Going Greek was certainly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. It helped with my grades (which needed severe improving), it got me more involved on campus (something every freshman should do right away), and it taught me life lessons that I likely wouldn’t have got anywhere else. On top of that, we have a LOT of fun whether we are doing community service or having a social. So if you’re considering joining a fraternity or a sorority, I strongly encourage you to do it. Just make sure you are well informed before you make a decision.
1. Don’t Tolerate Hazing
Hazing is defined as anything that one is forced to do, especially if it makes him/her uncomfortable or puts them in harm’s way. Unfortunately, a good amount of Greek organizations still haze – so be on the lookout. If at any point someone pressures you into doing something you would not normally do, that is hazing. Hazing does nothing to build true brother/sisterhood and usually only serves to amuse older members. What usually starts off as something lighthearted and funny can spiral out of control fast. Don’t let this scare you though! There are plenty of Greek organizations that do not haze and will be more than willing to work around a problem if anything about joining makes you uncomfortable. These are generally the most respected fraternities and sororities on campus and the ones that know how to stay out of trouble, meaning – you won’t join and then be kicked off campus before your four years are up. If at any point you notice or feel the effects of hazing, there are campus hotlines you can call to report it.
2. Paying Dues
For those of you who don’t know, joining Greek life is not exactly inexpensive. Everyone has to pay a set amount of money per semester, usually a few hundred bucks, so that your fraternity or sorority has money to operate. This pays for things like philanthropies, socials with other Greek orgs, composite photo-shoots, the ever important house supplies, and gas for any brotherhood/sisterhood events you need to drive to. Some people see it as paying for having a social group, but this is a rather misguided concept. The best way to explain it is that the more you put into Greek life, the more you get out of it. Which is why the organizations that do a lot more events end up having higher dues. I suggest looking for a fraternity that is involved in campus life, but not so much that dues are unreasonably high for your budget. The great thing about dues is that every year the members have to vote on the approved budget, meaning if you think it’s too expensive you have some power to reduce the cost.
3. Join For The Right Reasons
Did you watch a lot of college movies and TV shows when you were younger? Is your conception of Greek life simply a way to get to the best parties on campus and drink the night away? Well then I’m sorry to tell you this, but that’s not what Greek life is really about. Anyone can get into a party if they know the right people. Greek life is about so much more than solo cups and togas – it’s about forming an unbreakable bond with each other; it’s about making yourself a better person; it’s about giving back to the community; it’s about applying yourself in school, work, and all other aspects of your life. If that doesn’t sound like something you’d be interested in, then that is okay, Greek life is not for everyone.
Hopefully you will consider Greek life and try it out for yourself!