Think about all of the decisions you’ve had to make since your college journey began. What should you wear to your first day of classes? Should you eat salad or pizza (obviously pizza) for lunch? Will you watch a movie, study, or helplessly attempt to do both simultaneously? You get the picture.
For some members of Fraternity & Sorority Life (FSL), however, the most important decision they made was to “Go Greek” and join some of the most storied organizations on campus. In fact, most will say that it’s been the best part of their college experience!
Joining a fraternity or sorority isn’t for everyone, though. There are some things that you should consider before “rushing” to “rush” Greek Life (see what I did there?). And as your friendly neighborhood Student Voice, I’m going to take you through everything you should know about Greek Life, with the help of some of our friends who made the decision themselves.
Grow your professional network
If you’re looking to get a job after you graduate, as I can safely assume you are, this is the time where you should be making connections and building your professional network. Every person you meet has the potential to help you land your first big job, so being well-connected can pay huge dividends later on.
You may not see this as a big deal, but having a fraternity or sorority on your resume is a way to exponentially grow your network without ever having to actually meet someone. Sounds crazy, right?
But it’s true: Some employers take Greek membership into account when looking to fill a role, especially if they were also a member of the same organization. It sounds rigged, but their reasoning comes from their knowledge of the organization’s high standards and the responsibilities they carried.
During your time on campus, you’ll meet and work with other students, industry professionals, and faculty members who want to help you achieve your goals. Joining Greek Life expands this opportunity and puts you in contact with the most mentors and resources possible, so take full advantage!
Gain valuable leadership experience
Experience in leadership roles is king when looking for a lot of jobs, and leadership is the name of the game for organizations within FSL.
Whether you are planning events or coordinating with nonprofit organizations, a fraternity or sorority has plenty of important responsibilities to go around. These types of experiences translate directly to your resume and bolsters your chances of landing a job.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work one-on-one and in groups with other Greek leaders, university staff, and community members that have led to great connections I will maintain well into my career,” says Ally Cherry, a member and former president of Alpha Chi Omega.
This type of interaction with other leaders is extremely valuable. Not only does it give you connections to leaders in the community, but it can also help you learn to become a better leader yourself!
Do good in your community
I can almost leave these articles from the past year or so to speak entirely for themselves:
- MTSU Greeks extend giving spirit to military families’ children with donation
- MTSU Greek Week food drive nets 7,700-plus items, $2K for Student Food Pantry
- MTSU Fraternity and Sorority Life donates $2,478 to local nonprofit The Journey Home
And that is only a small selection of what FSL does as a whole. Taking it a step further, however, each organization’s national office partners with a nonprofit charity and chapters work to raise money and awareness for this organization.
“Joining Phi Kappa Tau helped me serve our community by working with great organizations such as PAWS and A Soldier’s Child. Our fraternity also helped send sick kids to a safe summer camp with our national philanthropy partner, SeriousFun Children’s Network,” says Drake Williams.
No one will deny the fact that it’s hard for students to do good in our communities due to our busy schedules and lack of disposable income, but being a part of Greek Life gives you opportunities to still make a difference.
…but make sure you have the time!
I know, I know. For an article titled “To Greek or Not To Greek,” I have been focusing on the first half of the title more so than the second. This isn’t due to any bias, it’s just that joining Fraternity & Sorority Life is a great choice for the right person.
That doesn’t mean that it’s for everyone, though. For instance, you’d have to find some serious time in your schedule to fulfill your duties and also focus on your studies. If you’re someone who already plans on being in three different student organizations, work a part-time job, and have a time-consuming major, this may not be the best thing for you to do.
“Joining a fraternity and serving in leadership roles has definitely kept me busy, but it all becomes worth it when you meet so many great people and have so many cool experiences,” says Nate Parris, a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon who currently serves as President of the Interfraternity Council at MTSU.
Price is also a factor, as the yearly required dues may not be possible with your budget. These vary by organization, but can be something to consider. There are also opportunities for scholarships, so don’t let that stop you from trying.
Greek Life is centered around helping others and bringing people together to grow and collaborate, so give it a shot and open doors to an enhanced campus and professional experience!
Author Kobe Hermann is a senior at MTSU, majoring in management in the Jones College of Business and minoring in economics and business administration. The views and opinions expressed above are his own.