The Advantages of Fraternity and Sorority Life

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September 16th, 2010

Fraternities and sororities get an admittedly bad rap in the pop cultural eye: they're always depicted as dated, insipid cliques that spend all their time and energy focused on beer pong (for the men) or catfights (for the women). And it's true that some of the students that pledge turn out to be total nutjobs who want to embrace those stereotypes and get lost in the mindless partying. But don't let a few misconceptions spoil the idea of Greeks for you. Joining a frat or sorority can be a great way to enhance your college experience.

For starters, you will make friends for life. That sounds terribly cheesy and not very original, but it's completely true. College is a chance to meet new people who will impact your life in ways you don't understand yet, just as you can do for them, and the fellow students you'll meet participating in a fraternity or sorority are people who will see you through the highs and lows of undergrad life and beyond. The sheer amount of time spent living and hanging out with fellow members will help you bond tightly.

You can also get to know a broader array of students than you could otherwise. Fraternities and sororities often act like a great equalizer, pulling in men and women from all walks of life and uniting them with common goals and activities, and as a result they are fantastic ways to get to know people who are often radically different from yourself. The tendency for most people is to gravitate to others like them and to do so in smaller groups, but pledging means meeting loads of men and women with different beliefs, outlooks, and goals. This is called being a well-rounded person, and this is a good thing.

It's also good to remember that joining a fraternity or sorority means becoming part of a network that's been around a lot longer than the four(-ish) years you'll be at school. The men and women who've come before you can be a fantastic way to find work, meet new people, or get in touch with alumni after you move to a new city. Obviously you're not joining a frat house just for the professional contacts down the road, but it'd be wrong to ignore the fact that a lot of success often comes down to who you know, and being in a fraternity or sorority gives you a wider base of friends on which to lean. Yes, you'll all still party together, but when the party's over, they'll still be there.

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