Last night I experienced my first ever fraternity event from the alumnus perspective and it was interesting to be able to see it from a different point of view. As many of you are Greek, you understand the inner workings of fraternity and sorority life throughout college. For those of you who aren’t that familiar, fraternities and sororities are groups started for students and by students as a means of comradery and affiliation throughout college. They do many things from participating in philanthropic events, athletics, school involvement, but are bound together by the bonds they adhere in their brother/sisterhood.
You join these student organizations through rush. Rush is a time of recruitment were students will meet the active brothers and sisters, get to know them, and choose or are chosen to join a particular organization. It is called “rush” because in the olden days, students would rush to their university prior to classes starting, so that they would have met the groups and aligned campus housing before the school actually started. And for groups today, it is probably the most exciting and hectic time of year for all parties involved.
Rush is taken very seriously because recruitment is the lifeblood of the organization. The people who are rushed are the people who will be running the organization in the future and carrying on those particular groups’ ideals. Therefore, brothers and sisters work their asses of to find people who they believe embody the qualities or potential to do so. This may sound a little cliché but as most Greeks would agree, going Greek was one of if not the best decisions they ever made. It allows young men and women to mold their future and learn life lessons that would not normally be available to others.
Upon entry into the “hood” they’re automatically granted networking contacts, with thousands of alumni in their organization to possibly help with academic advice, business connections, or future job opportunities. “It’s not what you know but who you know.” I am not sure this correct in every instance but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have help you from the inside out. Throughout the experience you will meet tons of new people, have a lot of fun, do a lot of shit you probably didn’t want to do at the time but in the end it is all worth it and looking back you’re glad you did it.
Which leads me to my next point; you get out of Greek life what you put into it. Lots of young people go through the motions and get the bare minimum of what is available to them and that’s cool because that’s them. However, in my case and many instances, I got the best life experiences imaginable all because I signed a bid.
Joining my fraternity was by the best “choice” I ever made. It allowed me to do things I would have never been able to do, it opened up several doors to employment for me, it allowed me to further myself academically, it teaches you to become financially stable and sometimes handle the finances and budgets for your group, gave me a chance to compete athletically and in other events, it allowed me to meet with now fiancé and best friend, but most of all it set the platform for my future by giving me brothers for a lifetime.
The brotherhood provided me with 7 of my 8 groomsmen; it gave me my college internship, 3 campus jobs, and the ability to do the same for others. And I think that is one of the most rewarding parts of it, to be able to go back to the fraternity and see that it is not only still standing but come to see that all the hard work my brothers and me put in to it actually paid off. And now there are many others to carry on that torch and do what many others allowed them to do.