I’ll admit it: before I came to college, I didn’t know if Greek life was for me. I remember sitting in the basement of my best friend’s house and watching every single American Pie movie ever made. We, as incoming freshmen, wanted to get a little taste of that the next four years of our life were going to be like, even if these movies were extremely exaggerated. Each of the films is focused around the stereotypical college experience, and the one I was most interested in at the time was the idea of fraternities and sororities.
After watching American Pie: Beta House, I can honestly say I was mortified to even try rushing any Greek organization. I moved into my dorm at a school where the male to female ratio is about 3:1, and about 2 months into the school year, I realized that I could not stand sitting around, listening to the guys talk about lathes and machines.
I tried to ignore the negative connotation that came along with the idea of joining a sorority, and the following semester, sat myself down at a formal rush meeting. The other girls were a little daunting. I sat down in an aisle of girls who I thought were all much prettier than I was, and as I scanned the row of petite brunettes all browsing their iPhones, I questioned what I was doing there. I thought about quitting, about getting up and going home, but I am not and never have been a quitter. I stuck through the meeting, was placed in a smaller group with other girls, and eventually went through two weeks of recruitment. Our group was toted from house to house, treated with the utmost respect at each one, and eventually were required to narrow our minds down to the sorority we thought fit us best.
I honestly didn’t care what house I ended up in, because in those two weeks, I grew bonds with sisters in each that I still maintain, two years later. Those two weeks were probably the two most important weeks of my life, mostly because they changed my life.
Anyone can throw statistics out about how beneficial going Greek is:
- Nationally, 71% of all fraternity and sorority member graduate, while only 50% of non-members graduate.
- The all-fraternity/sorority GPA is higher than the overall collegiate GPA.
- 85% of the Fortune 500 key executives are fraternity or sorority members.
- Over 85% of the student leaders on 730 campuses are members of Greek-letter organizations.
As a member of a Greek organization, I can vouch for these statistics, as they are mirrored in my everyday life. Sisters will send out mass emails looking for tutors within the house in subjects. We are required to do study hours based on the amount of credits we take. Four fifths of the executive board of our student senate is Greek. As much as I would love to prove these facts true for the length of this read, I would rather focus on something that is not as statistic-oriented.
My sorority did something for me that I don’t think could have happened anywhere else. They provided me with a new family. As an only child, this is still the most heartwarming part of being Greek. All 32 of my sisters have their unique quirks, but all share a very common trait: We can all rely on each other. 24/7, there is a shoulder to cry on or a friend to hold your hand and remind you that things get better. They are my rock, and I’m so lucky to find myself in a house of doctors, psychiatrists, chefs, comedians, and partners in crime.
I was able to get over my social anxiety. I built inter-fraternal relations with members of other houses and soon realized that all of these other Greeks shared the same ideals and values that I did. My house helped me find who I really am. If they can accept the absolutely awkward person that I am, there is no reason that I can’t myself.
So before you trie to knock Greek life, try and remember that though there are stereotypical negatives that are almost completely false, there are a number of positives that can become the building blocks to a new, improved you. Try and judge the book by the cover, but when you’re the author, you can write the happy ending.