Would you be in a fraternity/sorority or similar group?

Page 1 of 1 [ 14 posts ] 

PowderHound
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 74

29 May 2014, 10:52 pm

People with Asperger's purportedly do better in structured social environments. I've found myself to be more socially active when I have a clearly defined role to fulfill, but I don't always find structured environments appealing. I tried joining a number of organized social groups (meetup groups mostly), and while I made a few friends, I didn't connect with the vast majority of the people in these groups. I recently tried to join a fraternity, and while I was welcomed and encouraged to join, I realized after a while that I just couldn't do it. Financial concerns and uncertainty about time-commitment played a role in my decision, but more than anything the entire fraternity seemed almost like a pretext, but not for anything in particular. It felt strange to pay a bunch of money and suddenly be friends with all these people--and it felt strange for perfect strangers to welcome me as a close friend. I realized that no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't develop meaningful relationships with anyone who was befriending me because I joined their group.

Another consideration is that people who join social groups are often cliquey or extroverted, and they crave the complex social interactions of being in such a group and the potential to climb higher. I know that not everyone is like that, and there are people like me who join groups because finding people with similar interests is difficult, but the groups themselves are run and organized by the extroverted types. The few people I've befriended were in the same boat--just looking for people to share their interest with. In the fraternity, the interest was the fraternity and its interactions with other fraternities/sororities--it was a tribe that existed for the sole purpose of being a tribe within an order of other tribes (see: Tribalism)

Has anyone else had similar experiences, or thought about this much? Do any of you think they would enjoy (or would have enjoyed) being part of an organized social group like a fraternity/sorority or something similar?



skibum
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Jul 2013
Age: 52
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,166
Location: my own little world

29 May 2014, 10:57 pm

I was asked multiple times and even asked by the faculty adviser but I declined. I wanted to join and I would have loved to but I did not trust some of the girls in the group so I did not feel right to commit to them.


_________________
"I'm bad and that's good. I'll never be good and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me."

Wreck It Ralph


cathylynn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 12,225
Location: northeast US

29 May 2014, 10:58 pm

back in college, i refused to go through rush because of the exclusionary nature of sororities. they are a very mean clique by definition.



perpetual_padawan
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 11 May 2014
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 204
Location: Dagobah

29 May 2014, 11:06 pm

I could never join a fraternity. No matter how hard it is for me to make connections with people and develop friendships, I absolutely refuse to pay for people to be my friends. I'd already had that to some degree in high school when I always had to drive around and use my gas, just so I'd get to hang out with people and be the butt of their jokes.

I feel that Greek societies have potential to do good work in the community, but it seems to me like the people do it less for the satisfaction of service, and more for the CV padding on graduate school or employment applications.

Are there any societies on campus that you can join, like astronomy club, for instance, that might have people you might get along with better?


_________________
I find your lack of faith disturbing.


SquidinHostBody
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 12 Apr 2014
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Posts: 211

29 May 2014, 11:38 pm

The Squid will sometimes join a some friends of a friend for Table Top games. We only rarely do so however. That's the largest group size we will be a part of. We don't like "College" society too much.



EverythingShimmers
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 3 Feb 2013
Age: 29
Gender: Female
Posts: 93
Location: British Columbia, Canada

29 May 2014, 11:39 pm

Yeah, I have thought about this - pretty heavily too. I haven't been in a position to join a sorority but I had the chance to spend some time around Rotary club people and I came to a similar conclusion as you have about fraternities/sororities. I have to preface this by saying that the Rotary club is worth something more than just being a social club, since they do community work and raise money for charity, but unfortunately it truly seemed like the people involved were just doing it so they could seem important and connected (powerful even) when their "real" lives were nothing special.

You have a pretty small group of people who sort of put the pressure on everyone to meet up regularly, they have a clearly defined structure and ranking system, and they seem to waste a lot of effort going though the motions of structure - even if there were less than five people present. What bothered me though was that they didn't seem to have anything even close to a defined focus for what the money they raise would actually be used for. I got the sense that most of the money just went to supplies for the next fundraising event and so on and so forth. The stuff they wanted to raise money for was incredibly varied "so people can all be able to take leadership roles in stuff they care about" but it ended up that people were just really divided with each person having their own idea and none of them doing anything about any of them.

