This a big one, let’s dive in. Deciding whether or not to join a fraternity or sorority is one of the biggest decisions we must make regarding our college social life.
This one decision offers two drastically different paths for our overall college experience.
That is why we must choose our college path wisely in order to lay the foundation for our ideal college experience. With that said, let’s now start learning how to join Greek life in college; or not.
Greek organizations at college are separated into fraternities for guys, and sororities for girls.
The first step we must take to make an educated decision about whether or not to join a Greek organization on campus is to ‘rush’ a few of them.
Rushing a fraternity or sorority means that we hang out and interact with members during rush events. These rush events are mostly mixers where a fraternity has a party or an event with a sorority.
Rush events can also consist of smaller gatherings focused around watching sports on TV, or recreational activities like flag football or coed softball, etc.
The rushing process usually takes between two weeks and a month to complete. At that time we must make our decision to ‘pledge’ for induction into our favorite organization or not.
Pledging consists of going through a rigorous test of physical endurance, loyalty, intelligence, trust, and mental perseverance for several weeks with the rest of our pledge class.
However, just because we make up our minds to pledge our favorite fraternity or sorority; it doesn’t mean we can.
The final say in whether or not we will be allowed to pledge is left up to the organization. Individual fraternities and sororities have complete control over who they want in their ranks.
The process Greek organizations use to allow a student who rushed their fraternity or sorority to now continue and pledge for membership is called awarding a ‘bid.’
Awarding a bid to a student who rushed a certain Greek organization is simply the organization’s way of saying, “We think you’re cool enough to go through our pledging process.”
Also, keep in mind that bids are not guaranteed to every student who rushes a fraternity or sorority. That is why it is very important for us to interact with as many organization members as possible during the rushing process.
The bottom line is, fraternities and sororities want new members just as much as we may want to become new members. All we have to do to win our bid is be cool, conversational, and show off the abilities we will bring to the organization.
This is the basic principal of being awarded a bid and how to join Greek life in college.
Also, if we are awarded a bid that does not mean we have to accept it and jump into the pledging process.
Once we are awarded a bid we need to do some final research to ensure that the organization is the right one. The last thing we want to do is join the wrong college Greek organization.
It may seem like they are all similar, but they all have their own individual characteristics.
For example, some Greek organizations have more parties than others, some focus more on academics, and some are very hard on their pledges while others are less strict.
We must do our research to make sure we find the best Greek organization for us. There’s no way around it if we want to truly discover how to join Greek life in college.
The reason doing extra research at this point is so important is because once we become a brother or sister in a Greek organization, there is no turning back.
Joining a fraternity or sorority is not like getting a college job. We can’t bounce around from one to another. Greeks take their organizations very seriously and demand that every new member does the same.
Understanding the seriousness of this is critical in how to join Greek life in college.
Next, after researching how Greek organizations work, some frustrated students often ask, “Why would anybody want to put up with all the rules, regulations, and grueling procedures that accompany fraternities and sororities?”
That common question has many answers. The recurring theme in most of them is that all the parties, mixers, event sponsoring, formal dances, and campus activities revolve around Greeks.
In fact, if we are not directly involved with a fraternity or sorority we probably won’t find out about most campus activities until they’re over with and done.
Moreover, once the social scope of Greek organizations is fully understood, some disheartened students question why people in fraternities and sororities are forced to pay dues.
Many students go as far as to say that being in a Greek organization is nothing more than buying friends. That misconception is continually fueled due to the fact that Greek life isn’t cheap.
Some students in fraternities and sororities pay a lot of money every semester to be active members. However, they believe all the money they pay is simply an investment in fun and comradery.
Continuing with the topic of money, the dues Greeks pay each semester covers the costs of all the parties, house bills, national charter costs, private formals, rush events, custom clothing, trips, parade floats, competition fees, and all other general expenses.
We have to consider that whether we join a Greek organization or not, we are going to spend money on having fun during college. Greek life is simply an organized way of doing it whether we like the overall idea of fraternities and sororities or not.
Now, let’s address the topic of pledging, and more specifically, pledging rituals.
Experts say that one of the deepest levels of human bonding takes place in situations where a group of people work together to overcome great adversity such as in conflicts or battles.
Thankfully, there are not many battles breaking out on college campuses. That is why Greek organizations group all of their pledges together into a pledge class and simulate that kind of adversity through pledging rituals.
However, this at times can lead to various degrees of hazing. Hazing is when pledging rituals are taken too far and become seriously dangerous.
Technically, any type of hazing is illegal, but so is driving a car 1 mph over the designated speed limit.
In campus reality, most Greek organizations only get in trouble for hazing when they go way over the hazing speed limit.
That is why if we really want to be in a Greek organization we must be willing to endure pledging rituals while keeping an eye out for excessive hazing.
Pledging rituals vary from doing exercises outside in the middle of the night to reciting fraternity or sorority history while standing blindfolded in a cold basement with our hand buried in a bucket of cockroaches.
The secret of success when it comes to pledging rituals is to break them down to identify any real danger.
In the example I just mentioned; will being blindfolded cause any harm? Will being out in the middle of the night cause any pain? Do cockroaches really hurt? Will all of these things happening together kill me?
Asking ourselves questions like these is the key to success throughout the pledging process.
Plus, the individuals who are running the pledging rituals are usually not very nice to the pledges.
However, that is only to give the pledge class a common enemy to rally themselves against.
Sadly, there are times in which pledging rituals are taken too far and clearly become dangerous.
This is when we must remember to trust our instincts and not be to scared to speak up.
It’s always better to walk away from a dangerous situation and talk about it later than to just go along with it and hope for the best. Pledging rituals may seem stupid and juvenile.
However, if they are done correctly they can unite a pledge class in a way that nothing else can. That is why pledging rituals will never go away. The students who go through them are the ones who continue to support them year after year.
Newly inducted members realize that without pledging rituals anyone could join their organization which would turn it into nothing more than an average campus club.
Overall, becoming a member of a Greek organization in college is a great honor that should be cherished and respected.
Some students tragically eliminate Greek life as a possibility for themselves because they believe every ridiculous, second-hand story they hear.
That’s why it’s best for all students to rush a Greek organization at least once during college.
Because, if they do not enjoy the rush events they will honestly know Greek life isn’t for them.
However, if they’re still unsure after the rush process is complete and they’re awarded a bid, there’s nothing wrong with at least starting the pledging process to see what it’s like.
Then, if they want to quit all they need to do is explain their feelings to the organization and simply stop showing up for pledging activities. That’s it.
In the end the pros and cons of joining a college Greek organization, or not, are many.
In fact, joining a fraternity or sorority, or deciding to skip it altogether, will lead to vastly different college experiences. Whichever path we choose, there is no right or wrong choice in joining a Greek organization or not.
However, rushing a fraternity or sorority to find out more about them is a must.
That’s ultimately how to join Greek life in college while tapping into our inborn power. This will bring us closer to living as the most complete version of ourselves immediately.
* Action Step *
List two Greek organizations that you want to know more about.
List when and how you will take the steps to obtain the information you need about these Greek organizations.
After you obtain the information about each organization, decide which one you like better.
Then, list your main contact for that organization and when you plan to hangout with them next to learn more about how they work.
Finally, list why you like that organization the best.
* Main Personal Contact:
* When will I hang out or visit that organization next?
* Why do I like this organization the best?
You must at least do this much regarding joining, or not joining, a Greek organization in college. After doing these three steps the rest is up to you.
However, every student must at least look this far into the process of how to join Greek life in college.
How To Join Greek Life In College Now
– Written by Motivational Joe