Social activities are an important part of college life, and many students consider joining a fraternity or sorority to fulfill their social needs. As with any activity, there are both plusses and minuses to Greek Life. I joined a sorority my junior year of college. I’d like to talk about some of the things I loved about being Greek as well as some of the drawbacks that can come from having fifty “sisters”.
Networking and Leadership Skills
As a member of a large group, you’ll have lots of opportunity to network. You’ll be able to find out about campus opportunities like job openings or events that your fellow members can give you the heads up on. This built-in network often extends beyond the college years and lead to future opportunities as well. You’ll also be able to learn valuable leadership skills that will help you to interact in various social situations and provide you with skills employers are looking for.
A Sense of Belonging
By being in a group such as a fraternity or sorority, you’ll find that you always have someone to grab a meal with or call when you’re looking for something to do. You won’t need to rely on just meeting people in your residence hall or classes. The friends that you make in your Greek organization can last a lifetime; I’ve experienced this!
With any group, cliques are inevitable. These close-knit groups can exclude or ostracize others. Despite the fact that the sorority or fraternity is its own group, don’t fool yourself into thinking that everyone within its bounds will be best friends. These group dynamics can be stressful and cause pain. Be aware that they exist and rely on the support of your own clique within the group, and you’ll be better prepared to deal with any difficult members.
The Cost Involved
It does cost money to be a part of a Greek organization. There are usually annual membership costs or dues. Certain attire will be required for events like initiation or Greek Sing. And don’t forget about the formals. While it’s tons of fun to get dressed up, travel to a destination, and stay in a hotel, it can be very expensive.
If you have a strong personality and value individuality, Greek life may not be for you. It can be hard to conform to some aspects of being in a sorority or fraternity, like pledging or the various rituals involved. That doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy being a member of one of these organizations, but it’s important to know that these dynamics do exist.
Head over to nextStep Magazine for more information on the pros and cons of going Greek.