If you plan to attend a university with fraternities and sororities, do you think you’ll go Greek? You can probably imagine a wild college experience, and maybe you’ve even seen movies about Greek life that seriously scare you.
Greek membership is not for everyone, but it does have its merits. Refer to this list of Greek-life highs and lows to help you decide what kind of pledge you’ll make to your college years.
Lows of Greek Life
- Constantly juggle your priorities. Between a fully loaded social calendar and open access to booze, you may often feel tempted to dodge your schoolwork. Sometimes you’ll even be required to attend functions that interfere with your studies.
- Endure possible hazing. Nowadays rituals that humiliate chapter pledges are banned at most universities and Greek organizations, but it doesn’t mean hazing is nonexistent. You may even experience backlash if you decline participation in a hazing ritual.
- Spend a lot of money (if you’re not careful). Expect to pony up for chapter dues and event fees. You also won’t be able to resist buying sweatshirts, pint glasses, bumper stickers or any item that displays your Greek letters.
- Gain an unsavory reputation. Thanks to long-standing stereotypes, some people will jump to conclusions about your lifestyle. You may have to defend your honor against rivals from other chapters and people outside of Greek row.
- Someone you care about may be turned away. Each Greek chapter accommodates a maximum number of members, and nobody is guaranteed a spot. You might not be accepted, or you may join an organization that promotes exclusivity.
Highs of Greek Life
- Expand your social life to gigantic proportions. With countless parties, tailgates, and social events, you’ll meet a lot of people and make a lot of friends. If you’ve ever wanted to feel more connected to a community, this is your chance.
- Actually improve your grades. Fraternity and sorority members are typically required to maintain a minimum GPA, so they often have better grades and higher retention rates than non-Greek college students.
- Make connections that outlast your school years. You’ll gain friends for life, but you’ll also join a large network of chapter members willing to lend you a hand in the business world. Greek alumni look out for each other long after graduation.
- Learn responsibility. You’ll learn how to coexist with a house full of people, and you’ll work on a variety of projects for charity and social events. You’ll also develop your leadership skills when you mentor new pledges.
- Live in an affordable mansion. Your Greek organization might put you up in one of the nicest houses you’ve ever seen. Surprisingly, fraternity and sorority housing can be more affordable than on-campus living, too.