What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the words, “college fraternity” or “sorority house”? If you’re like most of us you probably think of the kind of wild parties depicted in movies like “Animal House” and “Revenge of the Nerds.” But while hard partying and whacky campus pranks are definitely part of Greek life on most college campuses, it’s still just a small part of what these organizations do.
As much as anything, a fraternity or sorority provides some much needed structure for college students who are out there on their own for the first time ever. If you’re a college freshman who has never lived away from home before, you’ll find that college life can quickly overwhelm. After all, all of a sudden you’re thrown into a world with no curfews, little adult supervision, and plenty of opportunities for mischief. That’s where Greek organizations come into the picture.
Freshman pledges are normally required to attend a number of study halls at their prospective fraternity houses every week. These forced study sessions may sound like a drag, but they actually help young college students develop good habits.
Pledges are also required to memorize copious amounts of information about the fraternity or sorority before they’re ever allowed to dawn Greek gear emblazoned with their house letters. These forced exercises may seem silly, but they reinforce a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood, and also help develop good memorization skills.
Besides the parties and study sessions, most Greek houses also engage in a fair amount of community service. Almost every Greek house has a designated charity they work with on a regular basis and new members can expect to spend plenty of time working on these service projects.
When it’s time for graduation, most Greek organizations provide valuable networking contacts that can lead to high quality positions in corporate America later on down the line. That means that a full-fledged brother or sister in a house can enjoy membership, and pretty solid networking, benefits for life.
Life in a fraternity or sorority house is as much about creating bonds of brotherhood as it is about GreekGear paddles and wild parties. That doesn’t mean that these kids don’t enjoy a good party as much as the next college kid, because they do. But when you cut past all that, the friendship, service and lifelong bonds are what Greek life is really all about.