College is more than simply a place to complete homework, take classes, and study. College is also a key component of your social growth and development. Many students choose to join a fraternity or sorority to make the most of their social life in college.
Fraternities and sororities at colleges and universities are called “Greek life.” Greek life is a well-liked social group that students join to get more active. Each of these groups often has a distinctive name, philanthropy with which they are associated, customs, symbols, and other activities that are unique to them, as with a Greek organization.
“Rushing,” often known as recruiting, is the procedure for applying for membership in a fraternity or sorority. Greek life may provide a variety of advantages, such as opportunity for networking, enduring connections, and significant volunteerism.
However, joining a fraternity or sorority may also be quite time-consuming and labor-intensive. Because of this, it’s critical to be prepared before joining one. Here are some tips on how to be prepared for a rush week so you can manage your expectations.
Who Should Join the Greek Life?
All fraternities and sororities provide you with the ability to grow as a leader and help you develop skills to facilitate relationships. Many also work for a large nonprofit organization, which gives them access to volunteer opportunities around the nation and boosts their résumé.
But what are the disadvantages? The cons of joining a fraternity or sorority are that they may be very time-consuming, and you will have to pay fees. So, if you think Greek life might not be a good fit for you, that’s okay. Particularly for freshmen who are adjusting to college life, fraternities and sororities might require a significant time commitment. You could choose to put more emphasis on participating in other on-campus activities instead.
Pros of Rush Week on Your College Life
Rush events are an opportunity to bond with new friends, learn more about the Greek organizations on campus, and find a group of people with similar interests.
The outcome of rush events still varies per student, but the experience is almost always positive. Here are some advantages of going through Greek life recruitment:
Gain Leadership Opportunities
Numerous leadership opportunities are offered to members of fraternity and sorority organizations. Members have the option to run for a variety of positions each year when the organization opens up its executive board posts. The President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Risk Management posts are some of these jobs. These positions carry a lot of responsibility and help students develop crucial skills they’ll need while hunting for jobs after graduation.
Philanthropy and Community Involvement
Each fraternity and sorority must have a philanthropic affiliation and rich community involvement through community service. The groups take part in and organize several fundraising activities for their chosen charities during the academic year.
For instance, Kappa Delta works to support women and children and is associated with the Girl Scouts of the United States. For college girls who want to be heavily involved in these causes, the sorority rush week is their gateway to being able to help this foundation directly.
You are asked to join a network of active and former members of your greek organization after rush events. While you’ll probably have a close-knit circle of pals, you’ll also meet a ton of other individuals that you may interact with on campus and in your future. The Greek house is where you’ll find your best friends and some of the people you’ll stay in touch with for the rest of your life.
Rush Event Tips: Leave a Positive Impression for Greek Organizations
- Make a Good Impression
Fraternity and sorority rush week hold activities to introduce new students to their members. This is how established frat guys introduce Greek life to new members, so be courteous and approachable, maintain eye contact, and make an effort to recall the names of the individuals you meet in order to leave a good first impression.
When you go through a Greek recruitment process, you’ll probably find yourself conversing with a lot of individuals. Later, the fraternity or sorority will convene to decide which members to accept. During the fraternity rush process, you might need to impress a dozen or more individuals in order to receive an invitation to join, often known as a “bid.”
- Assess Your Time Commitment
Fraternity rush season might span many weeks, depending on the organization. Although it’s fun and enjoyable, it can also have a negative impact on your mental health and make it challenging to keep up with your academic and extracurricular obligations. You’ll need to schedule a lot of time just for the rush process, so make sure you won’t be overworked.
Missing an event hosted by a fraternity or sorority may reduce your likelihood of getting a bid from that group. Members often select applicants who may be too busy to participate in Greek life in favor of those who will stay active throughout the course of the next four years (remember, they expect you to remain active as part of a Greek house). By being organized and picking a doable class, you may complete your work while rushing a fraternity or sorority.
- Be Open-Minded
When you go through the recruitment process, you should keep an open mind about which fraternity or sorority you want to join. Consider all of your options, and don’t limit yourself to just one organization. Some students have a preconceived notion of which fraternity or sorority they want to join but end up finding a different group that suits them even better.
Additionally, don’t let others pressure you into joining a fraternity or sorority. Decide which organization best resonates with you as you think about your options and the different values they uphold. Make sure that the organization’s values coincide with your own. While consulting with friends and family members may be beneficial, you should make an effort to join a fraternity or sorority that has a solid reputation and participates in extracurricular activities and community service projects that you are interested in. Consider the alumni networks and post-graduation successes of each organization’s members as well.
- Weigh the Pros and Cons
One of the highlights of a student’s college experience is joining a fraternity or sorority. However, there are a lot of things to think about before choosing if Greek life is right for you.
For one, fraternity or sorority rush frequently includes hazing events. Hazing continues even though it is against the law and despite efforts by Greek life leadership to stop it in recent years. The ceremony may be challenging on a physical, emotional, and mental level, not to mention potentially hazardous. Apart from this, you will also need to pay regular dues, which cover the cost of social events, philanthropy projects, and housing (if you choose to live in the fraternity or sorority house).
On the other hand, joining a fraternity or sorority allows you to develop leadership skills, make friends, and give back to the community. As a member of a Greek organization, you will have opportunities to hold various positions within the house and plan social events and service projects. These experiences can help build your resume and stand out to potential employers.
- Research Well
Research the houses first. Knowing what your alternatives are and what these groups represent might make entering rush week simpler and less complicated. Make sure to read up on all of the Greek organizations at your school, their philanthropies, and any other relevant information that can help you make a decision on finding the best fraternity to join.
- Allow Your Personality to Shine
Don’t be scared to let your personality shine once you’re at ease. Perhaps you’re the class clown type, you enjoy a little friendly competition, or your sarcasm makes others laugh. The more self-assured you are in displaying your character and personality, the easier it will be for you to connect with others and find like-minded individuals whom you share the same interests with.
- Attend as Many Events as Possible
During the recruitment process, aim to attend as many events as possible. This will give you a better idea of what each fraternity or sorority is about and whether or not you would be a good fit for the organization. Additionally, attending more events also increases your chances of getting to know more members of the house, which can make the decision-making process easier.
- Check Your Financial Capability
Before you make a decision, it is essential to check if you can afford the dues. If you’re concerned that joining a sorority or fraternity will be too pricey, then make sure to ask how much the member dues are beforehand. Many organizations offer payment plans or other financial aid options to make Greek life more accessible for students. Upperclassmen can explain the cost of dues and the purpose for which the money is used.
Get the Most Out of Your College Experience
Whether it’s in a Greek-life organization or in another group or activity on campus, it’s all about where you will feel most comfortable and find your niche. The college experience is what you make of it, so make sure to do your research and get involved in things that interest you. Have fun and enjoy your time in college!
Pearl de Guzman is a contributing writer at Campus Colors. She specializes in health and wellness, promoting the health of individuals to be healthier and more productive.