Things to Consider When Joining a Sorority or Fraternity

Some college students know right away that they want to be a part of the Greek system on campus while others may be a bit more hesitant to join. There are certainly a lot of stereotypes attached to fraternities and sororities, some appealing and others not-so-flattering. But if you’re willing to take the rumors and media portrayals with a grain of salt, you can approach the prospect of pledging with an open mind and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. Here are just a few things to consider when deciding whether or not to rush.

1. Obligations. Greek life will require some major commitments on your part. For one thing, you will likely have to devote several hours each week to house obligations such as gatherings, events, and charitable pursuits (not to mention “bouncing”…you’ll see). You will also be required to pay dues, the largest of which is the initiation fee, followed by payments each semester (on average, they can amount to several hundred dollars). If you simply don’t have the extra time or money, pledging may not be right for you.

2. Initiation. You’ve likely heard horror stories of hazing. Although campuses expressly prohibit any activities that could be harmful, dangerous, or illegal, it’s possible (even likely) that you will have to undergo something humiliating in order to join the brotherhood or sisterhood of your choice. When you think about it, it’s really no different than joining the military. Breaking people down and then building them up forms a strong bond of loyalty and understanding.

3. Living situation. If you don’t know where you’re going to live (dorms are small and apartments are expensive), joining a house could provide the ideal solution. You will be instantly thrown into a living situation that allows you to make friends while avoiding the largely freshmen population of the dorms.

4. Penchant for partying. This is one stereotype of fraternity and sorority life that is largely true. If you’re not much of a partier, the ongoing “mixers” could be a problem (although it could also serve to bring you out of your shell). On the other hand, plenty of students are there to study, so you likely won’t be alone in wanting some quiet time around the house once in a while. Just be aware that you will probably be required to attend some (if not all) house-sponsored events.

5. Inclusion. Joining the Greek system is a lifelong commitment, but it comes with a lot of perks. One of the best is that you become a member of a group, a brotherhood or sisterhood, that looks out for your best interests and provides you with relationships to last a lifetime. Plus, you can embrace a community spirit that may not be present in other campus clubs.

6. Networking. One of the main reasons many people consider a sorority or fraternity is for the potential to network. College is meant to prepare you for the real world, and by forming friendships with the future leaders of tomorrow, you may indeed meet someone (or several someones) with whom you can collaborate later on in professional or personal pursuits.

7. Philanthropy. Every Greek organization engages in philanthropic activities. If this is one reason you are considering joining, look into the interests of different organizations ahead of time to focus in on the house that best suits your altruistic leanings.

Leon Harris writes for Ask Deb, where you can find Wingstop Coupons, Dominos coupons and tons of other great deals on your favorite eating and shopping establishments.

2 Thoughts on “Things to Consider When Joining a Sorority or Fraternity”

  1. Well put.

    Another stereotype of “Greek life” is that people think that it changes you as a person. Yes, as a member of the Greek community, I believe that Greek life changes a person . . . if you allow it to. I can honestly say that I’ve changed for the better, but some people allow Greek life to take over them.

    YOU make your letters, your letters DON’T make you. If people change for the worst, it’s because they allow the Greek life to run their lives.

    Good article.

  2. Nicely put, Michelle.

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