As you settle in to your college dorm, the thought of joining a fraternity or sorority may cross your mind. Joining one of these groups could be a great way to meet new people, but is it as good as it seems? How much effort is involved in remaining active in Greek life, and can you balance this effort with my classes?
Joining a fraternity or sorority has both benefits and drawbacks. Here are some things you will want to think about before signing up with your local campus chapter.
Should You Join Greek Life?
1. Consider Dues
Depending on which college you go to, dues for fraternities and sororities can range from modest prices to thousands of dollars per semester. Make sure you can pay the costs before joining.
Reasonable dues will be roughly $300 per semester. (Some fraternities multiply that by ten!). If you’re working a low paying job or are surviving off of money earned at home, this can make quite a dent in your college-sized budget. If you don’t think you can pay these dues yourself, have a talk with your parents to see if they can help you out.
2. Peer Pressure
Some fraternities and sororities tend to put pressure on new members to partake in activities they might otherwise avoid.
It is a reality that some young fraternity members drink too much alcohol due to the pressure of his older brothers. More than one dangerous decision has been made by a freshman who wanted to look ‘cool’ in the eyes of their older peers.
If you think you may be one to give into peer pressure, take this into consideration before joining the most ‘party hardy’ group on campus.
3. Networking and Social Events
Once you get past the fees and the possibility of being peer pressured into taking not-so-smart actions, fraternities and sororities can provide major benefits.
Joining Greek life can bring you some of the closest friendships you can imagine. The feelings of brotherhood and sisterhood formed in some of these communities are stronger than the bond with any outside individuals.
Another massive benefit of joining Greek life is the networking. Once you are a member, everyone who passes through your organization will be there to help you. Members who have passed through your own chapter will be especially open to helping you find jobs if necessary down the road. These benefits will be available to you far beyond college, and the connections you make can be useful to you for decades after graduation.