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A Girl's Guide to Going Greek

Updated on April 9, 2012
Going Greek might just be one of the best decisions you ever make!
Going Greek might just be one of the best decisions you ever make!

This past semester, I took the plunge to pledge. I'd thought about going Greek for over two years during my college career, and finally decided to go for it. You only live once, right?

For me, it was a choice that made sense. The president of my sorority is also my peer mentor within my major - a mentor that I respect and look up to. My grades and my campus involvement well-exceeded the requirements to pledge. I was more than qualified, and more than enthusiastic.

However; there was still a pit in my stomach about society's perception of sororities. The way the world tends to view sororities is as a school-condoned clique - requiring elaborate hazing ploys, many drunken nights, and slutty behavior. In fact, when I spoke to my mother about considering to pledge, she said "you don't need to pay for your friends, Laura!"

The hazing and initiation was what worried me the most - we'd hear rumors or see extreme examples in movies and on television, but it was still up in the air as to what, exactly, we would have to go through during the initiation process. In the days leading up to rush, I was full of doubt.

Since joining my sorority, I have words of advice for other girls who are thinking about pledging. Joining a sorority has honestly been one of the best, most rewarding decisions of my life - but there are several points to take into consideration before you rush!

Why?

Probably the most important thing to consider when looking into joining a sorority is your purpose. What do you hope to gain from this sorority?

If you aren't sure exactly why you want to join, think about all the things that drew you to the sorority? Do you have friends in it? Is it an academic sorority? Did you attend an event that the sorority hosted and have fun? Everyone has a different reason, but it is important that your reasons are based on something more sustainable than "because everyone else is doing it." This is not the time to join something just because everyone else is.

It is also important, not only to know your purpose for wanting to join a sorority at all, but to know your purpose for choosing a particular sorority. Be honest with yourself. Are you looking for a full-time party? There is a sorority to meet that need. Are you looking for networking contacts in the business world? There is a sorority for that. Are you looking for a group of close-knit friends that have similar interests to you? There are usually several great sororities to choose from!

Choosing which sorority to pledge is almost harder than choosing a school! You have to weigh your options carefully, and really take into consideration what kind of person you are and what kind of person you want to be. Then, choose the sorority that best aligns with those two things.

Do Your Research

The next step is to research the sorority, inside and out. What are the founding principles (and are they still upheld?) It is actually very important to understand the politics behind the sorority before you join. You should also look into what sort of commitment you will be making by joining.
Knowing all the background on the sorority will help you to not only choose the right sorority for you, but during the pledging process, and once you've become a member of the sorority as well.
Do the members of the sorority get along really well? Do you have to live in off-campus Greek housing, in a specified region of the campus, or in regular dorms? What is the extent of sisterhood?
You can find a lot of this information online - both on the sorority webpage and through social media, as well as by talking to members of the sorority.

Consider whether the sorority you want to join is just an excuse to party all the time, or an actual sisterhood...
Consider whether the sorority you want to join is just an excuse to party all the time, or an actual sisterhood...

Credentials

College is all about learning how to market yourself. Every activity you participate in is going to pump up your resume or deflate it a little bit - so it is important to ask yourself whether this extra activity is going to benefit you in the long-run or if it is simply going to act as a distraction from your school work. Could this leap into Greek life end up in a job offer? Could it help you to develop your social networking skills? Could it help you feel more at home in your community?
It may sound slightly selfish, but it is important to consider how the organization is going to help you, just as it is to consider how you can help it. A sorority is a give-and-take opportunity, and you want to make sure it will be a balanced addition to your college life.

Going Greek is not an easy decision for some. Deciding whether to pledge, and where to pledge, can be a tricky choice.

Joining a sorority is one of the greatest decisions I ever made, but there is a lot to consider before jumping into Greek life.

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    • NicholeMarina profile image

      Nichole 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is a great introduction to going Greek, and it's something my sorority tells every pnm to do. Always do your research. Find out what the girls are like. Are they more concerned with sisterhood or drinking? And I really love that you brought up values, and whether or not they're upheld. Great job, and I hope you've been enjoying your time as a Greek!

    • Ginger Meow profile image

      Ginger Meow 5 years ago

      Ahh, I just looked up what "Going Greek" means, and far from the sexual terms online it refers to Alpha, Beta etc the Greek alphabet names usually given to sorority groups. I am just slow on the uptake, being on the other side of the world and all where we don't have sororities. But like any group or orginisation in life, you can get out of them great skills/friends depending on which group or group of people you associate with and if their pledges or mission statements and if they follow your standards or morals!

    • laurathegentleman profile image
      Author

      laurathegentleman 5 years ago from Chapel Hill, NC

      Thanks, Au fait :) I think it's a really important decision to think through. It's a serious time and money commitment, as well a commitment to the sort of company you will keep throughout college and even afterwards. I know many girls who joined sororities and found themselves with a reputation and some not-so-nice friends simply because of what sorority they pledged - there's a lot to know before you pledge!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      A great hub for young women considering joining a sorority. I'm sure many of them can identify with what you've written here and reading this may help them make their decision whether to join or not and what to be thinking about before they make that decision.

      Voting you up and useful!

    • laurathegentleman profile image
      Author

      laurathegentleman 5 years ago from Chapel Hill, NC

      Thanks for the encouragement, Cyndi! I'm definitely loving Sisterhood!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 5 years ago from Georgia

      Sororities can often be a great way to channel your desire to serve the community with volunteer work and can be a means of reaching out individuals who may have a great deal in common with you. Enjoy this special time with your sisters. You'll make bonds that can last well past the campus life.

    • laurathegentleman profile image
      Author

      laurathegentleman 5 years ago from Chapel Hill, NC

      Thanks, Michael, for the comment. I'm very glad I joined my sorority - I'm hoping it will continue to make my college experience more enjoyable, and that it will also bring me some good connections once I finish my degree!

    • laurathegentleman profile image
      Author

      laurathegentleman 5 years ago from Chapel Hill, NC

      Thanks, THEHuG5 - It is a large time commitment, but it is also one of my only extracurriculars, so I don't mind giving up that much of my time and effort to it! It really is all about balance - I'd highly recommend looking into joining one if you have the time! Just make sure you find the right sorority for you!

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 5 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      joining Sororities is very good decision for there are many upsides. they help your job prospects and look very good on your resume after you get your degree. good life choice,Laura. Love

      Michael