College 101: The Pros and Cons of Greek Life on Campus
When we picture fraternities and sororities, a lot of us picture what we see in the movies. Late night parties, drinking, and stereotypes galore. But there are a lot of benefits to outweigh any of the perceived cons.
Whether Hollywood left you promising yourself not to join Greek Life or you’ve been dreaming of living in a fraternity house since childhood, take a look at our list before you decide.
PROS OF GREEK LIFE ON CAMPUS
Making friends and connections
One of the most rewarding aspects of Greek Life is the camaraderie that comes with it. Being in a fraternity or sorority opens the doors to meeting more people, both in and outside of your own sorority or fraternity. From social events to community service events, you’ll have the opportunity to mingle and get to know others.
Along with meeting new people, being in a sorority or fraternity leads to forging deep, lifelong friendships. David Stollman, co-founder of CAMPUSSPEAK says, “You get the opportunity to fail miserably and have brothers and sisters that love you and care for you pick you up and dust you off and challenge you to do it again.” With everything going on in school, work, and life, it’s nice to know you’ll have a community to support you through it all.
Professional and Leadership Development
As you become involved in Greek Life, there are several avenues for developing your leadership and growing professionally. Between career panels, networking events, and community service, you’ll have a lot of opportunities to engage with others and grow.
Additionally, as you get into your junior and senior years, you’ll be more of a leader to incoming students.
Impacting the Community
Many Greek Life organizations require some form of community service throughout the year, and a lot of organizations put on events to raise money to help the community or support a cause. While you can certainly get involved in community engagement outside of Greek Life, it’s definitely a perk that community service will already be integrated into your college experience by being a part of Greek Life.
The less-flashy, but pretty realistic “pro” of being in a sorority or fraternity is that you are held to academic standards. Sure, outside of the organization you might have scholarships or loans that are contingent upon your grades. However, a lot of students might find that having that extra motivation to keep being a part of their Greek Life community will help them prioritize their studies.
CONS OF GREEK LIFE ON CAMPUS
Starting from recruitment, the cost of being in Greek Life can be a con for a lot of students. Between housing, dues, and a recruitment fee, along with social events and other optional expenses, things start to add up. Keep cost in mind as you think about whether or not you want to join Greek Life.
“Excessive and underage drinking is a common problem on college campuses in general” shared Julie and Lindsey Mayfield, “but peer pressure to drink can be even higher within the Greek system”. While that’s not the case for every organization, alcohol use is something to keep in mind. Read more about the pros and cons of Greek Life in the eyes of a mother and daughter here: US News.
Stereotypes and Stigma
Stereotypes about fraternities and sororities exist inside and outside of campus. Student Lindsey Mayfield explains, “This is also why I am such an advocate of being involved outside of your sorority. It can be just as rewarding to participate in activities that have to do with your academic focus or other interests.”
Time management is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face when you start college. If you’re interested in joining Greek Life, keep in mind that the organizations often have required weekly chapter meetings and other required events throughout the semester.
By far, the most impactful and effective result of joining a fraternity or sorority is the massive Alumni Network you will be joining. After graduation, you can stay connected and build relationships with alumni, leading to mentorship and job opportunities down the line.
HOW TO JOIN
Every sorority and fraternity is different, but the recruitment or “Rush” period is usually at the beginning of the year. For many colleges, registration for recruitment may already be open. Take a look at your top college’s Greek Life pages to get an idea of the opportunities, recruitment process, and fees associated with becoming a part of Greek Life. Here are just a few as an example: University of Washington, Emerson College, Ohio University, University of North Carolina.