1. Find the website for your college Greek Life
The first thing you will need to do is google search [YOUR COLLEGE NAME + “GREEK LIFE”]. This will navigate you to your universities pages on the organizations that they provide. Not all universities have the same Greek Life so this step is important, if you wanted to discover which ones are available to you. This will also guide you to the Greeks social media pages, price ranges, philanthropies, symbols, some pictures, and some statistics on which organization is most joined with a GPA average.
2. Reviews online are not that helpful
From personal experience, reading reviews about a sorority or fraternity is not helpful due to the fact it will have intense amount of negative comments. Most of these reviews will be anonymous, but are written by students who were not recruited into the organization! The way to go about this is to actually reach out to their instagrams, potentially follow other students in the organization, read about their philanthropy and purpose, and finally just go to some of their events before and during recruitment weekend. This way, you are able to form your own opinions on the girls and guys!
3. What do I look for in Greek Life?
You want to be sure that you know exactly what you are getting yourself into. The orgs are not like stereotypical movies that show partying every weekend and a “culty” sisterhood/brotherhood. Most organizations are actually trying to run far away from this stereotype by offering volunteering hours for their Philanthropy, networking opportunities, and a healthy relationship within and outside of the organization to help out students mental and physical health. They offer study groups, friendships that can last a lifetime, resources for almost anything you need help in, and people you can have fun with. Going to their events may be helpful to you so you can understand if they hype each other up, are respectful towards one another, if hazing occurs (which is illegal now), if they are well organized, and if they are actually setting you up in an environment you can see yourself thrive in.
4. Booze and its Consequences
I am not going to sugarcoat anything and tell you that there are 0 parties. That is simply not true. Mainly, and traditionally, sororities do not throw or host parties, while fraternities do. This leads to different pressures , expectations, and budgets. Also, there is a difference between a mixer and a party. A mixer will be for a get-together, such as getting together at a pool to mingle and get to know the other greek life. A party will be explicitly a party with alcohol, or if there is no alcohol at the party, then there will be some sort of pre-gaming (alcohol in an elsewhere location before the party). Unfortunately, with the amount of booze some people drink, it has led to tons of allegations, actual cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Greek life does go over rules and restrictions for sexual assault, such as who to contact, how to get someone blacklisted (banned from parties), and how to receive help.
Be careful! Sometimes if the parties go a little too crazy, a little too loud, this will cause neighbors to complain about noise. If that happens, the police can come by and ask to see some ID’s. They cannot have a search warrant and start arresting kids, unless they have reason or proof to be suspicious of other activity, but it is always smart to have an Uber ready if you are drinking, or a friend that has not drank anything. If there are allegations towards a certain Greek Life, I would try to steer clear of them. Many people do get away with these cases, but if you stick with your friends, and stay away from the people in that organizations, your level of safety will most likely improve. On another note, drunk driving is in no way cool and leads to all sorts of mistakes that can be avoided.
5. Time and Effort
Being in a sisterhood or brotherhood is not as easy as it seems. The recruitment process itself is a long process that requires a ton of teamwork, effort, and great management. Be real with yourself and ask “Do I have enough time to give as a College student, along with extracurriculars, work, and office hours?”. These organizations will always be there for you if you need help, you can always ask, but being part of the org does not mean you can slide by with all the resources people offer, and not do any work for it. Greek life will always be holding some events for fundraising, spreading awareness of their org, spreading awareness for their philanthropy, chapter meetings (weekly meetings to discuss upcoming weekly expectations), parties, mixers, and other fun events that are related to the organization. It might look great on a resume, but you also have to be capable to withstand some of the long hours it takes to be a part of the organization.
6. Is Greek Life my Only Life?
This question pertains more towards people who are already in Greek life. I am in a sorority, so I have full authority to say “you DO NOT need to be doing things only related to your Greek Life!”. This means you are completely allowed to have roommates, other friends, study groups, and extracurriculars OUTSIDE of the organization. It may feel illegal, but it is not. In fact, spending WAY too much time with the same people may cause toxic relationships and bad vibes. Having people you can go to or talk to outside of the organization can help you keep your sanity.
7. Finding Friends
How do I know who is fake? Who do I hang out with? Well after some recruitment events, you should feel some sort of vibe from the Greeks. Once you get in, the only way to truly figure out where you fit in is if you insert yourself in conversations with different people. It might be awkward at first, but no one knows you! This is the BEST opportunity for you to be who you want to be in college without any pressure. You will eventually find people with similar interests, majors, hobbies, and skills as you, that will make you want to hang out with them more. Kind of sitting back and observing is always great too. I am more introverted so my approach is to see how people act around one another: “Is so and so different around different kinds of people? Do they spread rumors? Are they reacting to the situation like I would and if they are not then why?”. It is not as creepy as it sounds, because it is more of a side note going on in my head, but these are all valid questions to keep in your head when wanting to approach someone to be friends.
College is the time to explore, discover yourself, find your passions, be confused, not know what you want, find life-long friends, get married, not get married, be outside your comfort zone, have opportunities that you never thought you wanted, and SO MUCH MORE! It is everything you want it to be and everything you give! Greek life is such a great place to start, but if you go to events and do your research to figure out it is not for you then that is completely great too! Goodluck, and Go Greek (if you want to of course)!