astronaut was Greek. So was the first female senator. And college graduation rates are 20% higher among Greeks than non-Greeks.” Being a member of Greek life does not necessarily guarantee you a successful life, but it sure does help and motivate you to get there. When you join an organization, you are not just joining a club. You are joining a nationwide, sometimes international, network of brothers and sisters that will help connect you to many opportunities and personal advances. We all know that in this day and age, it’s who you know that is the impactful key to your success. Success aside, there are also many other perks of being a part of Greek life, such as becoming well-rounded individuals, having support systems, and gaining many important network connections.

My sisters <3
Unfortunately, Greek life has become the brunt of many media fallacies. Not all of us are hazing, drunken maniacs. Learn the truth about who we actually are before pointing fingers at us.

So, let’s debunk 15 of the myths we have all heard about sororities and Greek life.

1.    Being hazed is all about the process of joining any sisterhood because ALL sororities haze.
False. False. False. False. False. I am not going to deny the fact that there are some organizations that haze, but they do not define the majority of us. As a sorority woman, I condemn such organizations. I would never want to be a part of something that demeans and dehumanizes me, while claiming to be my best friend. However, the majority of sisterhoods out there do not participate in such behavior. My sorority never made me do anything that made me feel uncomfortable. I always had control and the right to say no. If you want to join an organization, do your research, talk to people on your campus, learn the truth about your prospective interested sisterhood/brotherhood. Only join if you feel that you belong and if you are comfortable. If, at any time, something happens that you do not approve of, speak up. Do not be afraid. Sororities that do haze need to be shut down, but again, not all of us haze. So keep an open mind when going through the rush process. A majority of Greek organizations across the country have taken the stand to speak up against hazing and are actively involved in anti-hazing initiatives.

Your big will also be someone who will always support and protect you. 
2.    All sorority girls do are party and sleep around.
Yeah, okay. It’s not like we dedicate hours of our life volunteering and raising money for our designated philanthropies. According to EliteDaily, Greeks “account for 75% of all total college and university donations. Undergraduate members give an annual average of $7 million and 850,000 hours toward charitable causes.” But let’s just forget about all of that. That’s just the boring stuff that no one wants to read or hear about in the media.

Delta Phi Epsilon sisters supporting their local philantropy. Delta Phi Epsilon, Gamma Iota chapter. 
3.    Drug abuse. Binge drinking. Nymphomaniac tendencies. That’s what describes a sorority woman.
No. No. NO. Most of the sororities out there are social sororities. So yes we do enjoy having fun. However, our idea of having fun does not always involve getting drunk or high and going out. Fun for my sorority also includes having spa nights, movie nights, playing video games all night, Just Dance marathons, dinners, shopping dates, going apple picking, traveling. A lot of my sisters do not even drink or go out. But besides the partying, we are also leaders and volunteers. Then again, who cares about all of that? It’s more interesting to portray us all as little drunk sluts. Thanks for that Hollywood!

Delta Phi Epsilon sisters snowboarding for fun. Oh wait that's not partying.

4.    All fraternity men harbor an inner rapist persona and are men who have no respect for women.
I’ll have you know that most of the fraternity men I have met are the most honorable, courteous and chivalrous men I know. Some of my best friends are part of fraternities, and I have never ever seen them misbehave or disrespect any female. Especially in light of the UVA fraternity gang rape, people have been quick to characterize all fraternity men as chauvinistic pigs. Whatever happened to the saying don’t judge a book by its cover? I am in no way excusing those men who use being in a fraternity as a way to exploit and harm others. Those fraternities need to be shunned, but again not all men in frats are like what the media presents them to be.

One of my best friends, who is also one of the nicest men I have met and who is also a brother of Theta Chi fraternity.
5.    Academics are not important. They come second.
All Greek organizations value the absolute truth that we came to college for our education and that everything else is then secondary. Our academics always come first. In fact, most organizations hold study sessions, promote internships and co-ops, and provide help for those struggling in school. To even be a part of a Greek organization, you have to maintain a certain GPA. So, our academics ALWAYS come first.

Sisters from my chapter showing off some of our accomplishments, including highest on campus GPA!
6.    You have to be best friends with all your sorority sisters, all several hundreds of them.
Sorry, not exactly. Not all girls get along, that’s just some unwritten universal rule in girl world. A sorority environment is like a workplace. You don’t necessarily see eye to eye with everyone, but you make things work. What makes sororities work is the fact that you have a mutual understanding and respect for one another. In organizations with such diverse members, it’s hard to get along with everyone. However, what sororities do teach you are to accept one another, just the way you are. We may not be the best of friends, but that acceptance for one another makes us all friends.

