The other day I went to a party and I had a couple of friends ask me what fraternities and sororities are like. When I started talking about it more people started listening because everyone was curious. So I figured I would write an article explaining (with the best of my and my American friends knowledge) what fraternities and sororities are like.
First of all, the main difference between fraternities and sororities is the gender. Fraternities are for guys and sororities are for girls. In order to get into either of these though you must go through a lot. It all starts with rushing. Rushing is the process of being chosen for a certain brotherhood or sisterhood. At the beginning of the year there are tons of parties and events thrown by the houses. These events are pretty well broadcasted in order to get as many rushies as possible. As someone rushing, you should figure out which frat or soro that you want to rush to make sure and make an appearance at those house’s events. After the events you get things called bids from the houses that like you. Getting a bid just means that a sorority or fraternity wants you. Eventually after all of the bidding (which I don’t know the specifics of) you are accepted into a sorority or fraternity.
So you think you’ve made it, you’re in and now you have brothers or sisters for life. Nice try, no. You have do go through something called pledging. This occurs during the first semester of your sister or brotherhood. During this time you are not an actual member yet, you are simply a pledge. Therefore, you have do go through a lot of hazing (bizutages). Sure, it’s not technically allowed by the universities but they do it anyways. The worst hazing occurs in fraternities but I’ve heard of some pretty bad emotional hazing that goes on in sororities as well. The higher the rank of a fraternity or sorority that you’re rushing, the harder the hazing. An example of hazing that stuck with me was a “puke circle”. That’s not exactly what it was called but it’s exactly what it was. Pretty much the other brothers in the frat filled a bucket with disgusting stuff (bong water, spit, mustard, sweat and so on) and the pledges had to drink it all. They were all in a circle and they had to drink as much as they could and pass. They were allowed to throw up, but the catch is that if they did they had to throw up on the pledge to the right of them in the circle. This went on and on until they had finished the bucket. At the end everyone was covered in throw up. That’s just one example and there are plenty of other things like this that pledges have to do during the first semester.
By the end all of my friends that pledged said that they were so happy to be done. By that point, you’re in and you get ready for the next semesters recruits and to watch them go through what you just went through. Once you’re in you get a bunch of benefits. One of the biggest benefits (especially if you’re a guy) is getting let into parties. In the US, generally if you’re a guy and you have no connection to the fraternity you cannot get in. Also, I forgot to mention that sororities are not allowed to throw big parties, only fraternities can. That is another reason why girls get let into parties more often. The other reason being that no one wants a sausage fest (party with mostly boys). Of course, which parties you get let into also depends on what rank your fraternity is. Rankings occur over time but generally if your frat or sorority is really expensive, really hard to get into and there’s tons of hot people in it then that means it’s on top.
The parties are sweeeeeet. I’ve been to only a couple and I can just say that yes, they are pretty much exactly like what you see in the movies. There’s free alcohol everywhere. There is generally a bar with pre-made shots that you can grab anytime (if you’re a girl). People carry around bags of alcohol that you can drink as much as you want from as long as you slap them first. Everyone is playing drinking games. It’s dark and there are colorful lights shining and dancing everywhere. It’s a scene. My cousin is in a fraternity that got B.O.B to perform at their Halloween party (B.O.B. sings “I’ve got the magic in me”). I was so jealous. The scary thing though is that since the alcohol is so accessible generally people end up drinking wayyy too much. Trust me I’ve been there. Also the bathrooms are disgusting because they are all at frat houses and have a HUGE wait. Generally you have to try and sneak in line with some random person and hope that they’ll let you or else your bladder might explode.
Other than that sororities and fraternities have a bunch of obligations. You have to pay a yearly fee. You often have to buy matching fraternity gear. You have to work for the house by helping put on events, clean, with pledgees, and so on. Some people pay extra to live in the big house with the greek letters on it but you can still be in the brother or sisterhood without living there.
There’s a bunch of other things that go along with fraternities and sororities but that’s pretty much the extent that I know. Granted, I’ve never actually been in one so I don’t know this stuff first hand but most of my friends have so trust me I’ve heard plenty of stories. I think if I had gone to school in the US I would have rushed. It honestly seems like a pretty cool thing to be a part of despite the bad things that come along with it.
To all my American friends, congrats if you made it into a sorority or fraternity and good luck if you’re currently rushing!