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When you join the college community, you may be looking for ways to get involved other than academics. It is natural to want to find a community of people with similar interests and feelings of being part of something. A lot of students look for this in Greek life. Fraternities and sororities draw in students because of activities and peer relationships. However, Greek life has many drawbacks that may negatively affect your college experience.
College, in general, is an investment. Adding Greek life on top of it can add to that. Depending on the school and specific fraternity or sorority you want to be involved in, initial fees can cost anywhere from a hundred or thousands of dollars. Along with initial expenses, you will continue to have dues to pay for events, housing, etc.
Besides official expenses, there can be unofficial costs as well. If planning to go to events they hold, you may need to buy new clothing or supplies to make it happen. This can add up and be difficult to manage on a college budget.
While many colleges have attempted to change the stigma around Greek life, much of it remains. They are still commonly involved in lots of partying and drinking. When you join Greek life there may be a period of time when hazing occurs. They treat it like an initiation where you drink heavily at parties. About 82% of deaths are from hazing involving alcohol.
This can lead to physical risks that leave you and others in danger. It can also promote underage drinking and house members may risk alcohol-related charges. This can affect your future, cost more money or worse.
Distraction From School Work
When getting involved with Greek life you may have trouble navigating your priorities. Greek life can have a lot of opportunities to skip classes or forget about homework since there is always something to do with the people you meet. Especially if you are a freshman, trying to balance studies, classes and social activities may be difficult.
You also need to attend formal events that can conflict with your schedule. They can have chapter meetings every couple of weeks and will penalize you for not attending. Sometimes the excuse you have an exam is not enough to miss the meetings.
May Get Stereotyped
If you decide to join Greek life, there is the chance you will get stereotyped by peers, faculty and future employers. Although this can be an advantage if you have a common fraternity or sorority but if not, there may be judgments put onto you. Past experiences or impressions can be brought onto you through association.
Although you should be judged as your own person, people tend to have first impressions of you no matter what. It can lead to frustration and having to prove to faculty and employers that you should be taken seriously.
Be Aware Of The Disadvantages
Being involved in Greek life has just as many cons as it does pros. Knowing what you are getting yourself into is essential before deciding to get involved. After evaluating each side, you can find out what is best for you.