The Truth About Being In A Bottom-Tier Sorority

It seems no matter where you go, how old you get, or who you’re around, life is just one big competition. That’s just the world we live in. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to others and others to ourselves. We make judgments based off of how we perceive one person or group in comparison to another. It’s a never-ending cycle of who is better than whom.

Since this is inevitable in our everyday lives, it goes without saying that the same type of thing happens within the Greek community. The sororities are constantly grouped into top-, middle-, and bottom-tier organizations. In all honesty, though, what truly makes a sorority top and another one bottom isn’t completely clear to me. I know on the surface it’s about which sororities have the “hottest” girls and are the most popular with the fraternities. The top houses are always the ones that PNMs go into recruitment hoping to get. These sororities have their pick of the litter, too. These “top” sororities get to make all the cuts, while we bottom-tier sororities just get to take their leftovers. At least, that’s the way people make it seem. I’m in what most people in the Greek community at my school consider a bottom-tier sorority–not even bottom-tier, but often referred to as “the bottom house.” I’m in the house that no one ever wants. The house with all the fat, ugly, weird girls. The house that no fraternities will communicate with. The house that never does anything social. That’s all I ever read on Greek Rank.

Even if everything everyone says is true, do people not know how hurtful that is? You’re sitting there telling me these girls who gave me a bid, who I thought wanted me for me, who saw something special in me, only gave me a bid because they didn’t make cuts. I wasn’t hand-selected or special to my sorority–I was just another bid to help it meet quota. People said my chapter never cut anyone and that it gave bids to anyone. That completely makes me feel like I didn’t earn my bid the way everyone else did, as if no one else wanted me, or as if I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, skinny enough, or pretty enough for the others; the chapter I’m in got stuck with me because no one else wanted the other members, either.

Do you know how it feels to be embarrassed to wear your letters? How sad is that? Every girl should be able to proudly wear her letters across her chest. She should want everyone to know what she is and what she’s a part of. I didn’t even want to wear my letters because I was afraid of the judgments others would make about me. I thought they’d see me in a T-shirt or with a button on and go, “There’s one of those ugly, fat XYZs who no one likes.”

Here’s the thing about being in the “fat” sorority. It makes me embarrassed to eat in my letters. Eating food–something every single human being does. Something you need to do in order to survive. I’ve become ashamed to do the very thing keeping me alive. I’m so self-conscious all the time, especially when it comes to weight. I constantly worry if I weigh too much, if I’m too fat, or if I should have eaten less. I try to get into better shape, because that way when people see me in my letters, they’ll say, “wow, that’s a really pretty, skinny XYZ,” instead of, “Wow, that girl is fat and ugly. I can’t believe she’s in a sorority. Must be XYZ since they’ll take anyone.”

The things people say are really what’s holding us back. Do we have fat girls? Yes, we definitely do. There are girls in my sorority who are overweight. Do we have girls who are a little off center, kind of weird, and, to be honest, a little bit annoying? Yeah, check that one off the list, too. Do we have girls who are what most people would consider ugly? Of course. We have all of that. But you know what else we have? Drop dead gorgeous girls. Girls who are a size two. Girls who were cheer captains and prom queens in high school. It’s not like any of that matters–or, at least, it shouldn’t. When I joined a sorority, I didn’t go into the process looking for the hottest, most popular girls. I went in looking for a sisterhood. Isn’t that what really matters when joining a sorority? You can have an entire chapter made up of Victoria’s Secret models, but if they don’t really care about each other, then you have nothing.

You know what’s funny? This year, a girl who graduated high school the year after I did came to my university and went through recruitment. This girl was the cheer captain. She’s gorgeous, she’s smart, she’s funny, she was the homecoming queen, the prom queen, and she has a lot of money and a lot of nice things. She was the most popular girl in our high school, and she ended up in what is considered one of the bottom-tier sororities at my school. If the most popular girl from my high school ended up in a bottom house as well, what does that really mean?

My sisters are my life. As reluctant as I was to join my chapter, I have not regretted a second of it. I found more love in this group of women than I knew was possible. I have found my best friends. My life revolves around these girls. They are my shoulders to cry on, my confidants, my partners in crime, my backbone, my world. I couldn’t even imagine where I would be without them.

The way I see it, if you don’t want to be a part of our chapter because we’re too “fat” or “ugly” for you, then you don’t deserve to be a part of this sisterhood in the first place. These are the most genuine people I have ever met. If you make the decision that you are too good for us because we have a handful of overweight sisters, then you’re not someone who deserves to experience the sisterhood and love you gain from being in our sorority. You shouldn’t go into a sorority for the superficial reasons. Join one to find girls who are going to be there for you no matter what, for the rest of your life, regardless of the number on the scale.

This whole tier crap really needs to stop. We’ve all graduated high school, we’re all adults–hell, a good chunk of us are in our twenties. How old do we have to get before the popularity contest stops? What has to happen for us to stop tearing down other chapters? We need to learn to stop judging from the outside. You don’t know anything about my chapter. You don’t know anything about our sisterhood. All you see is a size 12 girl in our letters. All you know is what others tell you. But I thought we were a community. I thought Greeks were trying to make a better name for ourselves. I thought we were better than this, so please start proving me right.

Written by TSM

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  1. This article relates to me so much. I am in what is considered the “ugliest” sorority at my school, and I have gotten so many people judge me off of it. But in the end, I love my sisters and I love the bond we have. If someone is going to judge me off of something that superficial, they don’t deserve me anyway.

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