Is Greek life worth it?

How Greek life changed my college experience

Growing up, my household was what most people might call “organic,” or if you’re familiar with the term: “crunchy.” I got toy microscopes for birthdays and not barbies. I played in the marching band in high school and never dreamed of being on the cheer team. So the thought of joining a sorority as I was entering college, was a seemingly foreign concept, shrouded in my own compulsory misogyny. What I did not know is that joining a sorority would turn my college experience (and me) for the better. 

There are a lot of different variables to consider when it comes to college. Where will you live? What classes will you take? Will you do well academically? And perhaps the most daunting question we all seek to understand: Where do you belong? As a freshman, these were all my questions too. 

About two weeks into my very first semester, I started to become friends with the girl who sat next to me in my precalculus class. As far as I knew, she was also an agriculture major, took notes on an IPad, and like me, struggled to understand the gibberish that is precal.

One day she asked me something I was not hardly expecting to hear. She wanted me to join her at a sorority event. She must have seen my perplexed face of distaste, as she began swearing to me that “these girls are different,” and how it is “really not that bad.” Reluctantly, I agreed. The truth of the matter is, I was struggling to find my friend group. At that point, I was willing to do anything to at least just meet some people. 

When I got to the event, I was shocked by the collective groups of girls wearing jeans and t-shirts. I went through the “speed-dating” activity that had been planned and to my surprise, every girl I met was perfectly kind and amicable. I even had the same interests and hobbies as some of them. 

That was when it clicked for me. Sororities are not all about the glitz and the glam, it is about the connections you create and the common goal of sisterhood. I decided to rush that fall. What I had originally written off as unattainable and “not for me,” gave me some of the best friends I have now. Joining a sorority was an unexpected twist in my college plot line that I am so grateful for. 

So you may be wondering after all that narrative; what does that have to do with me? Well there’s plenty of pros and cons to Greek life. For one, it can give you the social connections you strive to make as a student away from home. It can get you more involved in campus activities and events. Many sororities and fraternities are involved with service projects, football tailgates, and host their own events as well. 

On the flip side, it can be a time commitment, especially if you have things outside of academics already. Dues are often something people worry about. The idea of “paying for friends” is what I hear most when I tell people I’m in a sorority. And while I do pay a certain amount of money for membership, I’m not paying the actual members of my sorority to be my friend. It is a misconception that trips up a lot of people looking to get involved with Greek life. Money paid to the organization goes to ultimately support the structure and function of the sorority/fraternity. 

There are many pros and cons to Greek life. At the end of the day it is about the individual and what will work for you. If you are interested in joining or finding out more about Greek life, be sure to look out for recruiting events like Inter-Greek Council (IGC) night and reach out to members of organizations you are interested in.