You’ve been through the hell that is recruitment week and you’ve received a bid to a great sorority. You have 118 new Facebook friends. Despite all the excitement, you might still not know whether Greek life is right for you. That’s perfectly OK.
The following are some factors to consider before initiating into a sorority. None of these alone should deter you from doing so and they might not be an issue at all for you. I encourage you to think seriously about each factor and decide if — and to what extent — it is an issue for you personally.
Greek life is expensive, but some careful planning might ease the pain. If you’re afraid that you can’t afford to pay dues, ask the treasurer or other higher ups for information on scholarships and financial aid. Factor in spending money for house events and feel free to ask questions. Do your dues cover the price of formals or do you pay for those separately? How much do women in the house usually spend on sorority-related promo items? How much are the fees for things such as pins and badges? Is there a live in requirement and, if so, how much does living in cost? Once you know all of this, figure out a rough budget and discuss it with your parents. You can always work out payment plans and find scholarships, but you should plan ahead so you don’t end up worrying about finances later.
2. Time commitment
Sororities can be a serious time commitment. Many of your house’s events such as formals and date parties are fantastic bonding opportunities, and even some of the more boring ones will be useful. You decide your own level of involvement, but you can count on attending weekly chapter meetings and helping out at philanthropy events at a minimum, as well as a handful of new member related meetings. You can definitely have other priorities and involvements, and your sisters will support you in your endeavors. However, if you feel like you have to sacrifice other really important activities to commit as much time as you’d like to your house, you need to start reconsidering whether Greek life is right for you.
3. Friends and immediate connections
I’m sure you were worried when some of your friends got into a different sorority than you did. Don’t be worried about that. You must have had some connection with the women in your house to be offered a bid there. Be open-minded and talk to everyone. Also, everyone connects at different rates — maybe because they kind of already knew each other, or live in the same dorm or are in the same classes. You will do a lot of things with your pledge class and your house as a whole, so don’t worry too much if you feel like it’s taking you a bit longer than expected to truly bond with your sisters. That said, if you really don’t feel like you can connect with the women in your house, talk it through with your recruitment counselor, women in your house or someone else you trust, especially if they have experience with Greek life. They’ll definitely have some insights for you.
4. Your instincts
The decision to enter Greek life is extremely personal. Talk with women in the house about whatever issues might be bugging you. Ask any and all questions that come to your mind. Weigh the options, but go with your gut. After considering all pros and cons, ask yourself how you feel about entering Greek life, not what others might think about your decision to accept or decline a bid.
For some, Greek life is ideal; for others, maybe it’s not quite worth it. Be confident and proud of your decision, no matter what.