4 Reasons You Should Give Greek Life a Chance
I was certainly not one of those “middle ground” or pro-Greek Life students when I first went off to college. When I started college, I was staunchly opposed to joining a sorority. I mean, how could I even think about joining a house when I was so different from what I knew sorority women to be? TV, movies, and the news had painted a pretty bleak picture of Greek Life for me and that picture involved shallow, blonde women wearing pearls and preppy, pastel cardigans. I was not that - I wore dyed, black hair in an asymmetrical style, black motorcycle boots, and on many days, plain dark clothes. To top it all off, I was double-majoring in Physics and Science, Technology, and Society.
However, on the day that my roomie convinced me to go to an informal recruitment event under the pretense that I would be given “free food,” my view of Greek Life changed dramatically. I walked into the living room of my future house and was astounded by how “normal” everyone was. After talking with a few women and beginning to feel more comfortable, I met the lady who would eventually be my “Grandbig” in the house. She was wonderful and as we talked, I realized that she was a woman that I could truly see becoming my sister; she was funny, kind, smart, witty, and passionate. This admirable woman singlehandedly made me realize that all those stereotypes regarding Greek Life and sorority members were not necessarily true and it is, indeed, possible for smart, genuine, capable, strong, and passionate women to be a part of a house.
It was still a little bit of a surprise when I received my bid to my house, but the recruitment event had completely changed my mind about Greek Life. If those normal, smart, funny women were a part of a sorority, couldn’t I also be part of a sorority? It was that question that made me decide to give Greek Life a chance. I honestly believe that every student should give Greek Life a shot. Now, my personal anecdote may not have been very persuasive and I figured as much. I am also pretty sure that the usual “you will make friends and have fun!” route of attempting to convince people to join Greek Life is also not persuasive (because it didn’t work for me), so I have compiled a simple list of four reasons why I think Greek Life is great and why you should give try it out.
1. Not every house on every campus is the same
2. If the idea of joining Greek Life gives you hives or makes you cringe, pledging a house will probably be good for you
3. Greek Life wiLL teach you valuable life skills
In addition to showing you how to balance your activities, Greek Life also helps you learn how to talk to people you don’t know. If you are anything like me, this is a skill you most certainly lack coming out of high school. Do you know how often you will utilize this skill in your life? ALL THE TIME. You will have to interact with people whom you do not know at every major and nonmajor life event - graduations, weddings, funerals, job interviews, customers, the doctor, the dentist, the hair salon, and people at the grocery store. Let me tell you: everything is made far more enjoyable if you know how to hold conversations with people you do not know. Otherwise, life is just one awkward adventure after another.
4. Greek Life will help you build your resume
See, when you graduate, you will have a degree in something which symbolizes that you have learned some skills. With a Physics degree, I acquired skills like the ability to solve complex math problems, run and organize tests in a systematic fashion, and write long technical documents. Similarly, you may have a job or two (or three), whether on campus or off campus, during your college career. In addition to what you learned in your courses and labs, these jobs will add some more skills to your resume. However, even with these skills you have acquired over your four years, when you go to write your resume you will realize that it looks...short. You will most certainly need to add some extracurriculars to your schedule in order to fill out that entire one page document. Greek Life will not only allow you to expand your “Skills and Experience” section, but it will give you the opportunity to add an entirely new section to your resume: Leadership Experience.
Now, skills and experience are great (and necessary) to have on a resume, but leadership experience signifies something more to potential employers. It signifies a candidate who is willing to go above and beyond normal job duties; it signifies a person who is willing and capable of taking on additional responsibilities. Leadership experience will set you apart from other potential candidates and Greek Life is a perfect opportunity to gain that experience. On my own resume, I was able to add under “Leadership Experience” my positions of Recruitment Chair and Chief Administrative Officer and all of the duties that went along with those positions. Planning and coordinating recruitment events for 60 - 150 people, maintaining chapter bylaws and calendars, and recording minutes and attendance at all chapter meetings are no small tasks - and employers will take notice.