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There are many negative stereotypes associated with Greek life, however, the Greek community offers much more to its members than what is portrayed in the media. Greek life provides its members the opportunity to lead, meet, and help others in a way that no other college community does. Although it might not seem so upon first joining, time in your organization is fleeting. There are many simple yet effective ways to make the most of your time in Greek life and become a respected, successful member of this amazing community.
Seek out leadership positions.
Believe it or not, the Greek community offers a plethora of leadership positions that members can hold. Taking on chair or executive board positions may seem daunting, but seeing how you’ve impacted your fraternity or sorority after your term makes any stress worth it! Chapter leaders often implement new leadership practices or plan successful philanthropy events that continue on for years to come. Additionally, holding positions can foster soft and technical skills that you can highlight on your resume. The Public Relations chair, for example, is responsible for social media marketing, while the Treasurer allocates and budgets money for the chapter’s various affairs. These leadership positions, as well as many others, are great talking points during an interview.
Make connections both inside and outside of your organization.
One of the best things about Greek life is the number of people you get to meet. Upon joining an organization, you have a strong support system of brothers or sisters who would be willing to help you in any way you need. Befriending people in different fraternities or sororities expands your support system, and will expose you to differing viewpoints on Greek or campus life that you may not have considered. Joining the Greek community is also a great networking opportunity; many alumni help current members find internships and full-time jobs.
Learn more about other organizations’ philanthropies and values.
While it is easy to fully immerse yourself in your own Fraternity or Sorority, it’s important to remember that you are a part of a larger community. Educating yourself on other organizations and what they stand for will help you better understand their points of view and what types of events they hold throughout the school year. You will probably also find some similarities -- many Greek organizations share philanthropies or values such as academic excellence, service to the community, and being a well-rounded individual.
Go to as many events as you can.
Many seniors will admit that their biggest regret throughout their time in Greek life is that they did not attend as many events as they should have. As an underclassman, it can be challenging to manage academic, social, and other extracurricular events on top of Greek life events. With time and practice, it will get easier to do so and your organization will help you take advantage of all the Greek events you can. Spending time with your brothers or sisters is special, and you will greatly miss all the events, that Greek life has sponsored for you once you graduate.
Be passionate about what you do as a member of the Greek community.
There is much to take pride in upon joining Greek life. This community is dedicated to its causes, which can vary by organization, such as Habitat for Humanity and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The connections you make through Greek life are unique -- the bond formed between you, your brothers or sisters, and the rest of the community are unlike any other. Reflecting on all the positive impact that Greek life has is empowering.
Although it may seem daunting, taking these small steps will help to ensure that your time in the Greek community is well-spent.
The College of New Jersey
Kelly Vena is a senior at The College of New Jersey,
where she is finishing up her English major and Communication Studies and French minors. She has worked as a marketing intern at Bedford, Freeman & Worth Publishers, the high school textbook branch of Macmillan Learning, since the start of the 2018-2019 school year. Kelly has been a writer since her senior year of high school, and her poetry has appeared in two publications as well as multiple editions of The College of New Jersey’s literary magazine.
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