April 3, 2014 in Campus Life
I never pictured myself being in a sorority; the possibility of joining one was never on my radar. In high school I looked at a sorority as as an annoying group of girls that only cared about their image and partying, not exactly my scene. Not that I don’t like to have fun, but Greek life just didn’t seem like the life for me.
My freshman year of college I came to realize that Greek life was an extremely large part of the social scene at Syracuse, something that was unknown to me when entering school. About 20-25 percent of undergraduate men and women are part of either a fraternity or sorority. My roommate freshman year knew that she wanted to rush and pledge a sorority, so she convinced me to at least try the process out—what did I have to lose? I went in with the idea that if I got a bid from a place that seemed like a good fit, perhaps I’d see how things went. I had absolutely no idea how the process worked; I didn’t even know some of the sororities on campus even existed.
Now as a junior I cannot imagine my college experience without being involved with Greek life on campus. I’m not saying that sorority life has taken over my college years, but it has definitely dominated it in a positive way. I have made friends that will truly last a lifetime, and I am part of a house that I can sincerely call a home. Next year as a senior I will be living in my sorority house, which is something I would have never pictured myself doing years ago. Living with 30 other women under one roof sounds like something only a crazy person would sign up for, but I couldn’t be more excited. Some perks being that we have a chef that cooks delicious meals every week, the house is located conveniently close to both campus and Marshall Street—where all the great food and bars at SU are located, and that it is a beautiful, cozy, clean house to live in. 30 girls might sound overwhelming, but when there is a chef involved it is hard to say no.
The part about Greek organizations that I love the most is that this strong bond is not over when your college career ends. There are many cases where a large reason someone receives a job upon graduation is through Greek organization connections—these connections really do last a lifetime. Tradition is something that is held with high value in the Greek community. Something that is incredible is the activity that our chapter learns and practices are the same that someone else learned 40 years ago. Another thing that is great about being a part of a sorority is that it provides you with the ability to befriend people of all ages throughout college. I can call girls who have graduated some of my best friends. Sororities provide connections for when you graduate, an entire network of women across the country who have a similar bond with you, who you share traditions and secrets with.
I have made my best friends through joining my sorority, but one critique, especially at Syracuse University, is the “separation” of each house. Of course I have friends outside of my sorority, but since I am very involved sometimes it’s hard to make time for friends outside of my immediate social circle. I think this is something we all realize and need to learn to balance, as we grow older and our lives all turn in different directions. I am very much involved, but I think that it’s really important to remember that Greek life isn’t everything, and that it is important to also become involved with other organizations.
It is frustrating when people immediately put a negative connotation with Greek life. Greek life is a strange bubble of a world that one needs to be a part of in order to understand the way of life that goes on. I am a huge advocate of Greek life, and yes it is true that members of Greek life have the reputation (and often live up to it) for throwing parties and having fun, but there is so much more behind those letters.