Sorority Chic: To Live in the House or Not To Live in the House?


Hayley Eselevsky, Student at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Freshman year is almost halfway over, and it’s probably time to start figuring out where you’re going to be living next year.

If you’re in a sorority, one of your options will include moving into the sorority house on campus. In the sorority house, personalities collide and many friendships are formed, which goes to show that living in isn’t always a positive experience for all.

For those of you who never went to overnight camps or on extended service trips, this could be one of the most intimidating experiences of your life. But if you go into it with the right attitude, it could be one of the most rewarding.

Here are the pros and cons to help you decide what would be best for you:

The Food

CON: In most houses, a meal plan is included in your dues. Having easy access to your meals is definitely a plus of living in the house, but being surrounded by tasty food all the time could yield to overeating. Although French fries and chicken fingers may be served often, you shouldn’t be eating this every night.

PRO: Although not all sorority houses have the best food on Earth, most have food eons better than dorm food. No more mystery meat or goop on your dinner plate. When living in a sorority house, you can actually get a fresh piece of chicken and real vegetables. Living in a sorority house helps one stay healthier because most meals include all of the food groups.

The Cost

CON: Let’s face it. You can’t have unlimited amenities (such as laundry machines, food, television, etc.) without paying the price. Not everyone is able to afford living in the sorority house while paying for social events as well.

PRO: Most sororities have scholarship programs. If cost is a major issue in preventing you from joining and living in a house, there is always somebody you can talk to within the Greek community or your chapter. Many houses even have positions meant to deal with this issue, such as the house manager or scholarship chair. It never hurts to ask. These scholarships are mostly kept confidential, so you don’t have to be embarrassed to seek help.

The Girls

CON: Living with strangers. Through your first year of participating in a sorority, you get to know many people in the chapter very well. Despite this, there are many people you still won’t know or be friends with or get along with. It’s a cost of joining a sisterhood.

PRO: New Friends. I am all for opportunities to make new friends. There may be a sister you have never talked to the year before living in, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be friends. Once you have everybody living under one roof, you have an easier time making friends within the sorority, which is an added bonus of living in the house.

The Life

CON: It’s inevitable — with 60-plus girls living in a chapter house, it is bound get rowdy, especially at night. If you are somebody who likes to do homework at night or go to bed really early, this could be a big problem.

PRO: Study areas. Not all chapters have them, but many have designated study areas in the house and many even have designated study hours. If you like having a quiet space to concentrate that isn’t the library and just down the hall from your bedroom, this could be an ideal spot for you.

While some chapters make living in the sorority house mandatory, there are others where you still have the freedom to choose. Even if you don’t get a choice in the matter, try to use this blog as a guide to find the positives in living in the house. And having a good attitude never hurt anyone, either!

Head on over to 1,000 Dreams Fund to learn how to get funding for your dreams!