Should You Go Greek?

If you’re in your first or second year of college, you might be considering your options when it comes to Greek life. First and foremost, your decision will be affected by what kind of presence Greek life has on your university’s campus. The extreme ends of this spectrum are that either there is no such thing as Greek life or the overwhelming majority of students pledge sororities or fraternities. More often than not your school will fall somewhere in between these two extremes. There are a number of pros of joining Greek housing, such as the accommodations that break from the college norm and the “built-in friends” factor. Now, the exact appeal of the Greek accommodations may depend on the sorority you pledge, as housing can range from dilapidated constructs showing visible signs of wear and tear from years of partying to impeccable models of comfortable living. Either way, if you don’t mind living in a house with a ton of people and can’t stand your dorm roommate, Greek life may be the way to go. Another big reason people join Greek housing is for its sociability. In other words, becoming a sorority sister means, upon acceptance, you automatically have a host of female friends, a host of male friends through its partnered fraternity, and access to great parties. This last feature may be particularly important if you’re on a campus where parties pretty much only occur if they’re hosted by Greek participants. Sororities also offer you the chance to get involved in community service, which might involve everything from volunteering at soup kitchens to getting involved in a Habitat for Humanity project. Lastly, if your desired sorority has academic standards or a minimum acceptable GPA, joining may help you stay motivated in classes. Of course, there are a number of cons to going Greek as well. Perhaps of premier concern is the financial burden sororities can place on a college student. Depending on which one you join, annual dues can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Either way, it ain’t cheap! Consider too that joining a sorority will place additional time commitments on you – commitments that may include throwing parties, sponsoring events, volunteering, or attending meetings. If you have trouble with time management and are already overwhelmed with the schedule your college life has brought on, you may want to rethink joining a sorority. You should also keep in mind the kind of reputation or attitude your desired sorority has around campus. Some Greek houses are more down to earth, but others are incredibly exclusive and can come off as snobby. If exclusivity is what you’re looking for, maybe this should be listed under “pro.” Just make sure you don’t get too full of yourself! Especially if the sorority you join is so exclusive that it cuts you off from other friend groups, you may end up losing out on a certain element of social life on campus rather than gaining an “in.” Ultimately, the decision to go Greek is one that depends heavily on your personality. Do your research beforehand to narrow down your options and decide whether it’s better to take the plunge or stay in the dorms.

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