I had the privilege of living in my sorority house for two of my three years of college, after living in one of the oldest ,and grossest, dorms on campus during my freshman year. Saying that living in a multi-million dollar mansion with some of my best friends was a huge step up from my freshman dorm is an understatement. With the privilege of living in a house with many other women, you get all of the messiness, drama, laughter and tears that come with it. I learned a lot and grew a lot from my two years living at my sorority house.
Sharing is NBD
When everyone is constantly getting ready for date parties, interviews, job fairs and swaps, you begin to depend on the other women in the house for clothing to borrow, outfit advice, and people to do your hair and makeup. Clothes aren’t the only thing that is shared though. Women share pretty much everything, from curling irons and hairspray, to Domino’s Pizza and laptop chargers. After living in a sorority house, you’re really good at letting people borrow things, and knowing who to borrow from.
How to respect common areas
When 64 women are sharing three bathrooms and two laundry rooms, you start to realize that cleanliness is really nobody’s forte. Everyone is constantly reminding each other in the group message to clean hair out of the drain and stop leaving lint in the dryer. Girls really aren’t much cleaner than guys. We all had to learn quickly how to respect the areas of the house that we all shared, like the bathrooms, the kitchenette, the laundry room and the TV room.
You’ll connect with the staff more than out-of-house girls
Once the dinner is put away and the chapter meeting is over, out-of-house girls head back to their dorm or apartment, but in-house girls head upstairs to put on pajamas and settle in with homework or The Bachelor. Because of all these additional hours you spend at the house, you become really close with your house staff and house mother. I befriended my house mom, chef and a lot of the other staff by the end of two years there. Instead of being people that I would only see in passing, like when I was an out-of-house girl, they were the people I relied on throughout my days and weeks, and became some of my greatest confidants.
Each sister in your sorority is a unique piece of the patchwork
Sororities get a bad reputation for all being carbon copies of each other, but the longer you’re in a sorority or living with sisters, the more you’ll realize that isn’t so. The women I lived with all came from unique backgrounds and various walks of life. We each had our own majors, our own passions, our own styles and our own hopes and dreams. Each woman in your sorority deserves a bit of your time so you can learn about who they are and what makes them special to your organization.
Everyone is fighting their own battles
Because of your close proximity to some of the women in your chapter, you learn a lot about the daily struggles they are going through. When living in the house you’ll get to help your sisters sort through boy drama and GPA troubles, and sometimes very serious struggles like the death of a family member or a health diagnosis. You learn not to judge your sisters for choices they make or reactions they have, as you learn more about their lives and what each woman is going through. No one is perfect and we each go through periods of life where we are in the valley.
There are no secrets
Love it or hate it, word travels fast around a sorority house. News about your dog passing away or the fraternity guy you spent the night with will make their rounds quickly. If you have personal information that you don’t want to discuss, be careful who you talk to about it. Remember, your sisters are there to love and support you through the good and the bad. Whether you’re telling your sisters about landing your dream job, or about a terrible breakup you just went through, you can feel comfortable knowing these women are there for you.
There’s never a dull moment
If I learned one thing from living in the house, it’s that you never have to be bored. When you get a group of 19-22 year old women together they can make their own fun. Sometimes that meant playing pranks on each other, or on the house staff; other times it just meant ordering a pizza and studying together. And sometimes it just meant taking a break from everything and having a dance party or a canvas painting party in someone’s room. You don’t have to have money, alcohol or tons of free time to have a blast with your fellow in-house sisters.