by Claudia Tran
It’s that time of year again: fraternities and sororities around the country are prepping their chapter houses and their members for new pledge classes.
As the Greek community gears up for another round of recruitment, haters all around shake their heads and mutter their skepticism and judgmental comments under their breaths. For those of you who believe in and/or participate in the Greek system, you already know that nearly none of the Greek stereotypes are true and even if a few are, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Besides, I dare you to name any college activity that doesn’t have a few negatives. Bet you can’t.
So for the skeptics, here’s a few clarifications on three major myths you might have heard or even – but hopefully not – believe.
It’s all about the drinking.
This is quite possibly the most un-true of all myths about Greek life. Ask any member why they went Greek, and you will find very few who say: “To find people who share my common interests, which are: blacking out, throwing up and generally living my life in a shammered state.” You will, however, find an overwhelming number of responses about people looking to find others who share their interests of scholarship and community service. Yes, socializing is one too, but by the way, socializing isn’t automatically synonymous with drinking. Sure, partying can be an interest, but it is usually never the main one. Sit in on any chapter meeting and the agenda will most likely include a philanthropic event or opportunity of some sort or sisterhood/brotherhood building activities. The bottom line is Greek members always have fun, whether partying or sober.
They only care about looks.
It’s slightly ridiculous to persecute those who join sororities and fraternities just because they enjoy presenting themselves nicely. But besides that, going Greek isn’t about being the hottest guy or the prettiest girl in the room, and if Hollywood has taught us anything, it’s that not always the best-looking people who are the most well-liked – sorry Megan Fox. Appearance makes the first impression, but like every cliché says, it’s what’s underneath that matters more. It’s your personality that will keep your friends around long after nights out at the bar in hot outfits end.
Everyone is shallow and fake.
Many people think there are no strong relationships built between brothers and sisters, and there is absolutely no truth to that belief. We aren’t lying when we say we’re brothers or sisters for life. It may be incredulous for those not involved to believe, and I will admit I was skeptical at once. But after actually entering the system and finding the girls I know will be there for me years down the road, long after we leave school, I will defend my sisters to no end and I can’t say enough good things about them. We don’t “pay for our friends” in any sense of the phrase. It’s like any organization you pay club dues for. We’re a collection of people who click well, get along great and truly enjoy being around each other. I honestly hope those not in the Greek system have made friendships as strong as the ones I’ve found in my sorority, and I consider myself incredibly blessed and lucky.
I’m not saying every single person should go Greek. I will be the last person to say pledging is for everyone. But I am strongly encouraging you to take all the negatives you hear with a grain of salt. Some people might not like Greek Life, but all I ask you is this: if it was a worthless system, why are there still thriving fraternities and sororities on many campuses, with members and alumni who continue to change the world we live in?
For more information, read this Huffington Post article on why going Greek is good for our communities: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-asghar/want-to-build-a-better-wo_b_918291.html