Your campus, Your story
Everyone starts college with some vision of how they want their new friend group to be. Maybe you want to break off from the group you were with in high school. Going Greek may present itself as the best opportunity when you walk on campus and want to meet new people. There are many pros and cons to going Greek. We’ve complied a few opinions from both a Greek life member and a non-Greek member to show the benefits, as well as drawbacks of joining or not joining the Greek life at CMU.
As a freshman, Karly M. knew she wanted to join a sorority. Having come from a large group of friends in high school, she wanted to keep that same feeling of community when arriving at college. Rushing a sorority seemed like the key to finding the group of friends she could trust and feel comfortable being a part of.
“I always envisioned myself keeping a large group of friends around, and a sorority seemed like the best option for meeting a large amount of new people and also for feeling close to all of them,” Karly says. “It seemed like an obvious decision.”
After joining Greek life and becoming a very active member of her sorority, Karly said she never regrets her decision. The things she has gained while being in the sorority make college an even better experience for her. Taking on roles in her chapter, however, have taken a toll on other areas of her life. Forgetting about certain assignments when lots of chapter events are happening seems to be a common trend for many Greeks. Schoolwork falls behind in the order of priorities, which then contributes to why many Greeks fall behind in their own Sorority/Fraternity. Grades are an important part of what it takes to stay in a chapter. Karly has had to learn how to balance everything to keep what’s important to her in check.
“Sometimes, it’s really hard to get my priorities in order. I forget that schoolwork should come before sorority work and events. I just have to make sure I always have a balance.”
The benefits of being in a sorority have greatly outweighed the burdens, she says. Gaining over 70 friends in one year and welcoming new members every semester is like getting gifted new friends twice a year. The bonds she has formed with these girls will be with her for, hopefully, years to come. These will be the girls in her wedding in five years, the girls she calls when she gets the job, and the people she can depend on.
Other students may find these kinds of friends in other ways. Kelley S., a junior at CMU, always thought she would rush a sorority when she arrived at school. After deciding to wait until second semester to make a decision, she wanted to see what Greek life had to offer first.
“I wanted to see what every sorority was about and which one I wanted to be a part of. But after hanging out with some of the people in Greek life and seeing what it was all about, I decided it wasn’t really the right fit for me, personally.”
Kelley describes herself as the kind of person that always has a large group of friends, just like Karly. She thought she knew all of high school, that when she got to college she would for sure rush a sorority.
“I didn’t really fit in with any of them once I got here,” Kelley says. But that didn’t hinder her from still being friends with people in Greek life.
She still spends time with many of the girls she met who are in sororities, as well as the guys in fraternities. Kelley also got to make a lot of friends in other organizations offered at CMU. Joining clubs for her major, making friends from the dorms, and volunteering at events. She says she doesn’t feel like she is missing out by not being Greek.
“They do a lot for the community, but I’ve made great friends at things Greeks aren’t involved with and just around campus. I used to feel like I was missing out, but I don’t feel that way as much anymore.”
So, maybe you identify with one of these two students and fit into Greek life, or are happy without it. There are different pros and cons for everyone. And everyone labels things as pros/cons differently as well. Either way, it is your own personal decision and no one else can make it for you. Just make sure you’re doing what you feel most comfortable with and make a choice you’ll always be happy with!
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