Confessions of a Sorority Dropout

When I decided to transfer to a new school and new city as a sophomore I was worried about making friends. Not only was I going to be a new student, I was also going to be living off campus, and I was worried that my social life would suffer without the help of dorm life. I was determined to become as involved as possible in my new school. One of my friends suggested that I join a sorority in order to meet new people. Although I had never even considered the possibility before, I thought it sounded like a good idea so I went through rush, got a bid, and eventually joined a sorority as a pledge and went all the way through initiation (meaning I became a full-fledged member of the sorority).

However after two months I decided to leave my sorority. While I had enjoyed my time and met some really great people, there were a number of reasons why I chose to deactivate.

Don’t Underestimate The Commitment

 Most people I’ve talked to who are part of Greek life all say the same thing; don’t underestimate the commitment, financial and otherwise, that you are making to your sorority or fraternity. I found that I had underestimated the time commitment to my sorority. While every chapter operates differently, most meetings and events are mandatory, and if you are absent you will be fined a certain amount of money. These mandatory events really add up, and include study hours, weekly meetings, social outings, and service hours. If you fail to attend these events you will fined for doing so.

Of course, if you are fully committed to your fraternity or sorority then this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as these are great social and involvement opportunities, however if you are already busy with school, work, and other social commitments the added responsibility can be somewhat overwhelming.

Don’t Join if You Aren’t Fully Committed

 The truth is I was never committed 100% to joining a sorority. Because I transferred from a school with no Greek life and had no friends who were involved with Greek organizations, I didn’t really know what to expect from joining a sorority. The truth is that you can’t really commit halfway. Although I was busy with work and school, I admit that I found myself making excuses not to attend various sorority events, I had also started making friends outside of the sorority and resented having to go to events on the weekends. I began to get emails from various chapter members who told me that my absences had been noted and that I was reflecting poorly on the sorority and myself. While at the time I was offended and annoyed, I know that I was being unfair to the rest of the girls in my sorority. Looking back, my biggest mistake was going through initiation even after I had realized that I wasn’t fully invested in the experience.

It Might Not Be That Easy to Leave

When I made the choice to leave the sorority, I thought I would be able to simply walk away. I notified the chapter president of my intention to leave a week and a half before the start of a new quarter and a week and a half before dues needed to be paid. Because I was still a relatively new active member I didn’t really know how to go about leaving the sorority, and I was told that this was sufficient. I found out later, however, that the process was actually much more complicated. I needed to write a letter and present it to a group of my sisters as well as have my request to leave put to a vote by the whole sorority and turn in everything with my letters on it. Because this process took longer than I expected, I ended up still having to pay over $200 in dues for the next quarter because I couldn’t leave the sorority with any outstanding fines or dues.

Don’t get me wrong, the sorority wasn’t a “blood in, blood out” sort of situation, but leaving was far more complicated than I had expected. Everyone was very understanding and nice about me leaving, but I did have to jump through several hoops.

While I decided to leave Greek life and have never looked back, I would never say that joining a fraternity or sorority is a bad idea. I really do think that you get out of the experience what you put into it, and I just wasn’t willing to put my all into it. The girls I have stayed in contact with really love the sorority and I can’t deny that it’s a really wonderful social outlet. My advice to those thinking of joining or fraternity or sorority is to only do it if they are fully committed to it.

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Brianna Low

Brianna Low

Brianna Low is a rising senior at DePaul University pursuing a double major in English and Spanish. Brianna enjoys reading, writing, and traveling. She currently works for DePaul's Art Department as a receptionist and hopes to one day work in a library. Brianna is happiest when surrounded by books.
Brianna Low

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