What You Need to Know Before Joining a Sorority or Fraternity

a girl and a guy in tiger shirts with greek letters are hugging

Sororities and fraternities are a major part of college culture. The Greek life, as it is often called, can make your college experience more fulfilling, and membership in one of these organizations can be meaningful and useful long after you leave the university. However, membership in a fraternal organization can be a significant commitment and it is definitely not for everyone. Here are a few things to think about before you join a sorority or fraternity.

It’s Not How You Imagine It

Most people’s ideas of Greek life comes from classic movies like Animal House or Revenge of the Nerds. However, in reality, modern-day sororities and fraternities are radically different from the way they are depicted on the silver screen.

For starters, not every brotherhood and sisterhood even has a house. Additionally, while many sororities and fraternities do keep an active social calendar, the days of wild partying are largely a relic of the past.  Some of the events these organizations participate in don’t involve partying at all; many Greek Organizations are active in other campus activities, intramural sports, and even do charity work.

It’s a Major Time Commitment

If you become part of a Sorority or Fraternity, you are committing a significant amount of your time to that organization’s activities. You will be expected to participate in all of the activities your fraternal organization sponsors or participates in. If you become an officer in the sorority or fraternity, this will require even more of your time and attention. Early on, when you decide to “pledge,” or apply for membership in a fraternal organization, you can expect to have very little time to do anything else until the organization decides whether or not to accept you.

Academic life is already demanding for most students, so taking on an additional time commitment can be a real strain. Studies have indicated that being part of a fraternity or sorority while fulfilling, can have a negative impact on your GPA while in college. If you have additional priorities beyond studying while in college, such as athletics, a job, or being with your family members, the time commitment that sororities and fraternities place on members may be too much for you. And if you don’t have time for all of your assignments, you can request assistance from our team of writers.

It’s Not Cheap

If you want to open your heart to  Greek life, you better prepared to open your wallet as well; membership in a fraternity or sorority is expensive. While the costs can vary from organization to organization, the price of belonging to a house can be as high as $1,000 each semester. Here are a few things you’ll have to pay for if you pledge a sorority or fraternity

  • Insurance
  • Various dues (local and national organizations)
  • Tickets to various events that you will be attending, including formals, balls, parties, etc.
  • T-shirts
  • Food and drinks
  • Accessories, like pins, hats, etc.

Each fraternity and sorority is different; you can do a little online research to find out how much it will cost to be a part of any fraternity or sorority you are interested in.

If you’re not independently wealthy, then being part of one of these organizations, and paying for college, can be cost-prohibitive. If joining a fraternal organization means that you’ll have to take on a part-time job – leaving even less time for your studies – you will have to decide whether or not the commitment of time and money to be part of a sorority or fraternity is worth the effort. By the way, here are a few tips for you on how to manage your budget.

You Need to Choose Wisely

Every fraternity and sorority is different; if you’re interested in Greek Life you definitely should be able to find a fraternal organization that is a good fit for you. Here are a few of the different types of sororities and fraternities you might find on your college campus:

  1. Professional. These fraternal organizations are based on professional interests and might help you with your career,  providing you with useful contacts, knowledge, and experience in your professional niche.
  2. Social. These sororities and fraternities are the ones that are a good fit if you want to get involved in various social activities, events, and group projects on campus.
  3. Honors. If you perform well academically, you may be invited to join a campus honor society alongside other high-performing students.
  4. Specialized. There are other sororities and fraternities based on ethnic, religious, or national affiliations, as well as fraternal organizations based on a specific interest, sport, or hobby.

Every fraternal organization is different and provides its members with certain benefits; most require some sort of time and financial commitment from members as well.  Are you are still uncertain about the type of organization that you want to join, conduct research on particular sorority and fraternity chapters that are present at your college or university.

Closing Thoughts

Sororities and fraternities can enhance your college experience and open doors for your future as well. However, before you commit to being part of the Greek life, make sure you do your homework on any fraternal organization you consider joining. Additionally, you should also think about how much time and money you are willing to commit to organizations outside of your academic life as well. So, good luck as you consider how to make the most of your time in college!

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