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Everything You Need to Know About Joining the Greek Life

White Fraternity house behind some green trees

Greek life has many stereotypes ― some of which are negative. Who hasn’t heard the stories of out-of-control students and hazing? These stereotypes do not portray an accurate picture of the realities of Greek life. So if you are thinking of joining a sorority or fraternity, there are some things you need to know. These things will dispel some of the misconceptions people have about Greek life.

What Is Greek Life?

Greek life refers to sororities and fraternities. These are communities of students with similar interests and values. They work together to cultivate friendships and encourage social development and leadership. They also take part in service projects and philanthropy activities.

Existing members mentor new members. Some are paired up in what is referred to as a Big/Little relationship. During Big/Little Week, experienced members (Bigs) come up with fraternity or sorority gift ideas. They also welcome new members (Littles) with some anonymous surprises. After they reveal their identities, the Bigs continue to serve as resource personnel for their Littles. They help them navigate their new experiences as members.

Should You Join a Fraternity or Sorority?

Joining a fraternity or sorority gets you in a community so you can enjoy shared experiences. As a new member, you have an inherent connection to other members of your fraternity or sorority. Hence, these fellow brothers and sisters can provide you with a network of connections. Moreover, you can draw upon these connections as you search for internships and jobs.

On the downside, fraternities or sororities require fees that can be expensive. These are used to help cover expenses, such as programs and insurance. There is also a huge time commitment. And this can sometimes feel like adding another class or two to your workload.

How Does the Recruitment Process Work?

During rush week, you will visit the houses and speak with members to learn more about each house. House members will ask you questions about your background and interests. It is important to find a house where the members share your values and interests. Recruiting activities are broken up into distinct days.

Each day, you will rank the houses you visited according to those you like best and those you wish to avoid. They will also rank you as a potential new member. If a house wishes to extend an invitation for you to join, you will receive a bid. This tells you which sorority has chosen to invite you to become a new member.

After the events of rush week, you still do not become an official member. You have to go through initiation before you can become an official member. Initiation week is filled with activities and events designed to welcome new members. Hazing, once a common practice during this process, is no longer tolerated. But, minor hazing activities still occur sometimes.

Knowing the truth about the negative stereotypes of Greek life can encourage you to try it. Greek life can provide rich and rewarding experiences as students in the Greek community gain leadership skills and connections. They also develop a compassion for philanthropy that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

For more great college tips, check out the other blogs at College Basics.