Some people enter college knowing they want to join Greek life. Maybe older friends, siblings, and family have convinced them that it is essential to the college experience. If you’re like me, this was not the case at all. I knew absolutely nothing about Greek life. Although my mom was in a sorority and my uncle was in a fraternity, I had heard very little about it.

The summer before freshmen year, I frequently found myself Googling if guys joined fraternities or sororities. Once school started, I would often be corrected after calling Kappa Sigma a sorority and Sigma Kappa a fraternity. I have now been active in my fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, for over a year. I was hesitant to join for both spiritual and monetary reasons. However, I have learned and grown more than I thought I would. As a result, I have developed these five reasons why you should join a fraternity as well.

1. Connections.

This applies both during your college years, and afterwards. If you join a good fraternity, older brothers are already involved on campus through organizations such as IFC (Interfraternity Council), SGA (Student Government Association), orientation, and SAB (Student Activities Board). These brothers can tell you more about the organization, help you get involved, and even gain a position. If you join a national fraternity, you have brothers around the nation and globe. Some may be businessmen, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, actors, and athletes. You can connect with these men through your national fraternity. Alumni from your specific chapter are a great resource as well. They typically live close to your college campus and may frequently visit the fraternity on weekends or for alumni events. These men can help you find good jobs after college.

2. Get out of your comfort zone.

A fraternity allows you to meet people you would have never met before. It’s easy to become complacent and to stick with what and who you already know. The unknown is scary, but Greek life forces you to branch out. Meeting new people and making new friendships helps you grow as a person. Some of the guys in my fraternity are my closest friends. If I had never joined, I would not have met them or been as close to them as I am now.

3. Help the community.

Although Greek life is often ridiculed for hazing and alcohol, fraternities and sororities do a lot for both national and local Philanthropies. They do hours of community service and create events in order to raise money to help others. At University of North Georgia, some examples include Kappa Delta Shakedown, Phi Mu Miracle Madness, Pike Fights, and Sigma Chi Dahlonega 5K Dash. Not only do these events raise thousands of dollars, but they are a lot of fun for everyone involved.

4. Prepare for your career.

In reality, a fraternity is a business. A fraternity wants the best men during rush just as a business wants the best employees. A fraternity wants to generate profit to help local and national philanthropies. A business wants to generate profit to pay employees and stimulate the economy. Fraternities want to beat other fraternities just as a business wants to beat the competition. Every week, fraternities have chapter which is basically a business meeting. Some brothers hold executive positions while others hold chair heads. Chapter allows brothers to work out logistics for events, create new ideas, and find ways to make the fraternity better. As a result, every brother is able to improve his organization, leadership, and public speaking skills. Obviously, these skills are essential to your career regardless of the field.

5. Brotherhood is real.

Joining a fraternity is an excellent way to generate genuine friendships. The classic cliche about fraternities is that you’re paying for your friends. While you may be paying to join an organization, I would argue that you are not paying for friends. In reality, you’re paying for brotherhood. Being in a fraternity frequently reminds me of playing sports in high school (specifically football). Not everyone on the team was exactly like me and not everyone was a close friend. However, I loved each and every one of those guys due to the time we spent together and the difficulties we experienced together. A fraternity is the same way. While you may be closer to some brothers than others, you still have a unique bond with each and every guy. In my opinion, this is the most important reason to join a fraternity.

If you are unsure about joining a fraternity or Greek life, in general, I hope this article has helped highlight the positives. Like anything, fraternities do have negative aspects but, in my opinion, the positives far outweigh the negatives.