You might have heard various things about going or being Greek. There is good, bad, and ugly when people think of Greek life in college. Whether you’re a freshman, new to college life, or a senior having experienced a lot of what college has to offer, there are several pros and cons to Greek life. As a disclaimer, I’m focusing on the social fraternities and sororities—the points mentioned do not apply to academic Greek organizations.
In movies, Greek life is portrayed as the place that holds parties where people get massively wasted, hook-up with random people, and overall just be really loud, crazy, mean, and stupid. The media depicts Greeks as these secret society cults that are extremely exclusive, hate everyone that isn’t them, and are racist, mean, and composed of hateful people. However, such is not the case. Participants in Greek life have an expanded social circle that helps support them on campus are part of various clubs, and are capable of having great academic records.
Greek life is a place to begin to expand your social circle and get yourself out to the world. You can make friends with more than just your brothers and sisters, including other fraternities and sororities. You will have the opportunity to meet people outside your house from all the Greek events that appear throughout the year.
Along with making a new group of friends, you may also begin to learn more about your campus, about yourself, and about all the best skills that you have, or are hiding from yourself. Becoming Greek will give you the chance to become a leader and display your strengths. You really learn about yourself from being around such a wide array of people. You may even have a big and, possibly, a little with whom you can hold a bond as close as that between actual siblings.
You may notice the ability to better focus on academics, especially given the fact that Greek life houses require a certain GPA for membership. You also will be able to live in the house itself with other members of your organization! This doesn’t mean that everyone will experience this, but you will find a great change in yourself in discovering who you are.
Greek life is expensive. You have to pay dues, added costs for apparel and helping out your house, and may have to pay to go to certain events pertaining to your house. Depending on your house and school, Greek life can cost more or less for you, so do some research before even thinking of rushing.
Just like money is a big part, so is your time. Time is a huge variable in your life. You need to spend it wisely. Depending on what you plan to do with your college experience, you need to think about short and long-term. Greek organizations take up a lot of time; you have a lot on your plate during the process of rushing and even afterwards. You will need to have a schedule for yourself, and stay on top of it to be active in your house, academics, work, and life. It’s like having a full-time job depending on what you do. It also requires a lifetime of keeping up with the house’s rules and secrets that it holds. Rules can range from being part of events or doing study hours. Secrets are the exclusiveness that comes with being a part of a fraternity/sorority that you need to uphold for your life.
The one big drawback of Greek life is what is found in many movies, media outlets, and sometimes real-life: hazing. Hazing isn’t tolerated in the college campuses, and it is also illegal. You have probably heard or seen of things that happen on campuses that are associated with hazing. Now, I can’t promise you that all of the fraternities/sororities don’t haze but many Greek organizations put more emphasis on academics and socialization than hazing.
Overall, Greek life is a place where you can grow, and be yourself that requires a lot of work and effort to be a part of. You should never be a part of something you’re uncomfortable with. With that being said, try it out for a couple of weeks, and if you don’t feel it’s for you, that’s fine. Do what makes you happy, and make the decisions for your life. Don’t ever get pressured into doing things other than what you want. Greek life, to me, is a place where I discovered more about myself with the help of my brothers. It gave me the strength to push for more in life and to open myself to the world of opportunities knowing that if I ever fall down, I have my brothers to hold me up, and I know that I will be able to do the same for them. College and Greek life are what you make of it, and only YOU can make the best experience for yourself. So, go out there and rush Greek life. Try it out and you’ll understand what I’m saying.