For many people, college is one of the most exciting, frightening, eye-opening, confusing, stressful, and absolutely incredible time periods of their life. A sort of portal between childhood and the “real world”, the college experience can be extremely overwhelming. These four years, however, are entirely what you make of them, both socially and academically. One great (and quick) way to ensure that this experience is as comfortable and fulfilling as possible is to join a sorority.
I know what many of you are thinking: “me in a sorority?” The truth is, Greek life is nothing like how it is portrayed on games on Facebook, American Pie movies, or the ever-popular show entitled “Greek”. Stigmas associated with fraternities and sororities have been around for years due to misportrayal in media, and are mostly unfounded and untrue. Most of what you think you “know” about Greek life is false. Going Greek is about being a part of a campus, a community, and a local and international sisterhood. Here are some reasons why thousands of young women choose sisterhood:
Believe it or not, the “friends” you hit up parties with during freshman orientation and the beginning of the year often will not still be there come second semester. In the beginning everyone is concerned more about survival than they are about initiating and maintaining meaningful relationships. While some get lucky and find their ideal group of friends quickly, others find this more difficult. Sororities look for young women whom they believe to embody the ideals of their sisterhood. They seek out women based on their ambition, scholastic achievement, poise, maturity, and ability to be a caring sister, not their looks or ability to funnel a 6-pack of beer. Sisterhood is for life. Your sorority sisters will always care about your dreams and ambitions, your achievements, and your heartbreak and disappointments.
No, I’m not talking about Facebook or Twitter. This sort of social networking often actually gets many college students in trouble. College is a time when professional social networking is crucial, and sororities facilitate this process better than any other group on campus. In almost every local chapter, there are several extremely prominent alumnae who may aid a college undergrad or graduate student in locating a good job or internship. By no coincidence, most prominent figures in politics, media, film, and other careers made the choice to “go Greek” in college. Both women elected to the United States Supreme Court were in a sorority, and all but two U.S presidents since 1825 were in a fraternity. It is also interesting to note that of the 50 leaders of the nation’s most successful corporations, 43 are Greek. So why do Greeks tend to be so successful during and after their college days? The last three sections will explain this in detail.
Most sororities place academic achievement at the very top of their priorities list, both on a group and an individual level. In each sorority there is a member, or group of members who is responsible for seeing that the chapter and each sister maintains a satisfactory grade point average. The academics chair is available as a resource to the chapter in many ways. She may initiate a mentor program between older and younger sisters, collect and store notes from different courses for sisters to use as a reference, and even hold educational workshops on how to study effectively or how to write a paper. Many sororities also have designated study hours. This may be just the push many young women need to stay focused on school when there are so many other changing and unstable elements in their new independent lives.
Practice in Leadership Roles
Sororities provide a unique opportunity for young women to really get involved and take a leadership role if they so choose to. In each sorority there are several positions available to members. If you are a business or accounting major, a role as the sorority’s Treasurer would be invaluable to you. Not only are you gaining real experience in managing the chapter’s finances, but the fact that you took on this responsibility and handled it well will look great to future employers. An education major may try for an Academics position, or a communications major may benefit from holding a Public Relations position. A sorority is afterall a respectable organization with national and regional headquarters. Hard work in a leadership role in a sorority does not go unnoticed, and comes with it great rewards. Employers and graduate school admissions offices like to see that a student is well-rounded. While GPA is important, showing that you took charge and could handle the responsibility and time commitment of a leadership position is equally impressive and will give you the upper-hand over the applicant with a 3.9, who did nothing else remarkable during their college career. College is sort of a microcosm of the real world; practice in being a an effective, responsible leader in college will undoubtedly carry on with you into the work force.
Do Good for the Community
All sororities have national philanthropies and local community service requirements. The chapter is expected to raise money for its designated philanthropy (Cancer, Child Abuse, Speech and Hearing) and dedicate its time to those in need on campus and in the greater community. There is no “Key Club” in college like there is in high school. Most volunteers on and off campus in college towns are Greeks because sororities provide their members opportunities to get involved. Community service is not only a great resume builder, but a great source of personal gratification and bonding time for sisters.
There are many different types of sororities, each with their own “personality” and traits. There are sororities that focus more on GPA and academics, and other that are more service based. There are even sororities designated specifically for certain ethnic and religious groups. What is important is that all sororities provide a moral and academic support system, and pledge devoted unconditional friendship. If any of these sound desirable to you, then give sorority recruitment a shot at the beginning of the semester. What do you have to lose?… What do you have to gain?