Written by Contributor Writer Kara Weightman
When I first went into college, I knew I wanted to get involved in some sort of organization, but I wasn’t sure what exactly. My first semester was a bit tough for me being away from home, I didn’t have many friends, and I recently just got out of a relationship. I wanted to join some sort of organization to hopefully turn my first year around. I learned about Greek life and the second semester of my freshman year, I joined a sorority. There are so many benefits of joining any college organization, and this is what I gained from mine:
- Service opportunities: We are required to do 7 hours of community service per semester so I got involved in a lot of different service events throughout college. I went to animal shelters, women’s aid shelters, food drives, and a bunch of different service events. We also tend to have certain philanthropy events like implementing certain fraternity fundraising ideas and donating the money to good cause as well. So far, I have logged over 300 hours of community service.
- Academics: Now, this reason might not be as apparent, but Greek organizations, as well as many other college organizations, require their members to maintain a certain GPA to stay active. My sorority also does study hours, incentives for good grades and GPAs, as well as providing support if you start falling behind in school. It’s also helpful when you have sisters that are the same major as you because you can study together as well as ask them for advice on classes they have taken.
- It brought me out of my shell: I’m not usually a shy person, but I was struggling my first year getting to know people. When I joined I got to know not only my sisters, but other Greeks as well through socials, service events, and if there was another Greek in my class, we already had something in common to kind of bond over.
- Leadership skills: We strive our embers to be a leader in the community, whether it is our own or a different one on campus. We get introduced to so many different leadership positions and opportunities as well as the skills to be a successful leader. I currently hold a executive board position that has helped me advance my leadership skills.
- Shared Values: When you join any organization, you share some sort of same value. When I went Greek, I share the same core values as I do with my sisters and it brings us closer together.
- Professional Development: So the main reason we all go to college is to get an education that will help us land a job after college. My organization has such close alumni relations and our alumni have careers in so many different fields. Knowing and staying connected with our alum helps us find jobs and internships, they give us advice on classes they took, and they are references for our field of studies. I wear my sorority badge to every interview that I have because it is a great conversation starter to talk about leadership and service. Being involved in a college organization also looks great on a resume.
- You will always have something to do: Whether that is a meeting, dinner, or a movie night, I always have something to do and someone to do it with.
- You’ll have a mentor: Greek life, like most college organizations have older members. In Greek life, you get a big sister who becomes your mentor. My big is my best friend and has guided me through the ups and downs of not only college but life as well. Older members in organizations serve as great role models because they have already been through situations you are currently going through or will face and they are there for advice.
- You represent something bigger than yourself: this one sounds odd but hear me out. When you join an organization, you are no longer just representing yourself when you go out, interact with people on campus or in the workplace, and even on social media. You are a direct representation of the organization you are a part of and you make an impression on people of what your organization is like. This has helped me tremendously because it has helped me become more aware of my actions and the things that I do (which will also help you in your future career).
- Lifelong friendships: As cheesy as it sounds, I have met my best friends, my bridesmaids, and have created friendships that will be lifelong. Greek life has introduced me to people I would have never met if it weren’t for joining. The relationships I have developed I will always hold near and dear to my heart after graduation.