As many of you probably know from my previous posts, I am in a fraternity. Now you might be wondering why I would join a fraternity seeing that it costs several thousand per year. Isn’t that money that you could have saved?
True. But for me, the money spent was worth every penny.
I made a lot of great friends by joining the fraternity, and after graduation I am going to be getting a lot of connections. As a member of an international fraternity, we have a huge alumni base and we have connections in almost every facet of the working world. This was one of the main reasons that drew me into the fraternity.
Another reason to join is for the social events. We don’t hold parties every weekend, but we do party with each other every weekend. It’s up to you whether you want to attend. Sometimes we’ll just chill at a brother’s apartment and play a little beer pong with cute girls from the sororities. Sometimes we’ll have movie night or basketball night. By joining I was able to completely eliminate the money I spent on my weekend entertainment. No need to buy video games or movies because there was always someone to borrow from. No need to go to the strip club because there was always a sorority girl willing to give us a show (haha just kidding).
Isn’t a fraternity just buying your friends? No, it’s not buying your friends. It’s more like uniting with a group of people who get along and using that money to plan fun things for everyone. In fact I wouldn’t even say that I’m friends with everyone in my fraternity. There’s plenty of guys who I don’t get along with and this is totally understandable. Even in the fraternity there will be groups of guys who are closer than other groups (ie cliques), and fights do break out between brothers. In my opinion, joining a fraternity is very similar to joining any other school social organization except the bonds are much stronger between members. Think of it more like becoming a member of a social group with higher dues.
So what if you have no money to spend on fraternity dues? A lot of fraternities will understand, but there are some that won’t. My frat has the option of fundraising most of your dues. Ask active members before deciding to pledge whether or not you have the option of fundraising your dues. Also in general, the more “popular” the fraternity is, the more their dues will cost. If you very little money then consider joining a middle-tier fraternity. You do not want to be joining the lower tier ones because you might get a bad reputation on campus.
What about hazing? Most fraternities have some sort of hazing ritual. I won’t go into what my fraternity does but I will say that there is hazing. These are not meant to embarrass the initiate, but they are there to weed out weak links and to create a bond between brothers. Since everyone had to go through it there’s no shame in doing it knowing that everyone had to go through the same ordeals. However, if you find out that the fraternity does do some disgusting hazing activities, then don’t go for that frat.
Still a fraternity may not be for you. What I suggest is to go and rush two fraternities in the Fall and see if you fit with any of them. If not then try rushing different frats in the Spring. The process is very different for sorority girls, and I don’t really know the whole process for sororities. Ask around and do your research.