True or False: An Honest Look at Greek Life
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Student Life

True or False: An Honest Look at Greek Life

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True or False: An Honest Look at Greek Life

I, like many students, I’m sure, approached rush week with hesitancy. 

My preconditioned perspective of fraternities paired with my fear of not fitting in told me that Greek life wasn't for me. On a scale from "unaffiliated" to “total bro,” I most likely fall somewhere around “He probably doesn't belong in a fraternity.” I’m pretty bony with a general lack of interest in sports and an obvious shortage of masculine confidence. 

Nevertheless, I decided to rush and ended up joining a house I call home. My time in Greek life thus far has taught me two things: one, that some of the myths and generalizations surrounding fraternities and sororities are completely true, and two, that some of the myths and generalizations are completely false.

  1. “Joining Greek life is like re-entering high school.” True. I may have thought I left high school behind a year ago, but accepting my bid apparently also meant that I accepted an invitation back to the world where status and being on top is (almost) everything. Each house exists as a different clique– the jerks, the nice guys, the losers, the freaks, the queen bees, the wannabes– and it is solely reputation that determines a fraternity’s or sorority’s social standing. Unfortunately, we haven’t outgrown our teenage-sized sweater of superficiality yet. 
  2. “Greek life is like the movies.” False. While Neighbors (2014) did get some things right about Greek life, like brothers constantly professing their love for one another, it’s really not all about partying and the social scene. Above anything else, Greek community members are students, which means we attend class and care about our grades. We’re not constantly drinking and screaming “Toga!” (And no, frat parties almost never feature foam, a collapsing roof or humans dressed in teddy bear costumes. We aren’t that cool.)
  3. “You’re paying for friends if you join a fraternity or sorority.” FalseThere are few things more obnoxious than someone telling you this. I’m not paying for friends. I’m paying to be a part of an organization that requires money to sustain existence. “Friends” is not listed on the receipt that includes public relations funds and house maintenance costs. Paying dues was never exclusive to Greek life, so why do we get all the slack?
  4. “You won’t have a life outside your fraternity or sorority.”True and false. As one of my brothers once told me, being a member of Greek life is what you make of it. You can center your college experience on your fraternity or sorority by focusing your involvement to the Greek community or you can make your fraternity or sorority a part of your college experience by still being involved but also participating in other campus organizations.
  5. “Greek life isn’t for everyone.” True. The truth is Greek life isn’t for everyone. As rewarding and supporting as being a part of a brotherhood or sisterhood can be, some students simply don’t care for the Greek scene – whether it be because of the high school-like superficiality or the commitment to uphold a certain image and values. And that’s okay.
  6. “Greek life isn’t for me.” You decide. Had I clung to my preconditioned perspective of Greek life and fear of fitting in during rush, I most likely wouldn’t have ended up joining a house. However, it was when I got to know the men I now proudly call brothers that I realized they are just as obnoxious and weird and nerdy as I am and that Greek life was for me after all. There’s no harm in trying, right?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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