It struck me that they seemed to thrive on the idea of having influence. They would get to go out after a boring day at a job they don't care about and feel like they matter. Most of them seemed to lead extra boring lives, in my opinion. It was also a giant mens' club at the upper levels with an attitude of wanting to "get away from the wife" which is fine I suppose, but I guess it didn't jive well with me.

Overall though, I realized that I can't stand being a part of any group that only fully accepts someone if they become part of the group (especially if you have to pay), and who constantly pressure you to get even more involved / spend more time / commit to big expensive events. They'd accept anyone who goes all in, and pressure everyone else. It's like they want to feel better then the majority while at the same time making others into clones of themselves. It makes me really uncomfortable. I've gotten this sense from all kinds of organized groups though. Doesn't it seem like organized groups in general tend to lean this way?



Skilpadde
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 7 Dec 2008
Age: 42
Gender: Female
Posts: 26,743
Location: Alola

30 May 2014, 7:44 am

PowderHound wrote:
Has anyone else had similar experiences, or thought about this much? Do any of you think they would enjoy (or would have enjoyed) being part of an organized social group like a fraternity/sorority or something similar?

Yes, I have thought about it quite a bit. I wouldn't want sorority because I would never wish to live with someone, I need my own place. Plus it's only for the duration of school anyway.
But something similar, yeah. There are some movies that have made me think about that quite a bit actually.


_________________
"And the turtles, of course...all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be." -Dr. Seuss

http://turtleforum.freeforums.org/index.php

Wolves - second only to turtles <3


COWABUNGA!! !!


MathGirl
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Apr 2009
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,580
Location: Ontario, Canada

30 May 2014, 7:52 am

No. No matter how structured something is, I likely won't be able to keep up with the social interactions.


_________________
ENT/FJ. Dreamer. Lover. Therapist. Toastmaster. Minimalist.

Leading a double life and loving it (but exhausted).


ariellie
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 28 May 2014
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Posts: 12

30 May 2014, 8:23 am

I was in a sorority when I was in college. It was a very small organization, no more then 25 girls at a time (this is very small for a typical sorority size.) I was honest from the beginning and told the girls from the beginning about my AS. They were very accepting, and my sisters are some of my best friends to this day. My sorority is also a multicultural/community service sorority, so I think that added to the fact that the girls were so friendly and welcoming.



BuyerBeware
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,622
Location: PA, USA

30 May 2014, 8:28 am

On a therapist's recommendation, I did sorority rush back in college.

I spent $200 on dresses and shoes and purses and jewelry (quite a lot of money when your discretionary spending budget is $50 a week, and $200 will pay your lot rent or one and a half of your utility bills for the whole month). I invested three evenings in being herded from house to house with a flock of other girls.

Moreover than that, I invested a huge amount of emotional energy in telling myself that this was something I wanted and needed, in convincing myself to like these people, and in trying desperately to behave like someone they would want in their little club.

I got rejected in the second cut.

I said to the girl that told me I was out, "I understand. I'm a little bit, you know, different."

Gushing with sympathy, she said, "Oh, don't SAY that about yourself!!"

I walked out ready to cry, thinking, "There goes my best chance to learn to be normal."

Lit a cigarette and sat down on a bench. And then I thought, "Wait a minute, BeeBee. You've been fighting off thinking about how stupid these girls act. You spent the last three nights desperately bored, being asked about your favorite bar and if you've had sex with any frat boys. You HATE bars, and you don't believe in casual sex. WHY, exactly, are you sad about not being accepted by people you don't even LIKE??"

So I laughed, walked home with a nice spring in my step, took the dresses to Goodwill, and fired the therapist.

Until recently, I didn't look back.

