The Hollywood image of fraternity and sorority houses is one of occasionally riotous and out of control behavior. The reality is that these groups of like-minded male and female college students have pledged their allegiance to a group for much more than simply having keg nights or late-night heart-to-hearts in the dorm.
In fact, there are some very good reasons why students should consider participating in this peculiarly American custom – fraternity and sorority come from the Greek meaning “brother” and “sister” and the names of each house are generally Greek, too; for example, Phi Beta Kappa. Let's look at why you should consider joining a sorority.
1. Make Friends
The most compelling reason to join a chapter as an undergraduate is to make friends – for many students, their arrival at college is their first time away from home and what better way to meet people than to join a group whose members have similar interests, shared goals and common experiences. And many fraternity and sorority members will testify that the friendships they made in college have been the most lasting of their lives.
2. Learn Organizational Skills
Learning to be part of a group and taking part in organized activities, as well as becoming an organizer, is another terrific benefit for students. Volunteer for leadership roles, such as managing your chapter’s finances or as the academic chair ensuring that your group’s grade point average stays high. Such practical, hands-on experience will add depth to a resume after graduation and demonstrate your leadership qualities to a potential employer.
3. Social Networking
For many students, social networking might seem to be little more than having a Facebook, Twitter or MySpace account, but professional social networking that may lead to unexpected but welcome career paths or relationships generally begin in on-campus groups such as a fraternity or sorority. Alumnae who maintain links with their chapter can offer a link to internships or even a job so it pays to network and attend all events organized by your group.
4. Support Network
A fraternity or sorority is also a fantastic support network with the academics chair overseeing a mentoring program where senior students look after younger ones and provide help with academic topics and grades. And there is also support offered for any student struggling with other issues, whether financial or emotional.
5. Be a Philanthropist
There is a philanthropic side to these student bodies with charity very much in mind. Chapters have nominated charities for which they raise cash regularly with the benefit of the wider community in mind.
In short, joining a sorority is about so much more than toga parties and can be part of the wider college experience that helps a student become a more adult, rounded member of society.