7.    You are always at war with your rival sorority.
Friendly competition is always healthy, but that does not mean sisters in other organizations are your enemies. In fact, one of my best friends from college is in the other sorority on my campus. We have been friends since our freshmen year in college, and when we decided to join different organizations, that did not affect our friendship at all. Instead both of us were happy for each other and glad we ended up in organizations we felt comfortable in. When you join a sorority, you don’t just join one organization, you join a whole Panhellenic community. Your letters may be different, but your intentions are always the same.
Panhellenic love on my campus.
8.    You have to change who you are to fit into your selected organization.
If you have to do that, I’m sorry to say, but you ended up in the wrong organization then. Ever since I accepted my bid, I have never regretted my decision nor have I ever thought that I ended up joining the wrong organization. Every sorority is different, and you always have to go through rush not compromising yourself and your personality. That will guarantee that you end up where you are meant to be. Being in DPhiE did not change who I am, it just helped me become a more well-rounded person, which I am so grateful for. 

9.    If you identify as gay or bisexual, there is no place for you in Greek life.
I have a few sisters who are lesbians or bi, and that does not bother us at all. They could be anything, but we will always love them. So no, you don’t have to be straight to join a sorority or fraternity. Homophobia and intolerance has no place in Greek life.

10.  Sorority girls are obsessed with body image.
Like I mentioned before, acceptance is the most important part of being in a sorority. You can be of any body size or height, and I can guarantee you that your sisters will never look down upon you. Actually, Delta Phi Epsilon sisters have actually spent a lot of time and raised a lot of money for initiatives and programs to help people tackle body image issues with our philanthropy Anorexia Nervosa and Associate Disorders.

The pledge Delta Phi Epsilon sorority takes as support to our philanthropy, Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD). Pictured above, a DPhiE sister from the Delta Iota chapter. 

11. We pay for our friends.
We do not pay for our friends. Our dues actually go to paying for events, programming, chapter operations, charities, paying for our house (if your organization has one), and scholarships. Having dues also make us financially responsible, which is a key characteristic that successful adults should have.

12. When you join a sorority or fraternity, you don’t have time to be a part of anything else.
Lies. Going Greek helps you gain valuable leadership skills. These skills actually help you to get more involved on campus. Greek members then use these skills to succeed in their careers. Most presidents, Congress officials, and CEOs were Greek, which explains their great leadership skills.

My pledge sister who was senior class president, and who went on to becoming a successful engineer.
13. Going Greek is too time consuming.
Yes, a lot of time is involved in being an active member. But that does not mean you no longer have time to do anything else. Going Greek actually teaches you to have better time management skills. Most Greeks are presidents of other organizations, have jobs and internships, volunteer, and still have time for the people and things they love. You learn to balance every aspect of your life. Greeks live by the motto work hard, play hard.

My chapter at our annual Deepher Dude event - a male beauty pageant that raises money for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. 
14. Rushing means I am obligated to join an organization.
Unfortunately, Greek life is not meant for everyone, and there is nothing wrong with that. Rushing carries no obligations of joining. It’s just a period of time for you to get to know the organizations on your campus. If at the end of this period, you find an organization you feel you belong in, great! If not, that’s okay too!

15.  Sorority friendships are superficial and fake.
The love you have for your sisters is not an act. We may not always agree with each other, and we may not necessarily all get along – like I mentioned before. However, we do share a mutual love for each other. Being in a sorority means you become a part of something bigger than just your organization. You will go through a lot with your sisters, and those experiences will help you strengthen your bond with each other. Even if you don’t like all your sisters, you will learn to stand by each other and support one another, and this will not be forced; you will want to be there for your sisters. Being in a sisterhood is more than just forming friends for life, you become part of a family.

"It's not for four years. It's for life." Delta Phi Epsilon, Alpha Chi chapter

Pictured here, from right to left: Erika Lau, Samantha Fine, and Nicole Altmark. Delta Phi Epsilon, Delta Xi chapter

Do not be quick to categorize all of Greek life under one stigmatized umbrella. Not all universities have fraternities and sororities that actively promote the backwards and dark practices of century old Greek life traditions. The Greek life I have grown to live and love promotes success, philanthropy, scholarship, sisterhood/brotherhood and strong morals/ethics. Those upper echelon, unrighteous, media driven Greek organizations give a bad name to all of Greek life, and they also do not carry forward the basic principles of what Greek life is all about. We may not be perfect. Mock us as much as you want, but while you are insulting our social lifestyle, make sure you also shed some light on our philanthropic/leadership ways. 

As my undergraduate college career is nearing an end, I can truly say that joining a sorority was the best decision in college I ever made. Becoming a sorority woman has pushed me to be the best version of myself, as cliché as that may sound. I have become a well – rounded individual, which is a skill I value the most as I enter the real world. Yeah, we had our ups and downs but the good times with my sisters outweigh the bad. In fact, most of my favorite memories from college involve my sisterhood. My sisters genuinely want to see each other be successful and happy. They see through all the BS of your excuses and can tell how you truly feel without even asking. My sisters are the girls I want to go share all my happiness with, and these are the girls I know who will help me overcome my sorrow. We are all very different and crazy in our own regard, but we are one unit. Lastly my sisterhood has taught me to always be myself. Esse quam videri - to be rather than to seem to be. They have loved and accepted me for who I am, and because of them, I know others will as well. 

Because no matter the letters, Greeks do it better. 


Much love to you all, 

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1 comment

  1. GREAT job! You nailed it. I'm proud to call you my Greek sister.


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