In retrospect, I rather wish that I had done something like Alpha Phi Omega (co-ed service fraternity) or Golden Key (college honors society). It would have been nice to contribute something and socialize with other people more. I did belong to Baptist Campus Ministries for a semester-- before I realized that I was the only one there who was looking for God first, fellowship second, and a potential spouse third instead of the other way around-- and did deeply enjoy working with the group on houses for Habitat for Humanity. That was FUN, even if the young Baptist men and women and I didn't like each other very much.


_________________
"Alas, our dried voices when we whisper together are quiet and meaningless, as wind in dry grass, or rats' feet over broken glass in our dry cellar." --TS Eliot, "The Hollow Men"


perpetual_padawan
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 11 May 2014
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 204
Location: Dagobah

30 May 2014, 8:34 am

BuyerBeware wrote:
On a therapist's recommendation, I did sorority rush back in college.

I spent $200 on dresses and shoes and purses and jewelry (quite a lot of money when your discretionary spending budget is $50 a week, and $200 will pay your lot rent or one and a half of your utility bills for the whole month). I invested three evenings in being herded from house to house with a flock of other girls.

Moreover than that, I invested a huge amount of emotional energy in telling myself that this was something I wanted and needed, in convincing myself to like these people, and in trying desperately to behave like someone they would want in their little club.



Great attitude, BuyerBeware. This reminds me of the last time I saw my cousin at my grandparent's house. She recently joined a sorority and was talking about their end of year event. She described how they all had to wear the same color, have their hair look the same, dresses be a certain length. Everything was dictated for them. I asked her why she'd want to look like everyone else, and she said it actually looked really cool. Um, no. Not really. The main reason I fell for my wife, was that she looked different than everyone else. She has this crazy curly hair that really did it for me, and if she'd been in my cousin's sorority, they'd probably make her straighten it out.

Uniformity is the antidote to creativity and dampens individuality. There's a reason why schools use uniforms...


_________________
I find your lack of faith disturbing.


EverythingShimmers
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 3 Feb 2013
Age: 29
Gender: Female
Posts: 93
Location: British Columbia, Canada

30 May 2014, 11:07 am

BuyerBeware, that's fascinating! I now recall something like this from some movie or other. The girls had to dress up and try to get accepted in sororities. Ugh....
I'm proud of your attitude after all that. There's no point hiding your true feelings about something just because you've been led to believe ignoring them would make you "normal." I can relate to this too.

perpetual_padawan wrote:
Uniformity is the antidote to creativity and dampens individuality. There's a reason why schools use uniforms...


I actually think that uniforms in schools are a good idea. It helps equate people during a sensitive time in their lives where social status is largely defined by socioeconomic standing - something that kids have no control over. Kids either benefit or suffer because of the financial positions of their families - who buy all their clothes. This is coming from my best friend, who told me she was thankful to have gone to a school that had uniforms because her struggling single parent wouldn't have been able to provide her with anything other than secondhand clothes. (But I don't agree with controlling how kids can do their hair or stuff like that, which I don't think these schools do...)

And in the sorority example, it wasn't uniformity to create equality as much as it was uniformity to suppress individuality and in fact probably make a lot of those girls waste more money since it was for a one-time event. Though it's not much different from bridesmaids at a wedding or something like that. At least if it's just a one-time event they can dress however they want later on. Imagine if they forced them to all look alike 24/7!



eggheadjr
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Age: 53
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,361
Location: Ottawa, Canada

30 May 2014, 11:15 am

Fraternities and sororities - no thanks.

I actually did my undergrad degree at a university where they are banned. :D


_________________
Diagnosed Asperger's


EverythingShimmers
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 3 Feb 2013
Age: 29
Gender: Female
Posts: 93
Location: British Columbia, Canada

30 May 2014, 11:21 am

They don't seem to be thing in Canada. I've never met a student from any of my local universities who were part of one.

The only two people I ever met who were in a sorority were in their thirties and it wasn't affiliated with a university - just a sorority for women who want to be in a sorority for no reason? I thought it was weird.