Students who are considering if they should join a fraternity or not have an important decision to make that will greatly affect their college careers. Joining a fraternity can be the best thing you can do to make your college experience fun and exciting. Still, there are many sides to the issue, and Greek life isn’t a perfect choice for every new student.
Before you make your decision, take some time to weigh the pros and cons to Greek life, pledging, and partying. Remember that college is entirely what you make of it, but life inside and outside a fraternity can be very different.
Pros of Joining a Fraternity
The word fraternity literally means friendship, community and support, and you get all of these things when you join a college fraternity. During the recruitment, or “rushing,” and the pledging process, you’ll get a better understanding of both the people in the fraternity and your fellow pledgers attempting to become full members. By the time you’re a member, you’ll have formed a peer community of friends, mentors and a strong support system.
All fraternities are tied to charitable organizations or service and philanthropic events, so there is also plenty of opportunity to make a difference in your community. If you choose to live at the fraternity house, it is also usually cheaper than living at an on-campus dorm.
Many men, when given a community, activity and sense of purpose, find that they perform their academic responsibilities better, even though strong time management is needed to make sure that social obligations don’t take over your life.
Cons of Joining a Fraternity
Greek culture is notorious for excesses in alcohol and partying, and although national Greek letter organizations are getting better about dispelling these practices, many stories of frat parties and hazing still exist.
Remember that it’s important to find a fraternity that you feel comfortable with. There are still plenty of Greek organizations that are exemplary in their zero-tolerance policy of hazing, underage alcohol consumption and illegal behavior.
Time management can also be an issue. As stated above, fraternity members can lead productive and happy lives in fraternities. But without good time management skills, fraternity obligations can also rule your life.
Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you know exactly how you will fit in with a fraternity community and ensure that fraternity life will do more good than harm for you as a college student.