I recently watched 21 & Over. It was a good movie, the fact that Skylar Astin was in it made it even better. His boyish charm and good looks are what got me through the movie. About half way through I started realizing how ridiculous this movie was. The scene with the Latin Sorority spanking them with paddles was unbelievable. That doesn’t really happen. It made me realize how movies really don’t depict Greek life the right way. My sisters would agree with me that most movies make sororities look pointless and vapid. I can tell you that is not true.
1. Sorority girls are not stupid
MOST girls in sororities take their grades seriously. So does the sorority and university. At my school you had to have a certain GPA to pledge and remain in the sorority. So obviously we can’t be stupid. Some of the smartest girls I know are from my sorority. Some professors have had such good students from certain sororities and they hold these girls to a higher standard. Statistics also show that college graduation rates are 20% higher among Greeks than non-Greeks.
2. They raise money and volunteer
Most people don’t understand that each sorority has a philanthropy. This is a cause that they support and raise money for. Sorority girls get very passionate about helping people and their cause. In one year my chapter raised 10,000 dollars for breast cancer awareness and education. Not only did that money come from countless volunteer hours, more time is spent on awareness. Girls all over campus hand out pink ribbons and fact sheets with tips on how to prevent or detect breast cancer. Also my sisters and I volunteer at Race for the Cure and other fundraising events. What movie shows this? The Greek system is the largest network of volunteers in the US, with members donating over 10 million hours of volunteer service each year.
3. We don’t always date fraternity guys
Although some girls did date guys from the frats on campus most girls had long term relationships that they started before joining the sorority. These girls are committed to their relationships and aren’t like the sluts they depict at the frat parties in movies. Also Greek life isn’t inside some bubble. Girls would meet guys in class or at the bar and start meaningful relationships with them.
4. The House Bunny almost hit the mark
This movie highlighted the process that a sorority goes through to recruit new girls. They hit the nail on the head with the amount of advertising a sorority has to do to inform girls about recruitment. Girls work hard to make potential new members feel comfortable and excited about joining Greek life. In the movie Anna Faris becomes the house mother of a sorority that is considered the losers on campus. While they try to gain more new members other sororities try to sabotage the girls. They are mean and malicious to this group of girls and Anna Faris. This is very untrue. Every sorority on a campus is too busy promoting their sisterhood to even worry about what the other girls are doing.
5. Elle Woods isn’t real
Don’t get me wrong I love legally Blonde and the message it sends, but Elle Woods can’t be a real person. She is way too perky and oblivious to ever exist. The biggest problem with Elle is that she is a sorority girl. They show all of her sisters to be perfect, thin, model like blondes. They all seem happy, dumb and clueless. This is a horrible example of a sorority girl. My sorority was full of girls who were all different shapes and sizes along with different backgrounds. Sorority girls believe that it is good to have a group of girls from different cultures and backgrounds. I believe that variety is the spice of life, but Elle Wood’s sorority didn’t think this way.
6. We don’t always party
Movies depict sororities and fraternities having endless parties and mixers. Alcohol, sex, and drugs are shown in these scenes. Although any college student likes to drink and hook up its not all we do. Most nights are spent studying or planning upcoming events. We have a weekly house meeting to catch up on things and remind the chapter of important events. Partying happens but mainly off campus. Universities are very strict when it comes to alcohol in Greek housing. So technically parties can’t even happen in the Greek houses that are on campus.
7. You learn leadership
This is another thing not shown in movies. There are many positions a member can hold within the sorority. There is an executive board where girls can hold important positions and make decisions for the chapter. There are event planning positions, activity positions and overall sisterhood positions. With holding a position you learn responsibility and leadership. This leadership can teach you skills you will need after college. Some very important woman in society were once in a sorority. Betsy Johnson, Alicia Keys, Katie Couric, and Kate Spade were all in Sororities. Greeks learn the skills to be successful in life. Studies show that 85% of Fortune 500 executives were part of Greek life. The first female astronaut was Greek, so was the first female senator. Movies don’t show these leadership positions and what they can lead to.
Although some of the things they show in movies are real. Greeks are very supportive of their organization and their sisterhood or brotherhood. Some guys do take being Greek too far. Being in a sorority does mean you have dozens of closets to choose from. You do meet your future bridesmaids in your sorority. Although those things are true most movies miss that mark when it comes to the Greeks. The next time you watch a movie about Greek life just remember these points because the movie will not portray sororities and fraternities correctly.