By Kelly Wranik
Going through recruitment my freshman year of college, I had no idea what to expect and the kind of impact fraternity and sorority life would eventually have on me. I didn’t consider the kind of woman I would become because of it or the countless memories that lie ahead.
Sure, everyone sees Greek life as fake friendships, failed classes, paying for connections and a way to seem better than everyone else on campus. These preconceived ideas come from stupid movies, satirical Twitter accounts and media coverage that choose to highlight the Greek community in undesirable ways.
However, we all know how negative and biased news coverage can be, so why do students and families continue to believe only the side being shown? I am a firm believer that everyone should give Greek life a shot. In high school, if you had told me I would have the guts to speak to over 300 people or talk with potential employers with such ease, I would have laughed.
However, after becoming a part of my sorority, I began to set higher goals for myself because I started to see how motivated and accomplished my sisters were.
Not only am I surrounded by 200 of my sisters, but also a community of men and women who empower me to be the best version of myself. Every day my Greek peers encourage me to continue pushing my limits. I never used to take initiative to get what I wanted out of life, and I was constantly jealous of those making the efforts I never had the courage to make. Being involved in Greek life has made me step out of my comfort zone and given me confidence and drive.
The Greek community instills such power and self-confidence in individuals. It appears obvious to me why everyone should consider joining a Greek chapter.
The Greek community is held to a higher academic standard, which can lead one to assume Greeks could possibly be more successful after college. According to a USA Today article entitled “Examining the Benefits of Greek Life,” “85 [percent] of Fortune 500 executives were part of Greek life. The first female astronaut was Greek. So was the first female senator. And college graduation rates are 20 [percent] higher among Greeks than non-Greeks.”
Greeks are taught leadership skills and are provided with outlets such as peer tutoring, study nights and grade checks to stay focused on the true reason for being at school. Greek individuals have so many opportunities to excel in the classroom that carry over to their life after college.
In addition to personal growth, fraternity and sorority life has also taught me the true value of philanthropy. You see, charity work has always been a thing that “had to be done” in order for you to be a better person and a more well-rounded individual in society.
However, Greek life completely shifted my view by making philanthropy fun. Various philanthropic events on campus include all you can eat nights, embarrassing dance moves, petting puppies, 5Ks, walks and so much more. Occasions such as these create an environment that people long to participate in. These events are entertaining and upbeat but also ensure that participants are donating their time and money to support a greater cause.
And when the last floor has been scrubbed and all the decorations are taken down, I cannot tell you the kind of reward you get from supporting causes so close to others’ hearts and your own.
People who choose to join Greek life can always count on a strong support system. The bond between your fraternity brothers or sorority sisters are bonds that last a lifetime. Everyone should join Greek life because it is a chance to find yourself and do good in the community, while making forever friends. I am who I am today because of my sorority and the Greek community as a whole.
Passion, purpose, philanthropy, academics and drive are just a few of the values I owe to being a member of fraternity and sorority life. So when presented with the chance for Greek life to change you, let it.
Find your forever friends. Find the person you want to be. Find the charity you are passionate about. Go Greekeveryone should.
Kelly Wranik studies community health science. She can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @kellywranik.