Even if you’ve always dreamed of joining a fraternity or sorority, you may not know that Greek life is incredibly demanding. What if it’s not meant for you? Would you have a miserable time in college? What are the pros and cons of having a fraternity or sorority membership? It’s about so much more than just chasing cute sorority girls or boys while consuming lots of booze!
Here’s what you really need to know about surviving Greek life!
First off, every college kid has nightmares about Greek letters and pledging. Some frat bros or sorority sisters can take it too far and challenge you to do all sorts of disgusting stuff. We’ve all seen how it looks in cheesy rom coms from the 2000s. However, does Greek life pay off?
Well, pledging is the only way to get accepted into Greek life. To many people, frats and sororities are the pillars of all social activities, and they can actually have some benefits for your future. If you pledge or complete a sorority rush successfully, you will become a true member of the organization. The process is quite intense, and it can last around six weeks. During those weeks, you’ll learn about the Greek system and fraternity/sorority life. Also, you’ll meet new brothers/sisters, and you’ll get a chance to socialize with them!
If you make it, you can reap all the social, recreational, and professional benefits. The truth is, once you get in, you’ll always be a member. In many cases, the membership could secure your future employment.
When it comes to Greek living conditions, they vary depending on the organization. However, most houses will be the epicenter of social activities. That means it will be difficult to find some quiet time. If you’re an extremely private person, this lifestyle may not be for you.
However, it could teach you to socialize, live with others, and just be more responsible. Sure, there will be issues because you’ll share your living space with over 50 guys at a time. If the frat is smaller, it could get really crowded. That could be a learning experience. It could show you how to take care of yourself and your brothers.
Speaking of the Greek lifestyle, the pace of living with your frat bros is simply one-of-a-kind. Most frats and sororities will have some sort of routine or schedule. If you’re worried about study time, some will have mandatory hours during which everyone needs to study. Combine that with the responsibilities of sharing your space with others, and the experience could teach you a lot about duties in life!
Fraternity House Rules
After you’ve made your pledge, you’ll always have to stay on your toes. That means frats and sororities can be incredibly strict at times. There will be some rules that will keep you in line. If you break them, you could get kicked out. For instance, some organizations may require you to maintain your grades. If they fall past a certain point, you’ll get a chance to get your studies in order. However, if you fail again, it’s over!
Some chapter house rules include dress codes (with expensive brands), party rules for drinking, fire procedures, pet regulations, conduct, etc. Others include rules on quiet hours, laundry, assignments, personal belongings, etc.
One of the most important things to note is that you’ll probably get some duties. You may need to organize chapter meetings, take care of finances, fulfill kitchen/bathroom cleaning duties, etc. Still, having rules around is useful because it will allow you to find some structure to this often chaotic lifestyle.
Not everyone has the money required for Greek life. It can be quite expensive because there are tons of associated costs. For one, you’ll need to pay housing fees and chapter dues. The average costs of that add up to around 3–4 or more figures on a semester basis.
There’s much more though. That includes parties, penalty fees, and even charity events. What’s more, you’ll need additional money for formal attire, trips, gifts, and meals.
All those costs are only the beginning. You’ll need to pay recruitment fees, national chapter fees, and even alumni expenses. Fortunately, most of your money will be used constructively and for the purposes of upkeep for your house and for funding your parties. If you have the money, the price may not be so high compared to the experience that you’ll get from Greek life.
Other Pros and Cons of Living the Greek Life
Joining a sorority or fraternity has many other benefits along with some disadvantages.
The lifestyle is completely different compared to high school, and many people love it because it expands their social circles tenfold. You’ll get to know tons of new people who could even become your colleagues or romantic partners later in life. Remember what we’ve said about the professional benefits?
Well, fraternities and sororities offer you the chance to take charge and hone your leadership skills. Obviously, this is great for any business or future career choice. Plus, aside from lots of hot girls, you’ll also dip your fingers into philanthropic events or charitable social gatherings that could give you a new sense of fulfillment.
While most new pledges hate alumni, it’s actually helpful to meet them during Greek life because they could also help you in the future. Most organizations have nation-wide networks, and if you’re a member, you can quickly connect to the alumni across the country. You can contact them for job openings, recommendations, etc.
Apart from the budget concerns, other cons of this lifestyle are time-wasting and dealing with Greek life stigma. Your chapter may not be a favorite among others, and it may have a negative reputation. It’s a bit unfair, but sadly, it’s true.
Also, it may be hard to keep up with all of the rules we’ve mentioned before. Another con is hazing, and it’s a very common risk nowadays. This can happen during fraternity and sorority recruitment, but it can also occur throughout your college years.
Moreover, you may not enjoy the social limitations and the requirements to “stick to your own” bros or sisters. It can impact your cooperation and academic evolution. Finally, if you take advantage of your Greek life and act recklessly, you could gain illusions of power and become obnoxious or arrogant. That’s why it’s best to think about your personality first and see how it would fit into Greek life.
The Bottom Line
So do you think you have what it takes to become a frat bro or sorority sis? There’s only one way to find out! Good luck!