You’ve heard all the stereotypical reasons for joining a fraternity or sorority: great parties, great friends, yada yada yada. It allows you become a sociable, well-balanced adult, but here’s a mind-blowing thought, what if Greek life actually prepares you for the real world?
Wait, what? *Record scratch*
Yes, it’s not just for fun; you can gain skills that will help you become an employee everyone wants to hire. Here are just a few ways going Greek can help you in the future:
1. Improve your social skills
Going Greek will help you meet people you wouldn’t have met otherwise. Personally, my favorite social is “Frattyshack,” our annual event where we rent out a country club and invite as many people as we can. You never know when you could meet your new best friend or dream girl.
2. Expand your alumni network
Alumni weekends let you bond with fellow members of your house, both old and new. Conversations with successful professionals give you a taste for what Greek life was like 20 or 30 years ago. (Here’s a hint: they partied more than you ever have). Who knows, maybe one of these alumni could be your future employer.
3. Improve your study skills
When I joined my fraternity, my grades immediately improved. Almost all fraternities and sororities require new members to attend study hours. These are set times where members are required to be in a classroom to study. According to the University of Missouri – Kansas City, 71% of all fraternity and sorority members graduate, as opposed to 50% of unaffiliated students. The same study also found that the average fraternity and sorority GPA is higher than the overall collegiate GPA.
4. Help your community
Every fraternity and sorority holds fundraisers that benefit local or national organizations. For example, in 2013 the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity at the University of Missouri donated $123,000 for the American Cancer Society at their biennial event, the AEPi Rock-A-Thon. This set the record as the largest single-chapter philanthropy event in the country. Members stood on street corners with cans and asked for whatever people could give. They call their philanthropy the Rock-A-Thon because one fraternity member sits in a rocking chair for the entirety of the event, which is 63 hours long.
5. Build your resume
Not every Greek philanthropy is quite as big as the Rock-a-Thon, but chapters everywhere raise money for worthy organizations all the time. These events require lengthy preparation and a focused effort in order to achieve their goals. On your resume, why not brag about writing fundraiser press releases for your school’s paper? Volunteering could give your resume that extra boost you’ve been looking for.
6. Unlock your true potential
This was huge for me personally. I started college as a discreet introvert who didn’t mind staying in a quiet dorm room on a Friday night. I didn’t think about rushing until a family friend convinced me to look into joining. After I went to dinner with the rush chair and met a few members, they offered me membership. During my pledge semester, I felt at home and at ease when I visited the house and met the people in it. Because of going Greek, I became a bold, self-reliant young adult.
7. Work hard, play hard
You will soon learn that papers are manageable and it’s possible to go out on the weekends while still maintaining a decent GPA. The fear of missing out (or FOMO) will sometimes drive you to be more focused on your work than you could have ever believed. Afterward, you can expand your friend group and have the time of your life without even feeling guilty.
I can type all night on why you should go Greek, but it doesn’t mean anything unless you actually give it a shot. If you haven’t already, go to your school’s Greek life page and register for rush. Go and send emails to rush chairs. Be sure not to pass up a golden opportunity to make your college experience as awesome as it can be.