Growing up in a small town with little access to what I now consider the “real world,” my only expectations for what college would be like came from what I saw on TV and in the movies. Going into sorority recruitment weekend my freshman year of college, I had all sorts of expectations that ran the gamut from being forced to drink too much to not being tall enough to be able to pledge (hello, fellow 5’2″-ers!). I had nightmares about hazing and daydreams about formals. I had preconceived notions and biases formed under the influence of Elle Woods. After rushing it didn’t take long to realize how some expectations of being a sorority girl couldn’t be more wrong while others couldn’t be truer.

1. The Women

Expectation: A bunch of mean, terrifying girls force you to drink, dance, sing and pick them up from parties at 2 a.m.

Reality: You’re never forced to do anything worse than compliment your big sister’s crafting efforts. (The forced singing and dancing to One Direction comes after initiation–and let’s be honest, it’s not that forced.)

2. Hazing

Expectation: You’ll be showered in all sorts of unpleasant substances.

Reality: You’re showered in gifts.

3. Bribes

Expectation: You’re paying to have friends.

Reality: You’re paying for your friend’s 2 a.m. Taco Bell order.

4. Clothes

Expectation: You are required to dress to the nines whenever you’re out in public.

Reality: You can’t remember the last time you didn’t wear yoga pants to class.

5. Mo’ Money

Expectation: You’re extremely wealthy. Daddy’s credit card pays for everything.

Reality: You’re shop at the dollar store more than anywhere else (with the expectation of Trader Joes, where you stock up on Two Buck Chuck and guacamole).

6. Crafting

Expectation: You’re so good at making kitschy crafts, Martha Stewart and Zooey Deschanel call your ass up for help.

Reality: You have more glitter in your hair than on the heart-shaped frame you’re painting. Somebody just complimented you on your “sparkly earwig sculpture.”

7. Sexy Parties

Expectation: You party with super hot fraternity dudes every night, red cups filled with PBR held above all your heads.

Reality: You learn YouTube dances with your sisters while eating pizza Monday through Friday in your sweatpants (on Wednesdays, you wear pink).

8. Priorities

Expectation: Schoolwork is secondary to all things Greek.

Reality: You and a few of your sisters have basically commissioned an entire section in the library thanks to the amount of time you spend there.

9. Diet

Expectation: You are required to be on a strict diet to keep up your ~*rockin’ college girl bod*~.

Reality: The 4 major food groups in your diet: pizza, pizza, pizza and whatever free food is being given out on campus (if it’s free you will find it).

(If it’s pizza, you will definitely find it.)

10. Greek Week

Expectation: Greek competitions are terrifying battles between sororities on campus.

Reality: Greek Week is war! Take no prisoners! Show now mercy! You were born for this and/or have been practicing for 3 months straight! (So yeah, this one’s sort of accurate.)

11. Formalwear

Expectations: You spend all your free time getting all dressed up with your sisters for formals.

Reality: The bus leaves in a half hour and you still don’t have a dress or shoes and you’re already a little tipsy. You may or may not have just used lipstick for blush…and lip liner as eyeliner.

12. Formals

Expectations: Formals are basically prom, i.e. the most magical nights of the year full of dancing and romance.

Reality: You dance for approximately 2.5 seconds before your feet hurt too much to move and your date is too drunk to stand.

13. And sometimes your expectations are met…

Expectation: You have the best four years ever with some of the best women ever!

Reality: You actually have the best four years ever with some of the best women ever!

14. And sometimes they are exceeded:

Expectation: You are in the wedding of a sister or two.

Reality: You are in the wedding party of all five of your closest sisters and are the godmother to your big sister’s first child. Yes, this is a shout out, and yes, I’m so excited.