When you join a fraternity, it could very well be a life-long commitment. You should never make this decision if you aren’t ready or because someone is pressuring you. There are a handful of stereotypical features that new college-goers tend to be the most excited about, but they are not standalone reasons to join. You may want to reconsider if you’re looking for these things out of your potential fraternities and not much else!
1. Drinking Buddies
Hollywood has glamorized frat life in a way that is inaccurate and harmful to people looking forward to it. Fraternities are committed in many ways and are not committed to regularly becoming intoxicated. While you may have social events at your frat house, do not fall prey to the belief that frat houses are party houses.
Let’s dive into this a little: underage drinking is not a joke. A freshman is almost always under the legal drinking age – it can be extremely harmful if everyone around them drinks copiously. Binge drinking, pressured consumption, and spiked drinks are all massively essential topics that are sometimes treated as jokes in this setting. A great way to address and protect yourself is to call out any harmful behaviors you see. This would go a long way towards not only making frats a safer place for everyone, but it could also start to reverse some harmful stereotypes surrounding fraternities.
A fraternity should agree to be highly mindful of alcohol in the house. There should always be a few brothers or chaperones staying sober to supervise things. If things get out of hand, people can get hurt. It can mean serious problems for anyone involved. Education is power!
2. Making Your Family Happy
You should only join a frat because it makes YOU happy, not your father, grandfather, or uncle. Often, if a family has a history of joining frats, there will be a life-long expectation that when you get to college, you’ll follow in their footsteps. They might even have a preference on which frat you join. You shouldn’t do what they want if your heart is not in it.
Family pressure can be challenging to overcome, especially if it runs deep. It’s important to ensure your motivations are right, or you will most likely not be devoted to the causes that your fraternity works for. That’s not fair for anyone–your brothers, the people you’re supposed to serve, or you!
3. Credentials for Nothing
Here: fraternities can be expensive. If you think you’ll be able to walk in, make your plans and begin gathering your resume without wrong. There are not only monetary contributions you distributions of your time. There will be projects, outreaches, and all kinds of events, you’ll be chock full of the benefits you sought, but it won’t be free. You cannot join a fraternity and live the same college life you would have otherwise. You might have to clean up after events, and you may have to provide unplanned help and support for the chapter. It will be an entirely different experience, and if it’s right for you, you’ll be grateful!
Why You Shouldn’t Join A Fraternity
If you aren’t ready for the fundraising, the commitment, and the brotherhood that comes along with your decision, you may need more time to think. If you ultimately decide to be there for the right reasons, more power to you!
Too often, pledges do not consider the reality of their decision, so they join without thinking about it enough. In these situations, the pledges might be met with various challenges they are both unprepared and unwilling to work with, resulting in an unfortunate situation.
Is A Fraternity Worth It?
A fraternity is only worth it if you decide it is. And if you do, we’ll be there to help you out along the way! GreekXperience is devoted to explaining the ins and outs of Greek life before you sign your pledge. Currently, we offer information on our blog about sororities and fraternities; in addition to tips and tricks, you’re in the house for once. In addition, our app helps you connect with the best-matched chapters on your campus and provides organizations with a chapter management tool to help with those tedious tasks of a frat houselike managing rosters, collecting dues, and helping out with communications.