Despite what they will tell you, being in a fraternity or sorority is not always the best way to go through college. In fact, there are just as many reasons not to join as there are to join.
To keep this short and sweet, here are the main pros and cons to joining the Greek system in college. Let’s start with the pros.
Pro #1: Instant Network
When most people go off to college, they’re walking into a completely new environment. They know very few people, may not know the area at all, and they’re balancing fun, work and school.
That’s a lot of stuff to balance, so it can be difficult to make new friends sometimes. But if you join a fraternity, you’re instantly bonded with a bunch of other people.
Whether it’s just 5 people or 95, at least now you have people to hang out with every Thursday night.
Pro #2: “The Word”
When going to school, there is something that fraternities and athletes call the “Word” or some sort of variation of this. This is basically copies of old tests and homework for the various classes at that school. It’s not uncommon even though textbooks come out with new editions every year that most teachers like to just recycle old homework and test questions!
By simply studying last year’s tests that you got from your frat brother or sorority sister, you’re way ahead of the rest of the chumps that just have the stuff from class to study.
Pro #3: Live Cheap… Kinda
Depending on your fraternity, you may be able to live for less money, in a cooler place, than someone who didn’t join.
It all depends on the fees you have to pay, the cost of rent for a room in the house, meals, etc. But for many people, they’re actually able to save money by joining a fraternity.
Cool, right? But there are also a few disadvantages to consider.
Con #1: Smaller Network
There is an old saying that says you are either “Greek or Geek.” While that is true in some cases, without a doubt, there are still PLENTY of geeks in fraternities and sororities. Likewise, a lot of very cool people never join.
But if you join the Greek system, good luck meeting those cool people. Your entire friends list will be guys or gals from your fraternity or sorority. That may be good for partying, but missing out on hanging out with other people means you will miss fun times.
Con #2: More Expensive… Maybe
As mentioned earlier, you may be able to live cheaper if you join the Greek system.
But on the flip side, your life may be a lot more expensive than if you’d have just skipped frat house lane. That’s especially true if you aren’t able to move into a frat house, where rent tends to be lower than if you lived in another apartment nearby.
Con #3: Negative Reputation
At many colleges there can be dozens of fraternities and sororities. Each one will have its own personality, from being very nerdy to being a good ol’ Southern boy born into money.
Likewise, each one has its own reputation. Some are very much liked, as their members are friendly to other students and just genuinely great people. But at the other end of the spectrum are the ones that are seen negatively throughout campus. If you make the mistake of joining one of the wrong ones, you might “only be a rockstar in your mind.”
Joining a fraternity or sorority is a matter of personal choice, and it’s a choice that only you can make. At the end of the day you will need to decide if the pros outweigh the cons, and whether that is how you want your college life to be influenced.
But don’t just read about the pros and cons. Get out there, talk to a few and see if you think it’s right for you!