Congrats on making it to college! Depending on the university and/or program, entrance can be a feat in itself. So what is there to do and what is all the hype about? Many universities offer various clubs, programs, fraternities/sororities (both social and academic), and other organizations. The advice I give to all college bound seniors or college freshman is to get involved in something. Some people go to school with a pure academic mentality and sit in their small, cramped up, and smelly dorm room with their nose buried in a book or their computer. This is a great way to drive yourself crazy and even to the point of dropping out or worse.
If you want to have fun, build leadership and social skills, and meet lots of people very fast then joining a social fraternity or sorority is the way to go. Now before you totally dismiss the idea, let me tell you about my experiences with fraternity life.
I think the biggest “pro” is probably the social development aspect. I have seen people that were considered “losers” in high school become social lions. Going through the pledge process is definitely cumbersome in many facets, but it is a 4-8 week social “shell breaking” process. Once becoming an “active member”, people gain a confidence they’ve never had as well as a large group of people to always have their backs. However, initiation is just the beginning. You can simply slide by and pay your dues, or you could devote time and effort and earn a “board” position in which you will gain real life experience on anything from handling hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraternity finances or even being the president. I can tell you right now that having “financial advisor” or “president” on your resume is a huge boost.
Also another big pro of joining a fraternity or sorority is what lies after college. Many fraternity students graduate and already have jobs lined up from either people they’ve met while in the fraternity or maybe employers are members of a fraternity and prefer to hire fraternity graduates. Did you know that all but 3 Presidents of the United States were in a fraternity? Did you know fraternity members are about 70% more likely to graduate than any other college student? Did you know fraternities and sororities bring in millions of dollars for philanthropies and charities around the world as well as devote countless hours to local and global community service? Ya, didn’t think so.
There are academic fraternities and a handful of clubs and organizations as well which are solely resume boosters and lack the whole social environment. If you are absolutely closed minded when it comes to social fraternities or sororities then stick to an academic fraternity and other college clubs/sports. The most important thing is having something on your resume other than a degree.