Have you ever seen a college student wearing a t-shirt with funny looking letters stitched across the chest? Those two or three letters are worn as a badge of honor by many collegiate members of the Greek community. They proudly display their membership in their fraternity or sorority for all to see. If you are headed to a college campus soon you too may be considering joining such an organization. While there can be many benefits to membership, Greek organizations do not come without cost. There are several considerations that one must take into account before pledging allegiance to such a group.
Most people hold an antiquated view of the Greek system. Their minds immediately jump to scenes of John Belushi chugging an entire bottle of liquor and “Double-Secret Probation” from the movie Animal House. In reality, there is so much more to Greek life. However, those pictures are sometimes not too far from the truth. TheBestSchools.org has looked to a former Fraternity president to provide an honest look at Greek life and its true costs and benefits.
The gains of Greek life are many. Students who participate in fraternities and sororities gain a rich social network that extends far beyond graduation and can often lead to job opportunities. Greeks also have a great involvement in philanthropy and community service. The best chapters raise tens of thousands of dollars a year for charity and become active members in their college town community. These benefits are life-long. These valuable skills are a huge selling point for Greek organizations, as well as the chance to develop socially within a diverse group of students that otherwise may not have been part of the student’s social circle.
Despite the positives of Greek life, there are many negative aspects to fraternity or sorority membership. Membership can carry a huge financial and time commitment. Wise students will be wary of over commitment, especially during their freshman year. Aside from these concerns, Greek life also carries the potential for more far reaching dangers. Many students each year incur injury or death from hazing as part of their Greek orientation. In many chapters drug and alcohol abuse is not only rampant but encouraged.
As with any other decision, students should be intelligent consumers when deciding on a Greek organization or whether to join at all. TheBestSchools.org has peeled back the curtain so that students can examine the real cost and gain of Greek life.