Greek Life: Should I Join A Fraternity or Sorority?

The term “Greek Life” refers to the fraternity and sorority communities on college campuses.  These communities have been around college campuses for over 125 years.

The terms “fraternity” and “sorority” refer to groups of young men and women who join together to offer fellowship, leadership, academic support, participation in campus activities, service to the community, and preparation for future careers.

They are referred to as “Greek” chapters because they are named according to the Greek alphabet. Most Greek chapters are also affiliated with a national and international organization.

Since a lot of new college students struggle with determining if Greek Life is really for them, I wanted to provide you with the Pro’s and Con’s of joining a Fraternity or Sorority.

The PRO’s…

  • 1.  Lifelong Friendships – If you decide to join a fraternity or sorority, you will likely develop lifelong friendships with fellow Greek members.  Most fraternities and sororities call themselves “brothers” and “sisters” because of the unique bond they often share.
  • 2.  Social Activities – If you’re a part of a fraternity or sorority, there’s usually never a dull moment.  It’s common for fraternities and sororities to frequently host get-togethers, parties, and other social activities.  They’ll also go on road trips and retreats together.
  • 3.  Community Service – One of the best things about college Greek life is the philanthropy work that most fraternities and sororities participate in.  Some common Greek community service activities include tutoring or mentoring children, serving meals to the homeless, or organizing fundraisers for various charities.
  • 4.  Networking – Greeks look out for each other.  If you’re applying for a job after college, it’s common for Greek alumni who are already employed to refer and highly recommend members of their fraternity or sorority to their company.  Given the current economic times, this could be a huge bonus.
  • 5.  Leadership – Similar to other campus organizations, fraternities and sororities have certain officer or leadership positions like president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, pledge coordinator, etc.  For that reason, sororities and fraternities can be a great place to develop leadership skills.

The CON’s…

  • 1.  Cost – It’s not cheap to join a fraternity or sorority.  You’ll have to pay pledging and initiation fees, along with regular annual dues…not to mention all of the social activities, retreats, and other outings.
  • 2.  Conformity – Before joining a fraternity or sorority, be sure to thoroughly research their culture, values and beliefs.  While it may seem “cool” to wear the t-shirt with Greek letters, take some time to make sure you’ll really fit in with this particular group of people.  Do you agree with and accept their culture, values and beliefs?  If you don’t, then you should not apply or rush.
  • 3.  Hazing – While hazing is illegal, it is still a common part of the rush process for some sororities and fraternities.  Hazing can include physical, verbal, and emotional abuse/mistreatment of members.  While most Greeks will likely deny that this occurs, don’t be fooled…hazing may still occur behind closed doors. Some Greek organizations feel that hazing is a necessary part of the process.  They believe that it build character and unites their pledges.

***However, there are some sororities and fraternities that are non-drinking organizations and that have a strict no hazing policy. Again, this goes back to doing your research and making sure your beliefs and values are in alignment with whichever organization you decide to join.

  • 4.  Time Commitment – As I mentioned above, if you’re a part of a fraternity or sorority, there’s usually never a dull moment.  Greek life can be very busy.  This can be a bad thing if you have the desire to join other organization or participate in other extracurricular activities.  Make sure you are ready for this time commitment before you apply.

Final Thoughts…

Ultimately the decision to join a fraternity or sorority is completely up to you.  There are good reasons to join as well as good reasons to decide not to join.  If you do decide to join a Greek organization, I wish you the best of luck!

Have any thoughts on this topic? Leave me a comment… I’d love to hear from you!

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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