My name is Sam. I am a sophomore lacrosse player at Michigan State University, and in the Fall of my sophomore year, I joined a fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta. The main reason why I joined Greek life is because I knew the benefits it would have in the future with regards to networking. It is a commonality that brings people together and helps them relate.
Being a part of a fraternity has played a large role in my college experience, even in just the past two semesters. Living both a life with a fraternity and without a fraternity in college has given me a great data point on what fraternities have to give. Fraternities contribute many great social, academic, and professional attributions to my college life. A large part of these are how fraternities help me network. I have met so many great people and got to know them to help me in all three aspects I talked about previously.
Networking helps me socially by allowing me to meet many people, and once you find the fraternity that is right for you, it is great to be around the people that have similar interests. There is a type of brotherhood you get from being in a fraternity that is a very strong bond that is maintained throughout a lifetime, and knowing you have that many guys to have your back when you need is a great support system.
Fraternities have many socials and parties with sororities and some other fraternities. Some of the social practices significant to Greek life are events when fraternities and sororities join together to create awareness about multiple different things such as cancer. You get the chance to interact with other people outside of your own sorority/fraternity. This is a large part of the social aspect because it allows you to hang out and spend time with people who are also in Greek life trying to make friends. Many people see Greek life as just a way to party and meet people but it is also a great way to stay on top of academics and a great way to get help in classes you are struggling with.
Since there are so many people in fraternities, it is very likely that people have classes with other people in their fraternity. This helps because it encourages group studying and can create an environment for people to be social while they are enhancing their skills in academic work. Joining a fraternity has been so useful for my academics. You meet so many people that have a knowledge in many different areas. In addition, there are people who have already taken some of the classes before you and they can provide help when necessary. Resume building is also a great reason to join a fraternity. For example, if you are trying to get admitted into a specific school, being a part of a fraternity looks better than someone attempting to be admitted who is not in a fraternity. Despite sometimes the bad representation of fraternity life, many businessmen and women see fraternity members as high contributors to the business world.
Another great reason to join a fraternity is the professional world. This is a great example of networking. When people join a fraternity, it not only introduces them to the people in their fraternity and other members of Greek life, but it introduces them to all the alumni in their fraternity. Not only do you make connections with alumni of your fraternity at Michigan State, it also exposes you to alumni of all other schools, creating endless connections. Once these alumni go into the business world and get jobs, they tend to look out for people with these connections. It could mean the difference between getting the job or not after an interview. Also, not just getting a job but it can also help with business deals when you are attempting to do business with a company. If you have a connection to someone in the company, it can increase your chances of getting their business. Connections are everything and being in a fraternity is a great way to make them.
Another great attribution to fraternities is the amount of philanthropy. Fraternities do a great job giving back to the community through philanthropy. Philanthropy plays a huge part in my fraternity. We are always doing fun events for great causes to raise money that we can donate towards certain causes. It is a great way to positively spend my free time.
Being a member of a fraternity is a great opportunity to get to know people and becoming a well-rounded person. I think you can join Greek life for many different reasons. It gives people a chance to become part of a core group of guys and girls that you become close with, especially people that come to school without knowing many people. As I said before, being apart of a fraternity is something that helps me to face my college experience, but it also is something much more as it allows me to make connections that last a lifetime.
This story originally appeared in Facing College: Diverse Student Voices, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.