What is Greek Life? Understand the Positive Side of Going Greek

Becoming part of Greek life can be a beneficial part of the university experiencer. You may be asking yourself, "what is Greek life?"

When you join a sorority or a fraternity, you become part of an instant community of other like-minded students.

Greek life began with the founding of Phi Beta Kappa in 1776 at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Va. The fraternity got its name from the Greek alphabet.

As the years passed, the multiple communities of different fraternities and sororities, also known as brothers and sisters, has come to be known as Greek life.

Greek life gives you an opportunity to meet other students from similar and different backgrounds. There's a sense of camaraderie when you join a fraternity or a sorority at your university.

Some parents might be concerned about the parties, initiations and rush week when students recruit new members to their Greek house, but there's so much more to Greek life that fosters positive experiences for university students.

What Is Greek Life and What Are its Benefits

1. You'll make new friends.

When you're a member of a fraternity or a sorority, you'll have the opportunity to meet students with a variety of interests you might not have had the chance to meet in your hometown high school.

People come to universities from different parts of the world, so you'll be able to learn about other people's cultural and life experiences while you make new friends.

One of the great benefits of Greek life is that, within each chapter, there's a tight bond of brotherhood or sisterhood.

Your University Family

In a sense, Greek life is like having a university family. The sisterhood or brotherhood is the structure on which the fraternity or sorority is built. Each student commits to support and contribute to making his or her house great.

As a member of a fraternity or sorority, you will develop friendships different from other community relationships you've known before.

Each member of a fraternity or sorority has different qualities. By joining a sorority or fraternity, you will build strong bonds with your brothers and sisters, and they will often become your best friends for the rest of your life.

Brothers and sisters have been known to support and coach you when times get tough. Your fellow sorority and fraternity members also celebrate your successes with you.

When you join a fraternity or sorority, you find an everlasting support system that has your back when it matters most.

2. You'll gain access to a ready-made social life.

Having a social life outside of the classroom is important to wind down from your studies and exams. Your newfound brothers and sisters in sororities and fraternities will organize social events to make that happen.

Some of them include Homecoming, mixers, pregame tailgates, barbecues, Greek week and other casual and formal events.

These events provide you with enjoyment and opportunities to meet and interact with others. You may even find your boyfriend, girlfriend or marriage partner in your Greek organization. Many people who meet in college end up getting married and raising a family.

If you enjoy a fun party, there is nothing more fun than hosting and joining a fraternity or sorority party event.

3. You may live in fraternity or sorority housing.

Greek life not only provides a great social life on campus, but it can offer a place to live.

Many freshmen move into Greek houses rather than moving into the dorms. While not all Greek houses offer a residence, many campuses do, such as The University of California, Los Angeles, and other universities.

4. You'll gain leadership skills.

When joining a fraternity or a sorority, you'll get the chance to take charge of events and particular responsibilities. This can come in the form of acting as an officer, a committee member or a member.

Some of the activities you can find yourself doing include chairing meetings, promoting events, public speaking, motivating fraternity/sorority members and managing budgets.

You can apply many of the skills you learn to life after graduation from your university. For example, you may be required to chair meetings or give presentations in your work life. You may also be in charge of certain employees. These are all skills you can learn within your sorority or fraternity.

5. You can participate in athletic events.

Brothers and sisters compete in sports through Greek tournaments and other sports activities.

Some of these might be paintball, a softball game against another fraternity or sorority, and numerous other athletic activities. Greek life gives you the foundation for learning how to be a member of a team, even if you're not on a collegiate or recreational team at your university.

6. You'll gain access to valuable study groups.

When you're part of Greek life, it's easy to form study groups. You have a community of study buddies nearby.

Finding members for your study group in a house helps to prep for exams, review study material and get caught up in subjects where you may have missed class.

7. You'll make potential business connections.

With lifelong friendships in Greek life comes an alumni network. After graduation, connect with other brothers and sisters in your alumni. An alumnus is a helpful tool to make career connections when you're finished with school.

For instance, Kappa Alpha Theta grants members access to an online membership board called BettiesList. Here, brothers and sisters post job opportunities and company internships as well as apartment rentals across America. Talk about casting a wide net!

8. Your meals may be cheaper.

Depending on your university, Greek life can offer a cheaper alternative to dorm meal plans, even when you add up the cost of your dues.

Also, the food is usually tastier because it's made by a chef, not a kitchen catering to the masses of thousands of students.

9. You'll have philanthropic opportunities.

Nearly every Greek house hosts fundraisers for a designated charity, but many do.

This is a great way for students to take their minds off the stresses of academic life and do something good for others. Brothers and sisters work with different causes and can help people in need. You may even find your passion working with the charity your Greek organization is affiliated with. Many brothers and sisters go on to serve on the boards of charities they worked with in college.

The Takeaway on What Greek Life Is

As you can see, there are so many positive advantages when you ask the question, "what is Greek life?"

Brothers and sisters have golden opportunities when joining a fraternity or sorority that will benefit them socially, academically and in their careers far beyond graduation.

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