What is Greek Life?

What is sorority life like? How about fraternity life? How are they different? Find out here.

Considering how often you hear about fraternities and sororities, many incoming freshmen enter college with the same question: “What is Greek life?”

It’s a simple question, but there’s no simple answer. Greek life varies from campus to campus and even from house to house.

As any Greek life devotee will tell you, the friends you make at your house are strong, lifelong connections

If you’re interested in fraternity life, or you want to get a sense of what sorority life is like before you start rushing, there are a few things you should know. Here are some of the basics to help you understand what is Greek life, and give you some context as you choose which house to join.

Different Kinds of Greek Life

The most common type of Greek life portrayed in the media is a social frat. In this type of house, sorority and fraternity life is designed primarily to help you meet friends and develop future professional contacts.

Academic Greek life has a similar goal of developing contacts, but with a more studious focus. Sorority life at an academic house is often more reserved than a social sorority, providing an excellent atmosphere to meet like-minded people and work on your studies.

Sorority and fraternity life at a multicultural house may combine aspects of academic and social Greek life. These houses are designed to celebrate diversity, bringing together students from similar cultural backgrounds. This kind of Greek life is more common at large universities than small colleges.

National Councils

Many Greek houses are part of a larger national council, such as the National Pan-hellenic Council, the Interfraternity Council and the Multicultural Greek Council.

These councils help to regulate Greek life throughout the country, as well as to connect brothers and sisters from different chapters. If you’re wondering what is Greek life like at a certain house, its governing council’s website is a good resource.

Extracurricular Involvement

A good portion of fraternity and sorority life has to do with extracurricular involvement. Greek houses often organize charity events and volunteer opportunities, as well as parties and other social events.

This can make Greek life somewhat time consuming, but also quite rewarding. Greek events are a great break from studying, and give you an opportunity to bond as a house, meet new people, and experience new things.

Benefits of Greek Life

Now that you know the answer to the question, “What is Greek life?” you’re probably wondering why you should get involved. While sorority and fraternity life isn’t for everyone, there are plenty of good reasons to join a house.

  • As any Greek life devotee will tell you, the friends you make at your house are strong, lifelong connections. The words “brother” and “sister” are not taken lightly, and fellow Greeks take care of each other whenever possible, whether socially or professionally.
  • Similarly, a high level of engagement can have great personal and professional benefits. Employers like to see community service on a resume; it shows strong character and good work ethic. And, of course, the personal enrichment you can gain from such experiences is not to be overlooked.
  • Last but certainly not least, Greek life is a fantastic way to expand your horizon. Not only will you meet a diverse group of new people, but you’ll also experience things you would never have thought to pursue. If you like a little variety, then fraternity or sorority life might be for you!

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