As the school year is coming to an end and 2018 graduates are thinking about their first year of college starting in just a few short months, many of them might be wondering whether they should join a fraternity or sorority. Joining a Greek organization can be beneficial, but there are also some drawbacks. Read on for some of the pros and cons of Greek life so you can make the best decision for you.
What is Greek Life All About?
Many college students are attracted to sororities and fraternities because it’s a way to have ready-made friends, fun events, and service activities to participate in, and connections with alumni and the national Greek organization who can help with internships and jobs after graduation.
Philanthropy is often an integral part of Greek life, so if you are service-minded, Greek life can connect with different organizations to volunteer your time. Being a member of a Greek organization also may come with some academic requirements, motivating students to take their academics seriously.
If Greek life sounds like something that might interest you, keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of Greek life.
Pros and Cons of Greek Life
There are some significant positives of joining a fraternity or sorority.
Focus on Philanthropy
Service to the community is a big part of Greek organizations and most fraternities and sororities partner with community organizations or causes. Usually, each fraternity and sorority has one specific cause they work with each year, such as preventing child abuse, raising funds for cancer research, or providing mentors to youth.
Connections with Alumni
Joining a fraternity or sorority automatically connects you with hundreds of alumni. This gives you connections to alumni who may help you get an internship, get a job, or help you get into grad school.
There are elected positions in fraternities and sororities, giving officers experience in leading a large organization. Even if you are not one of the elected officers, there are still many other committees and causes that members lead, giving valuable leadership experience to members.
A Greek organization comes with a ready-made social network. There will be many different social activities to participate in, and chances are, there will always be someone who will join you for coffee, a night out, or studying. This is a great way for people who are shy or more introverted to make friends in college.
With all good things come a few negatives as well. Some of the cons of joining a Greek organization include:
Joining a Greek organization can have a substantial cost as a result of dues, events, clothing and other items relevant to the organization, and other required costs, such as living in a fraternity or sorority house, or buying gifts for your littles or other members of your sorority “family”.
The costs vary from organization to organization and university to university, but when everything is said and done, members of Greek organizations may spend several thousand dollars a year on the fraternity or sorority.
Weekly meetings, participating in various events, rush and initiation, volunteer work. All of these obligations result in a significant time commitment from fraternity and sorority members.
Trying to juggle school, working, and being a member of a Greek organization can be difficult for some.
Potential for Hazing
There have been some high profile stories about hazing and substance abuse among Greek organizations, resulting in colleges and universities becoming more strict with Greek organizations.
There is always a potential for hazing during the initiation process, so being aware of hazing and refusing to participate in hazing-related activities is important for your own safety.
Before you make a decision on joining a fraternity or sorority, do your homework. Look around, see what they offer, see what they stand for, and see what the obligations (both financial and time) are.
Now that you know some of the pros and cons of Greek life, you can make an informed decision if it sounds like something that would be good for you. You can learn even more about Greek organizations here.