Here's your sign.
Southern sororities are unlike anything else. Big Southern schools have thousands of potential new members coming through recruitment, who can end up in pledge classes with hundreds of girls. Some Southern sorority houses are worth millions more than some celebrity homes. One aspect of Southern sororities is the tradition that surrounds them. Alumni donate to new houses and come back for reunions and game days, and many of the events, songs, and rituals are the exact same as when they were in school. Some Southern sorority women come from families in which every woman was in the same sorority over generations. There’s a lot that goes into Southern sororities, but here are some of the clearest signs that you’re in a Southern sorority house (other than the letters on the front door, that is).
It’s Friday, and Something Smells Fried
If you happen to be walking by a Southern sorority row on a Friday around lunchtime, you’ll be immediately hit with a strong smell — fried — and not just fried chicken or French fries, although those are staples. On “Fried Fridays,” sororities will serve up fried green beans, fried mac ’n cheese, mozzarella sticks and anything else that can be thrown in a fryer, which in the South is just about anything. And after a Thursday night event, you can bet Fried Fridays will be packed.
And Count on That Food Being Good
The food in Southern sorority houses is unreal. While there are healthier options offered every day, a lot of the meals are good ole Southern comfort food. But it’s not just the meals — there are snacks available all the time. At any hour of the day, you can go in the sorority kitchen and grab a snack, which is both a blessing and a curse. But that “freshman 15” just might be worth it with food as good as Southern sorority house food.
You Notice Ill-fitted Clothing
Sorority girls in the South love to buy t-shirts commemorating various events like formals, philanthropy projects, and game days. But if you find yourself in a Southern sorority house, you’ll notice that there’s not one girl in a t-shirt that actually fits her. I can’t imagine that a Southern sorority shirt has ever been ordered in a size smaller than a large.
There’s a Pack of Girls in the Door Yelling a Song at You
During recruitment, sororities have a tradition that’s called a “door song,” which is literally a song sung by the front door. But it’s not sung — it’s shouted. As a potential new member going through rush in a Southern sorority, you will never forget the first door song you witnessed because you were probably absolutely terrified. All the doors of all the sorority houses fly open at the same time, and stacked up on top of each other filling the entire door (it just can’t be safe), are dozens of sorority girls yelling a song and clapping their hands or doing hand motions at you. It’s a little bit of a competition between houses to see who can be the loudest, so if you’re within a few miles of sorority row, you’ll hear door songs the whole week of recruitment. And yes, they will be stuck in your head.
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You Can Spot Multiple Generations in Composite Pictures
There's Mama, and her mama, and her mama's mama. And don't forget the cousins and aunts spotted in composite pictures from decades past. While no one should feel pressure to pledge a sorority just because their family has a deep past, it’s pretty cool to have a tradition that ties women in your family together. In the South, being a “legacy” (or even a “double- or triple-legacy”) in a sorority house is very common. Because we Southerners love a good tradition.
You’d Think Bid Day is a National Holiday
Christmas in July? More like Christmas in August. At least that’s what Southern sorority girls say — a million times — to the potential new members during recruitment. Bid Day truly is such an exciting day, and it’s more of a relief than anything (for everyone) to be done with rush. But in the South, Bid Day is the be-all, end-all. Some girls even plan their Bid Day outfit (always in their sorority’s colors) months in advance, because in addition to “Christmas,” Bid Day is also a fashion show. But be sure to get something in a light fabric, because for the schools that have recruitment before school starts in August, Bid Day always seems to be the hottest day of the year. Even if the entire week before was in the 70s, on Bid Day, it’ll be 95 degrees and feel like 100. Every time.