McKenzie Maddox/Old Gold & Black
McKenzie Maddox/Old Gold & Black

The case for joining a Greek organization on campus

“Don’t rush into a fight.” “Don’t rush into a relationship.” “Don’t rush into picking your major.” Everyone has been advising you “don’t rush into things.” So why is it now okay to rush into a Greek organization?

Deciding whether or not to undergo the Greek Life recruitment process can be a difficult decision for many freshmen. Despite watching Animal House on repeat, scrolling through nine billion Bid Day Instagram posts with cheesy puns using the Greek letters and maybe hearing the stories from one of your parents’ or sibling’s experience, overall Greek Life is an unfamiliar territory.

Luckily, Wake Forest tries to alleviate some of these overwhelming feelings by having students rush during their second semester. What this does is allows Potential New Members (PNMs) a chance to see the fraternities and sororities in action before they decide if they want to go through recruitment. However, even after a semester of tailgates, parties and rush dates, the decision of whether or not to go through the rush process can still seem confusing.

The most important thing to realize about Greek Life is that it’s not for everyone. So the final decision as to whether or not you want to join an organization ultimately boils down to personal choice. That being said, my experience in Greek Life has had nothing but a positive impact on my  Wake Forest experience and  now as a senior, I couldn’t imagine my time here without it.

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For me, the biggest benefit of rushing was the new friendships. Joining a sorority allowed me to expand my friend circles and make new connections with people that spread into new realms of campus. Before rushing, I found myself only hanging out with other freshmen and mostly sticking to the confines of south campus. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, after rushing I felt like I had a broadened appreciation of campus. I now had a reason to venture up to the quad and visit my new sorority lounge. I now had more people to get lunch with and a greater network of people with cars who could take me to Target. And most importantly, I now had a whole new group of friendly faces that I could sit with in classes, smile at on the quad and ask questions about my potential major.

Yet, this expanded campus horizon didn’t end with my freshman year. As I moved into my upperclassman years, my web of friends of different ages just continued to grow.

Although some fraternities and sororities have different systems, when you join most organizations, they will will assign you a “big.”  For those of you unfamiliar with Greek Life, a “big” is an older member in your fraternity or sorority who is supposed to help acclimate you to your organization. Yet your “big” also has a “big” who also has a “big” and when you get older you will most likely take a “little.” So the chain of “bigs” and “littles” extend on forever in both directions in what is commonly referred to as your “lineage.” Although lineages are not always a perfect match, for me my lineage has ended up becoming the first people I ask for guidance. This includes everything from recommendations for study abroad to boy advice. Having a network of people who have already been through the same situations and could give me pointers helped improve my overall college experience.

Yet, this doesn’t mean that your only friends have to be in your sorority or fraternity. Some of my best friends to this day are from my freshman year hall. Several of them are in different sororities and some of them aren’t affiliated with Greek organizations at all. Just because we wear different letters or none at all, doesn’t mean we are different people than who we were freshman year. If anything we are even closer now.

So overall, the decision to undergo recruitment is completely personal. So don’t rush into your choice about whether or not to rush. Take your time and make sure it works for you.

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