First Person: Debunking the Myths of Greek Life
You’ve seen the movies. You’ve read the articles. You’ve heard your parents try talking you out of joining one. I’m guessing you think you know what Greek life is all about. I’m here to tell you you’re wrong.
Most movies and media sources haven’t portrayed Greek life in the brightest light, but as a member of Kappa Delta Sigma at St. Lawrence University, it has been the highlight of my college experience. Greek life is one of the many outlets students utilize to meet new people and make a difference on and off campus. The myths and stereotypes we all see and hear are far from reality. Here are three myths that could use a bit of debunking:
1. Joining Greek life will hurt you academically:
Contrary to popular belief, academics play a large role within Greek life at St. Lawrence. Firstly, in order to rush, you must have a GPA average of at least 2.5 in addition to nine course credits.
Once in a fraternity or sorority, you have a wide network of individuals who share your majors or have different academic interests. This becomes an outlet for academic resources right within your house. Within the house, my sisters are always pushing me to be the best version of myself academically and personally. For instance, when studying or doing work I always have a study buddy going to the library or doing homework at the house.
No matter which Greek house, academics always come first!
2. Once involved in Greek life, you can’t have friends outside of it:
One of my favorite aspects of being in Greek life is having friends all around campus. The sororities and fraternities at SLU provide you with key opportunities to belong in a variety of activities on campus. In addition to being the vice president of Kappa Delta Sigma, I work as an Admissions Ambassador and am a member of Her Campus—a national online magazine written by college women.
Members of my sorority as also on a variety of athletic teams such as crew, lacrosse, field hockey, and the swimming and diving team to only name few! Having friends involved in a range of different activities on campus has allowed me to meet people all across campus.
3. Being in a sororities and fraternities is only for the social life:
As we’ve all seen in the movies and read in the news, social life is said to play a large role in Greek life. But beyond the bonds that you form with members through clubs and extracurricular activities, getting out into the community is also a really important aspect of sororities and fraternities. Examples include volunteering at the local farmers market, helping with clubs such as Campus Kitchens, or volunteering for campus led events.
This semester, I participated in a virtual 5k run which raises money for GardenShare. GardenShare is a local food pantry and kitchen that provides food for the residents within the St. Lawrence County. Recently, all members of KDS participated in my favorite event, Make a Difference Day, which happens each fall. This year we raked leaves for elderly community members which was a great way to get involved in the community.
These events help us form closer bonds with the members of our sorority but also people throughout the entire campus and wider St. Lawrence community.
During my first year at St. Lawrence, rushing Greek life was never something I thought I would want to participate in. Now in my final year at SLU, I realize being a part of Greek life has been one of my best decisions. It’s been a resource to immerse myself in the local community and meet confident and empowering woman. Despite the stereotypes in movies or articles, Greek life establishes bonds that will last a lifetime!