Pros and Cons of living in a Fraternity or Sorority
Incoming college freshmen have a lot of choices to make before they take their first steps as real college students. Between which classes to take in their first semester, which dorm or apartment to live in, and how many weekends they’ll be visiting home – picking extracurriculars might just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Whether it’s your mom or dad trying to relive their glory days, an older sibling, social media, or friends pushing you into Greek life, there are a lot of factors when it comes to deciding to go greek. As a senior at Mizzou, and member of a fraternity, I will give you the tips and tricks I wished someone told me when I was a bright-eyed sophomore moving into a fraternity house.
How to Know if You Should Rush
Before we get into actually living in a fraternity or sorority house, you should evaluate some things before making a final decision. First of all, greek life is very expensive, especially in those mansions they call sorority houses.
How Much Does Greek Life Cost?
It’s difficult to estimate the average cost of member dues and rent, because some are run-down houses that you can tell have seen years of college students living there, while others can be historical buildings. But, on average, member dues can range from $300 to $600 per semester.
Dues are paid every semester whether you are living in the house or not. Rent can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000 a semester, and most sororities/fraternities require you to live in the house for at least one or two years. And those mansions I mentioned earlier – they can get all the way up to $10,000 a semester for rent. Social fraternities will also charge a “social fee” that can range from $50 to $200 per semester.
In addition to just the fees and rent costs, most fraternity/sorority houses will only provide a bed frame, unlike dorms that are usually fully furnished. Members need to purchase a new mattress, couches/futons, a desk, coffee table, and all other necessary living amenities.
If I haven’t made it abundantly clear – you absolutely need to make sure that your parents or whoever is helping with your college tuition can afford to keep up with all those expenses. However, it is important to note that all fraternities and sororities allow payment plans and some even have scholarships.
How Big of a Time-Commitment is Greek Life?
Greek life is also a test of how well you can manage your time. At University of Missouri in Columbia, MO for example, members of Greek life participate in rush (also known as recruitment), Homecoming, Greek Week, philanthropy events, initiation, and many more events. If you are not confident in your ability to juggle classes, a job if you have one, and Greek life – I recommend taking the first semester to judge your time-management skills. If you do decide to live in the dorms for a semester or two, we can help manage storing all your stuff in the tiny closet they give you to sleep in.
So, if I haven’t scared you away from joining Greek life yet, I do have some benefits to share:
For an incoming freshman, going greek is a great way to meet new people and make friends, especially for those coming out-of-state. Also, when it’s time to start looking for internships and jobs, having a built-in network of job leads and references is extremely valuable.
Greek life will also expose you to many different types of community service and leadership opportunities that are a great experience for any young adult to have (plus it looks really nice on a resume). Ultimately, it comes down to what you want to make of your short time in college.
Tips for Living in a Fraternity or Sorority House
If you are ready to join Greek life, or need a little more convincing, I have some handy tips on living in greek houses, and how to store all your stuff. These will help you make sure you can spend more time with your fraternity brothers or sorority sisters, and less time dealing with all your clutter.
1. Choose the Right Room & Roommate
Most fraternities will allocate room selection based on who has the highest grades, and if you are on the executive board. So, of the rooms available to you, pick the one that has the most closet space and space in general. It’s also essential to choose a roommate that will equally split the room and respect your belongings.
As for sororities, most do their room selection based on either grades or a points system from what you have done for the sorority so far. While many houses have almost identical bedrooms, it is still important to try to find the biggest one you can and choose a roommate that won’t steal your clothes.
2. Make Use of Space Savers
Before you leave for school and bring your entire wardrobe, I highly recommend you go to IKEA, Walmart, Target, Amazon, etc., and purchase some cheap shelves, a clothing drawer organizer, and crates or boxes that can slide under your bed.
3. Purchase a Safe and Door Lock
This tip applies more to fraternities than sororities, but still useful for both. A safe was by far the smartest thing I bought in my freshman year, having somewhere to store valuables is essential when living in a house that has hundreds of strangers walking through every week.
It’s also a good idea to buy a lock, especially like me when your door doesn’t even have a doorknob. You can buy the high-tech code or fingerprint locks, but any will do.
Whether you decide to go greek or not, living space is not found easily in college. But at StorageMart we are here to help with any additional storage needs. We have multiple conveniently placed stores by universities such as Columbia, MO; Kansas City, MO; Athens, GA, and more. If you want more information, you can visit our Self Storage Calculator and rent a unit today.