Can’t Buy Me Friends, But a Bouncy House Might Do

One of the biggest misconceptions about going Greek is the idea that you’re paying for friends.

The paying part is true: To be a part of a fraternity or sorority, there’s the requisite dues, which range from $100 to $600 a quarter — the cost depends on your chapter and what the chapter uses the money for (trips, events, T-shirts and recruitment). It’s a pretty hefty chunk of change, but after being a sorority member for a quarter, I know that you aren’t paying for anyone to hang out with you. You’re paying for events planning and to do things you otherwise wouldn’t do.

The transition from not being affiliated to being a part of Greek life is similar to the transition from public to private school. Having attended both, the best things about public school are that there are more people and fewer restrictions, from what one can wear to what she can do and say. This freedom comes at the low, low price of: nothing!

The freedom is sort of what it’s like to not be in the Greek system at UCSD: You control where your money goes and aren’t required to uphold a certain image.

Greek life is more like private school, but there’s more to it than just rules and tuition. A private system can offer a smaller, tight-knit community that makes it easier to build relationships and make connections. As a part of a sorority, new job and internship opportunities are open to me.

For example, whenever a girl is leaving an internship, she’ll open the position to her sisters before the job is posted on Port Triton. I’ve heard countless anecdotes about employers displaying preference for a candidate because she was part of the same fraternity or sorority.

To be able to go to an enormous public school and also be a part of a smaller community that knows you as more than another cog in the system is really the best of both worlds.

One girl pointed out that she could find better ways to spend her money every quarter doing what she wanted to do, rather than having the sorority spend it for her. And while that may be true, without the sorority I wouldn’t have done much with my money anyway.

So, having a sorority plan events for my friends and me is a gift that keeps me from staying in and watching “Top Model” reruns. My first quarter of being in a sorority, I learned how to play football and salsa dance, competed in a tug-a-war competition (harder than it looks — trust me) and relived my youth as I darted between the different bounce houses at Pump It Up.

I’ve learned that going Greek is not paying for friends: It’s about paying to do things with friends. I’m happy to try new things with my sisters, I’m happy that there’s always something to do when I need a study break and, most of all, I’m happy that I get a senior prom re-do every quarter — and, this time around, without the awkward science teacher in the corner.


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