A sorority TikToker shared that she lives in a 'cold dorm room,' sleeping in a room with 42 others.
Annual live-in dues for the sorority are $10,595 per year.
Some commenters likened the open-window, multi-bunk setup to prison, military barracks, or an orphanage.
In recent years, sororities and TikTok have become unlikely bedfellows. #RushTok – in which University of Alabama sorority hopefuls chronicle the glitzy and exhausting rush process, complete with outfits-of-the-day and frenetic door stacks – has turned into a lucrative and viral phenomenon on the app.
But a recent series of TikToks from the user FitnessByAnni (who asked that we only use her first name, Annika), has garnered attention for showcasing a decidedly less glamorous aspect of sorority living: the cold dorm.
In a recent 'get ready for bed' video, Annika, a member of a sorority at Indiana University, turns the camera on what appears to be her bed and says, "This is not my bed. I actually sleep in a cold dorm" – before making an ominous trek down a few hallways and some stairs.
The concept clearly resonated with viewers, spawning a slew of follow-ups, which Annika answered in a video on Thursday that garnered 2.4 million views.
"I live with 120 girls in my sorority house, so we sleep in cold dorms, which are just rooms full of bunk beds," she said. "My cold dorm, in particular, has 42 girls sleeping in it, so we have about 21 bunk beds. In the cold dorm, the windows are always open year-round — so whether it's 100 degrees or 0 degrees outside, the windows are open. It's also dark 24/7, and you have to be quiet all the time."
While that sounded roughly akin to incarceration to some viewers, Annika explained the utility of the setup, and said it had made her a better and deeper sleeper. "At any hour of the day, you can go to bed without any interruptions."
The privilege of living in a cold dorm does not come cheaply. According to the university's Panhellenic Association guide, the live-in dues for its chapter are $10,595 per year.
While the origins of cold rooms are a bit hazy, a 2016 first-person essay in Refinery29 claims the open-window policy is rooted in fire code, and is meant to stave off illness via increased air circulation.
In addition to her cold dorm, Annika said her sorority's living quarters have a separate "day room," which looks more like a standard college dorm room – and which is used for everything except for sleeping, she said, including a futon, desk, and closet.
Though she's sung the praises of her cold dorm, TikTok wasn't convinced, with some commenters calling it "dystopian" or likening the scenario to jail, military barracks, a hostel, or an orphanage.
"You couldn't pay me to do this," the video's top commenter wrote.
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