I've been a sorority house mom for 5 years, and I had to adjust to living with dozens of women.
I stock the house with a lot of snacks, and I had to get used to living with a lot of noise.
The job pays pretty well, plus I get free rent, utilities, laundry, parking, and most meals.
My job is a bit unconventional, but living full-time in a sorority house definitely keeps me on my toes.
I've been a house mom for five years, and my main jobs are safety and facilities management.
Read on for some of the things that surprised me most when I first moved in.
My sorority girls can eat a lot
Contrary to what you might think a "typical" sorority girl eats, these women consume massive amounts of food, snacks, and drinks.
I regularly travel to Costco to buy bulk amounts of everything from ice-cream sandwiches to Goldfish to coffee pods.
They're hungry all the time, and it's my job to make sure they have enough food to power them through the school week.
Building relationships with the residents isn't always easy
As a house mom, I have to earn the women's respect, and they have to earn my trust.
They push boundaries and don't always agree with my decisions, so it can be tough to find a balance. Sometimes I get a grateful resident on Monday thanking me for fixing the washer and an angry resident on Tuesday telling me they hate the washer.
It doesn't feel great to have a resident say a mean thing, but it comes with the territory. They won't all love me, and that's OK.
Dealing with parents is the worst part of my job
I didn't take this job to work with parents, but they pop up often.
They have high expectations for what their child's living arrangements should look like and are often more vocal than my residents.
I find myself redirecting parents to encourage their children to come to me directly to build their self-advocacy skills. Nine times out of 10, we can resolve their issues without mom sending me 32 texts.
There are cliques within the clique
When you live with sorority women, you quickly see the groups lurking within the chapter. The women often find a home within the house.
It can be broken down into things like the athletes, the vegetarians, the party crowd, the study groups, the football fans, and so on.
Earplugs may be required to sleep
I live with plenty of screaming, running, and laughing, and on the weekends I hear heels - so many heels.
I'm also often the first to know when someone starts a new workout routine in their room as I'm on the first floor and the women are upstairs.
And don't even get me started on the amount of singing and chanting that happens during recruitment season.
Being on the executive board of a sorority is really hard
The executive board consists of elected leaders within the chapter. My residents on the executive board are usually the ones who end up in my apartment crying or yelling about other members.
The organizations give these executive-board members a great amount of responsibility and decision-making power. They're planning events with hundreds of people, representing hundreds of members on campus, and often handling hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It's high stress and high stakes, so next time you see "sorority president" on someone's resume, know that they probably busted their butt in that role.
I've become a de facto secret keeper
In addition to the crying and yelling, the residents will tell me what so-and-so did last weekend with so-and-so. Other times, they'll tell me who broke the vase in the living room and ask for anonymity.
I've learned when to be discreet and when not to repeat things.
Our security camera captures some wild footage every weekend
Living on sorority row is not for the faint of heart.
Our security camera captures plenty of theft and vandalism, and I have to take it with a grain of salt.
Smashing our Halloween pumpkins in November? Fair enough. Stealing our house letters? Not okay. Drunken ding-dong ditch at 3 a.m.? Deep sigh.
It takes a full staff to run a sorority house
Each sorority house usually has a chef, a housekeeper, a maintenance staff, and a random slew of contractors that keep the place running.
Being a house mom is not only about supporting the women, but also communicating with people who the house corporation (a team of alumni volunteers who manage the house finances) pays to keep the house a safe, clean, and happy place to live.
The job is a lot of work, but it pays well
Being a house mom made sense financially for me. In addition to earning a monthly salary, I don't pay for rent, utilities, parking, laundry, or most of my meals.
Like many house moms I know, I also have a second job, which means I make two salaries.
My apartment isn't huge, and I don't have a kitchen, but for the money, it's worth it.
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