Have you always dreamed of being in a fraternity or sorority? Well, now that you’re in college, you have the chance to explore Greek Life! Some schools have a flourishing Greek scene, while other campuses don’t have a single frat or sorority. If joining a social organization is important to you, research your school’s organizations before you go.
There are many misconceptions about joining a Greek-letter organization, and there are several risks you need to keep in mind. When you join a healthy chapter, being in a fraternity or sorority can be the highlight of your college experience. Here’s what you need to know to keep yourself happy and safe throughout the rush and pledging process.
5 Things You Need To Know Before You Rush Greek Life
1. Greek Life is expensive.
Members of fraternities and sororities pay dues, which can be hefty. The number varies by organization and school, and not all chapters are upfront about what you’ll need to pay. Keep in mind, though, that it can cost you anywhere from $50 to $1,000 or more each semester. If finances are a struggle for you, choose an organization that is upfront about its costs for members.
Aside from dues, members of Greek-letter organizations can expect to spend money on formals, events, fundraisers, and gifts for your mentors and the new members that you mentor. Some of these expenses are optional, so you may have an opportunity to save money at times.
2. You shouldn’t have to put up with hazing, but you may encounter it.
Most college campuses have strict policies against hazing, which involves putting prospective members of an organization through humiliation, bribery, physical endurance, excessive drinking, and other activities that are deemed to be toxic. In all but six states in the U.S., it’s a downright crime.
Despite this, some organizations haze their incoming members, and the results can be deadly. To protect yourself, report any incidents of hazing to your school’s Panhellenic or Greek Life coordinator, and distance yourself from the offending organization. Your safety and dignity are more important than your social status (which is a manipulation tactic that some organizations use to keep you around).
3. There are different kinds of fraternities and sororities.
There’s an organization for just about anyone! Certain fraternities and sororities cater to different populations and people with special interests. There are historically African-American fraternities, community service fraternities, pre-professional fraternities, Latina sororities, and so much more. Check out each of your school’s organizations to find your fit! Don’t be afraid to attend all the mixers and see which group might be the best for you.
4. Sorority girls are real people, too.
There’s a stereotype about women in sororities. Movies make them out to be dumb and vain, but this is simply not true. Women in sororities are not all the same and are held to high standards as members of a Greek organization. There are GPA requirements to join and remain a member, awards given to chapters with the highest GPA. There are community service opportunities for sorority sisters and you’ll often find them volunteering in nursing homes, orphanages, and local schools. Anyone can be in a sorority; you just have to find the organization that you mesh with the best.
5. You won’t be friends with everyone in your chapter, but you’ll make lifelong friends.
Fraternities and sororities are made up of diverse personalities. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get along with everyone in your chapter, especially if it’s a larger one. However, you have many opportunities to make lifelong friendships and connections. Your lineage (your mentor and the younger members that you in turn mentor) and fellow members will get to know you well, and will hopefully stay by your side for years to come.
Are You Rushing Greek Life?
Greek life can be a rewarding experience, but it comes with challenges. If you feel ready to take on the pledging process, learn more about your campus’s rush events and attend the mixers! Curious as to what colleges have the best organizations for your interests? Contact our college advisor today to see what school might be best for you.