Depending on the school you choose to go to, “Going Greek” can be a serious decision that can affect your college experience (and oftentimes, beyond college). So, are you going to pledge for a fraternity or sorority? Do you know enough about the pros and cons of this decision to actually make an informed choice? Because let’s be honest, the way Hollywood represents it is not exactly 100% accurate (for better or for worse), and the stigma that going Greek has for some people may not necessarily be the case. And it is also a fact that Greek life varies depending on the university you’ve chosen as well. Below are the pros of joining a fraternity/sorority.
- Pre-packaged social life
If there was ever a stereotype that everyone got right about Greek life, it is their penchant for partying. Oftentimes, you will be required to attend many, if not all, house-sponsored events. So you should expect your social calendar to be booked solid. You will have access to endless social events (even if you join a non-“social” fraternity/sorority) and be able to meet a plethora of new people. This is an especially good deal for a person who enjoys partying–maybe not as great of a deal for someone who would prefer to study (but if that were the case, why would you feel the need to join a fraternity/sorority?).
- Leadership opportunities
Greek organizations have one of the largest number of leadership positions of any organization on campus — and it’s a position that provides you the opportunity to network throughout and beyond campus as well. You have your own executive board as well as the inter-Greek organization council that you can play a role in and, depending on the university, even more councils and boards. Seriously, keep an eye out for this–leadership positions are a sure-fire resume builder, especially in a large organization in which you can successfully showcase your accomplishments.
- Life-long friendships
Many people choose to join a fraternity/sorority because they are having difficulty meeting people and forging the life-long friendships–this is especially the case if you are lost in a sea of underclassmen at your big university. Fraternities and sororities place a large emphasis on brotherhood and sisterhood, and many members take it very seriously. You’ll likely increase your odds of finding those life-long friends in an organization dedicated to it.
- Networking/mentoring opportunities
The more established your organization is on campus and nationwide, the larger your network automatically becomes. You are only a few degrees of separation from the CEO of a large firm or the head of a renown research institution–the larger your organization, the more exponentially beneficial it is for your career prospects. Moreover, you are already collaborating with the future leaders of tomorrow, and this is a valuable connection you can make for future use.
- Living situation
If you do not want the trouble of apartment hunting or the annoyance of the dorm room, then the fraternity/sorority house may be the ideal option for you. You get numerous amenities without having to get a cosigner or a random roommate–life can be very sweet with this option.
Every Greek organization engages in philanthropy. If you are an altruistic person, this aspect of Greek life may appeal to you greatly. There are regular, organized events in which you can give back to the community with a group of people you enjoy spending time with. The philanthropic pursuits vary by organization and leadership, so you can choose which to join based on this factor as well.
And there you have it, a list of pros that very may well be the deciding factor in your decision to join a fraternity/sorority. Next up, cons.Photo courtesy of Nick Allen via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).