Pros and Cons of Being in a Fraternity or Sorority

Pros and Cons of Being in a Fraternity or Sorority

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Pros and cons of the GreekSome people are born into fraternity and sorority life, knowing that when they get to college, they’re going to be a part of Greek life on their campus. For others, the decision may not be so clear. There are many different reasons to join a Greek Letter Organization (GLO), and many reasons why they may not be right for you.

Cons

Cost

Make no mistake – GLO’s are something you pay to be a part of. Although there are benefits, whether the cost is worth it is really up to you. If this is something you can’t afford without working 3 jobs, save yourself the stress.

Time Commitment

GLO’s may have a reputation for drinking and partying, but being a member means you have a responsibility to attend many different social and philanthropic events, as well as weekly meetings. You may also end up serving on the executive, which can be a substantial time commitment.

And the parties? They’re often run as money making events, meaning you may end up working to make sure the party runs smoothly instead of drinking with the crowds. These responsibilities can take away from both your social time and the time you need to keep your grades up.

Relationships

It’s almost inevitable that among all the people you’ll meet, there will be some that you just don’t get along with. Being part of a GLO means you can’t really avoid them, and outright confrontation is not really an option. If you can’t look at this as an opportunity to develop stronger social and political skills, then Greek life might not be for you.

Judgement

There are always people ready to look down on the Greek system, especially if they don’t know much about it. Professors may make snide comments, family members might snort, and friends might tease a little more harshly than normal. If you can’t calmly educate people about GLOs – and know when to let it go – the frustration might not be worth it.

Rules

Most GLOs have codes of conduct they expect their members to abide by. These rules are designed to protect the reputation of the organization, and also to guide the individual member into being the type of person they feel is most effective. Most GLOs also insist that you maintain your grades at a certain average, and failing to do so can have consequences.

The rules can feel outdated, but they often do serve to keep everyone involved safe and (reasonably) content. For many, going to college means living away from your parents for the first time, and these rules can feel a bit like a parental substitute. Whether this helps you adjust into adult life or makes you feel stifled really depends on you.

Pros

Networking

If you need help finding a job or writing a resume, help with a course or with a paper, or help with a charitable project, you have a ready-made network to draw upon. It’s highly likely that someone in your organization can either help you or knows someone who can.

Additionally, if your organization has alumni working in a field you’d like to get into, that connection may help you get your foot in the door.

Meeting New People

The joke about GLOs is that the members pay for their friends, but the reality is that you meet many, many people you wouldn’t otherwise have had a chance to talk to. If you’re someone who’s on the shy side, the social responsibilities will force you to break out of your comfort zone and meet new people.

Travel

If you join one of the larger GLOs with chapters across the US and Canada, you’ll be invited to attend conferences and events hosted by other chapters. These can make for some fun (and even educational) road trips, and you’ve already got a place to stay.

Being a Part of Something Larger Than Yourself

Many GLOs make philanthropy a major part of their mission. They have the numbers, connections, and the organizational skill to make large projects a reality, and as a member, you’ll be involved in whatever philanthropy they undertake. Besides looking good on a resume, these experiences can be some of the most rewarding and memorable parts of Greek life.

Raging frat parties and sorority-girl cliches are all over TV and the movies, but the reality of the Greek system is much different. There’s no guarantee that your experience will be positive, and there are lots of people to tell you how horrible it all is, but the best thing you can do is weigh the pros and cons of the Greek system for yourself, do your research, and try it out. At worst, you’ll meet new people through the bid process, and discover it’s not for you. On the other hand, you might find just the right thing to make your college experience something you treasure.

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