What is a sorority house and what is it like to live in one? We’re going to answer all of your burning questions about sorority houses in this article.
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If you know anything about college greek life, you’ve probably heard of a sorority house before. But what is it?
A sorority house is a house where members of a sorority live together. It also serves as a venue for sorority events like philanthropy, chapter meetings, and other social occasions.
Aside from hosting sorority events, this is a place where sorority members build a sense of sisterhood simply by living together. While not all sororities require their members to live in the house, most do at some point after a member’s freshman year.
While it sounds simple enough, some facts about living in a sorority house might surprise you. Keep reading to find out what it’s really like to live in a sorority house!
What Is A Sorority House?
Now that you know that sororities have houses, you’re probably wondering what they are and which members live there?
A sorority house is pretty much what it sounds like—a house where members of a sorority live together. The house also functions as a venue for chapter meetings, philanthropy events, and social gatherings.
Not all members of the sorority will live at the house at one time. Sorority housing is generally available during your second year of membership. Members are usually encouraged to live in the house for at least one year of college.
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What Is The Layout Of A Sorority House?
While all sorority houses basically serve the same purpose, their layouts can vary from college to college.
For example, at the College of William and Mary, floor plans contain 7-9 rooms per floor. At larger universities, sorority houses are planned out almost like a hotel or apartment complex. There are hallways lined with rooms, each containing 1-4 sorority members.
Sorority houses typically also provide spaces to eat, clean, and cook. The kitchen and living area are typically located on the first floor. You also may have a room with a washing machine and dryer and various electrical closets.
Depending on the university and size of the sorority chapter, a sorority house may also have a room specifically for chapter meetings.
Are You Required To Live In A Sorority House?
The requirement to live in a sorority house differs from chapter to chapter. As stated by sorority life at UT Austin, sorority members are usually required to move into a sorority house until their sophomore, junior, or senior year.
To find out the specific living requirements for a sorority you’re interested in, look into the chapter handbook or reach out to older members within that chapter.
Also, not every sorority requires living in a sorority house. There are options to join major-specific social or professional sororities that don’t have a house at all, depending on what is offered at your college.
Should You Live In A Sorority House?
Whether you should live in a sorority house is all up to the kind of college experience you want to have. If you want endless access to social events and a tight-knit community while you’re in school, living in the house is the way to go.
Living with all your sorority sisters will completely immerse you in sorority life. It’s a completely different experience than regular dorms on campus because you’re constantly talking to, sharing with, and doing things with your sorority sisters.
Regular college roommates usually don’t have that kind of bond when they start off as strangers.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. With that many girls living under one roof, there’s bound to be some drama throughout the year. It also can be more expensive to live in a sorority house.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide if living in a sorority house is right for you. Later on in this article, we’ll go over the pros and cons of living in sorority houses. This should help you when making the decision whether or not you want to move into your sorority’s house.
What Is It Like Living In A Sorority House?
The sorority house experience differs from chapter to chapter. Some sorority sisters say that it’s surprisingly calm.
You get all the benefits of living with people you like without constant partying in the house, especially if the sorority is on the smaller side.
Others talk about constant fights over what to watch on the communal TV, running out of hot water in the shower, and missing all the good dinner food.
Interestingly, both sides of the spectrum report loving their sorority house experience.
What Are The Benefits To Living In A Sorority House?
Better Sense Of Sisterhood
As you’ve probably learned after years of living with family, you grow close to those you live with. The same goes for living in a sorority house.
You’ll constantly be with your fellow sorority sisters, doing everyday activities and exclusive sorority events. This creates a sense of community and closeness that can only be described as true sisterhood.
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You’re Close To Most Sorority Activities
Living in a sorority house means you’ll be really close to most of your chapter’s activities. You’ll likely be regularly attending chapter meetings in your house or close to it.
Sororities also tend to host charity events and social activities as their houses. Living in one will bring you closer to the action, and you’ll be within walking distance of other sororities’ events, too.
Sharing Closets With Your Sisters
When you join a sorority, you should be prepared to attend lots of events. With all of those events going on, shopping for outfits can get really expensive!
Luckily, living in a sorority house means you’ll be able to swap and borrow clothes with your sisters. It’s basically like having an endless closet for free!
Just be sure that you’re always keeping track of whose clothing you’re borrowing. You don’t want there to be any drama just because you didn’t return a dress after a formal event!
Meals May Be Covered
While not every sorority house covers meals with your dues, many do. Sorority members have reported saving a significant amount of money thanks to their meals and snacks being covered by sorority dues.
Some sororities even have a private chef onsite that cooks your breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week! That totally beats the ramen noodles you would be cooking for yourself if you lived in a regular apartment.
Plenty Of Social Opportunities
Living in a sorority house brings you close to all the action! Social gatherings are often held at the house, giving you plenty of opportunities to make friends.
Living with sorority sisters is also like having your best friends around all the time. You’ll always have a friend around to grab coffee or study at the library with!
What Are The Cons To Living In A Sorority House?
Lots Of Roommates
If you’re someone who values privacy, living in a sorority house might not be the best option for you. Even though you’re only sharing a bedroom with a couple of other girls from your chapter, there are still tons of other girls in the building.
Activities like taking a shower and using the bathroom are no longer private, especially if your whole floor shares a bathroom. You’ll almost always run into someone while walking to and from the bathroom or grabbing a snack from the kitchen.
Another thing about living with lots of roommates is constant activity. If you value alone time and want to sit in the living room by yourself for the afternoon, you’re out of luck.
It Can Be Expensive
While there isn’t a uniform cost to living in a sorority house, it is typically pretty expensive. Rent depends on the sorority you’re in, the school you’re at, what kind of house you live in, and how many roommates you have.
You’ll have to look into rent for your specific chapter, but it’s usually comparable to or a bit pricier than university housing.
People Coming And Going All The Time
In a house with dozens of girls with their own social calendars, there’s always people coming and going.
If you grew up with a big family and that doesn’t bother you, great. For others, it takes time to adjust. Especially if you’re used to peace and quiet.
There May Be Strict House Rules
If you thought living in a sorority house meant you do whatever you want whenever you want, think again. There are some house rules you may not have heard of, though they’re mostly in place for your safety.
It’s standard for sorority houses to have strict rules about having guys in the house. Male guests may only be allowed in the house during specific time frames or on certain floors.
Other rules include the use of drugs and alcohol on the property, using designated areas for cooking, and performing required household chores.
Potential For Drama
When you’re living in a giant house with tons of roommates, a little bit of drama is inevitable.
You’re going to be sharing a bathroom, working around each other’s sleeping schedules, and figuring out everyone’s different personalities.
If you’re someone who doesn’t like drama, living in a sorority house may not be the best for you.
How Much Does It Cost To Live In A Sorority House?
The cost of living in a sorority house depends on your chapter and school. Mostly, it depends on what kind of house the sorority owns or rents, the location of that house, and how many people you live with in your room.
Some sources quote living costs that range from $1,000-$7,000 per semester. Within a sorority house, the more expensive rooms are typically the ones with less people.
Also, some sorority houses are just more historic, more modern, or have a better location than the average. These factors all come into play when rent is calculated.
When you’re pricing out how much it would be to live in your chapter’s sorority house, keep in mind how much it would cost to live in university housing. You could be paying more or less in comparison.
Hopefully this post helped answer all of your questions about what a sorority house is.
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