College is a place where people make lots of new friends, and some of these friendships last a lifetime. College provides a lot of opportunities to meet new people, including (but not limited to) freshman orientation, dorms, classes, various activities, and of course fraternities and sororities. A lot of students join Greek organizations hoping that going Greek will help them make friends in college. Is it really a good way to make friends?
Student Greek letter organizations in North America date back to the 18th century. The first fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa, was founded in 1775. The first sorority, Pi Beta Phi, was established in 1867.
Since then, the number of student fraternities and sororities has been constantly growing. Once a person joins a fraternity or sorority, they become connected to every member of the organization and not only to the members of the local chapter. By the way, membership in a Greek organization is life-long.
Joining Greek organizations helps undergraduate students form connections and get involved in social life on campus. A lot of rushees become friends while going through the recruitment process. Even if you don't get accepted in the end, you still get to meet new people at rushing events and bond with them.
Once you're accepted, you will start making new friends within your fraternity or sorority. By the way, upperclassmen brothers or sisters can tell you a lot about life in college, so being friends with them will help you adapt to college life much quicker.
Besides, most fraternities and sororities frequently host parties where you can mingle and meet new people. Fraternity and sorority parties and other events held by Greek organizations often become the epicenter of social life on campus, they are attended by lots of people, so it's quite easy to meet a couple of new friends there as long as you're not extremely shy.
However, you shouldn't rely on Greek life as the only way to make friends. Going Greek as a means of meeting new people has several downsides. First, most Greek organizations are exclusive. Joining a fraternity/sorority will make you feel privileged, but it can prevent you from making friends outside your Greek organization. Besides, Greek life will take up most of your time, so it will be even harder to find time to hang out with friends who are not your sisters/brothers.
Second, most Greek letter organizations are same-sex. So if you want to make friends with people of the opposite sex, you will have to look for them elsewhere. Of course, you can attend the above-mentioned parties, but a lot of students come to such parties to hook up with someone of the opposite sex and not to make friends with them.
Third, if you don't choose your Greek organization wisely, you might become a victim of hazing. Although hazing is illegal on most college campuses, some Greek letter organizations still carry out hazing rituals. So before joining a fraternity/sorority, you need to make absolutely sure that it has excellent reputation.
To cut a long story short, going Greek can indeed help expand your social circle and make long-lasting connections. However, Greek life has a number of downsides (it's time-consuming, expensive, the recruitment process is long and exhausting, etc.), so you shouldn't rely solely on Greek organizations when making friends in college. Use every opportunity to meet new people and don't limit yourself!
- How to Make Friends at University or College, How to Keep in Touch With College Friends After Graduation, How to Make Friends During Freshman Orientation, 7 Reasons to Go to the College Party With Your Friend