By: Deanna Berg
Long Form Magazine Article: Why Greek life?
As a “northerner” going to a tech school, in the South, you bet I had every concern possible about joining a sorority. I thought it was all true, every stereotype and everything about sororities in the movies. But it turns out, I was completely wrong. Joining a sorority was one of the best decisions I have made since coming to Georgia Tech, and yes, I recognize how corny that is. Going Greek helped me in every aspect of my college life, from academics to social events to philanthropy. Through other sisters, I found out about opportunities in leadership, volunteering, and internships. Tech schools are hard, and rarely can someone get through it on their own. When you’re a few hundred miles from home and any family, you need someone to turn to help you in bad times and be excited with you in good times. A sorority and your sisters are exactly that, a home away from home, and a second family. Your sisters will be your lifelong friends, your future maid-of-honors, and the godmothers of your children.
Just as expected, the ratio of men to women at a Tech school is quite lopsided, and that being said, it can be a little intimidating to walk into a classroom of forty and be one of four girls in the class…. Okay, a lot intimidating, which is exactly why you need that one sister to say she’s been through it all before, and it’s not that bad. Or a sister to take those male dominated classes with so there’s a friendly face in the room. Along with classes being male dominated, they’re pretty hard too. Having people around to struggle through the pain of the classes makes all the difference in being able to persevere and get those A’s. Due to the resources a Greek organization provides, average GPAs of Greek affiliated students are higher than that of non-affiliated students. Specifically at Georgia Tech, the average GPA of affiliated students in 2017 was 3.36, whereas non-affiliated students had an average GPA of 3.29.
As an eighteen or nineteen year old going into college, you’re still pretty young, and having the pressure of needing to choose what you will do with the rest of your life is a heavy weight to hold. That’s why having a sister who has been through the process of changing a major, or adding a minor, can really come in handy when you need some advice from a person with experience. When 25% of college students experience a mental health disorder, support is necessary. The sense of community felt in Greek life contributes to the member experiencing long-term happiness, and in a survey conducted it was found that members of Greek life report higher levels of happiness later in life.
Academics are always going to be the most important part of college but having a life and something to distract you from it is vital. Being in Greek life is an easy and smart way of meeting people and finding things to do on the weekends or even during the week to destress and be social. Whether fun is going to a concert, a party or getting a tattoo, there’s bound to be a sister that would love to go with you! Additionally, being Greek has the added benefit of Greek events like mixers, crush parties, and formals. All of which are always fun whether you just wanna hang with the girls or find a boy. If you’re planning to go to a school with a Division 1 football team, or even just one with a lot of school spirit, game days are going to be part of your regular Saturday in the fall. These are some of the best times you’ll have to bond with your sisters and meet plenty of new people.
Just like applying to college, employers will look for well-rounded candidates; so, being involved is key. Through your sisters, you will have so many connections to different on campus organizations, both philanthropic and otherwise, and to their past employers for internships and co-ops. Being involved in organizations on campus will help to build that perfect resume. With so many members in your sorority, there’s bound to be someone in a large majority, if not all, of the clubs on campus. All of whom, would love to give you more information about it and get you involved. A major part of the benefits of going Greek is having an easy way to get involved in philanthropy. Each chapter requires to put in a certain number of hours of community service outside of your own chapter’s philanthropy. According to a report by the National Panhellenic Council, sororities across the nation have raised a total of $34.8 million and dedicated 2.9 million hours of community service in 2014.
Often, sisters will tell your chapter about opportunities for internships and co-ops that they previously had. Very often, employers take advantage of the connections formed in Greek life to recruit the best candidates for the positions they are trying to fill. A lot of people say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Which in this case, can seriously work in your favor. When it comes time to interview, your sisters will be there to review your resume and give you tips on how to nail that interview. For, most college students, with high aspirations of making it to the top of big companies, every advantage you can get matters. Greek life is an important one. 85% of the executives in Fortune 500s were in Greek life during their college career.
In this age, every advantage you can get throughout college will help you to stand out in the job pool. A college career isn’t complete without broadening your horizons and traveling. Whether it’s out of the town you grew up in or across the globe, it will be something to remember for the rest of your life. If you are going out of the country, and it’s your first time, it might be a little intimidating, which is why it’s always a good idea to go with someone you know. In a study conducted on study abroad, 59% of employers said that a study abroad experience would help in the advancement of an individual’s career in their organization. Experience of all kinds will be the best times of your life, and the most important learning experiences.
There are so many stereotypes of Greek life, and unfortunately, very often only the poor stories come to light. However, sororities and fraternities were established to better each of its members in order to prepare them for life after college, and that’s exactly what they do. Whether it be through scholarship, social, philanthropic, or involvements, your sorority is a one stop shop for all the advice help and love you might need throughout college.