You know the feeling when a lot of things are coming at you at the same time, demanding your attention all at once? That is what college can feel like when you start as a freshman. Many extracurricular opportunities will be available to you all at once, including “Greek Life”. Research what Greek Life is like on your campus so you can better understand whether you want to join.
Greek Life is not like the movies. I have learned that it can be truly beneficial if you find the organization that is right for you. I wish that I had explored the Greek Life scene as a freshman and checked out numerous sorority options sooner rather than later. Being a multiracial student, I found that I was not too sure about where I could really fit in. There were the Panhellenic sororities which were filled with extensive amounts of girls who with just one look, you could tell if you would get their attention or not. Then you had the cultural sororities including Pan-Hellenic sororities, which had their own dichotomy. The overall feeling was just different, with a bit more diversity than the others that I had seen.
Recruitment week is a great time to get information and is different on every campus. At my university, we have a week where fraternities and sororities will scout out the new faces on the campus. This scouting can be incredibly intimidating because your confidence can take a hit, but receiving a flyer or invitation could be a confidence boost as well.
The pledging process is different for everyone. They want to know that you will be dedicated to that sisterhood no matter what, and you have to be ready to prove that you are worthy of that bid and everything after.
Sisterhood can come with a hefty price tag. Dues can be quite expensive and different sororities charge different fees. With tuition, books and rent, you’ll need to figure out if Greek life is worth it monetarily.
The consumption of time is also something to take into consideration. From pledging to initiation and beyond, active members are expected to work around the schedule of the chapter. And many chapters have requirements about necessary GPAs so you must remain on top of your academics.
Through the pledging process, you become part of a new family. I know many people who joined a Greek organization would never have had it any other way. These are truly their sisters/brothers and the connections both in the chapter and on campus are invaluable.
Your wear your “brand” with pride. You can pretty much spot if someone is in Greek life or not in a few seconds around campus with all the gear (the backpacks, mugs, and t-shirts). I personally have found that sororities and fraternities have such creative ways to incorporate their organizations and market themselves in such a way that is admirable and I understand the appeal.
I wanted to find something on my campus where I could feel like I belonged and although I was pinned and started the pledging process, I did not feel like it was the right thing for me in the end. I am so grateful to have met the girls that were with me through this process, and by going to social events from other sororities that I had looked into. I ended up meeting really great people.
Ultimately, the best thing to do about Greek life is to really just ask yourself: 1) Can I afford this? 2) Can I make the time commitment? 3) What are my options? The only way to find out is to truly take that step and try it out for yourself. No matter what happens though, take your experiences as guiding tools to betterment. I wish you the best with this journey, keep an open mind and take advantage of opportunities to learn more about yourself and others at your university!