“Are you going through [formal] recruitment?”
This question flew over my head during O-Week of my first year. Why would I join Greek life when I have 100 housemates who have my back? The Housing system at UChicago functions as a central community in many students’ lives, and as a result, many people dismiss Greek life as frivolous and unnecessary. At the end of my first year, however, I realized that I had shunned something that I really didn’t know too much about.
The following summer I heavily researched Greek life: the pros, the cons, the testimonials-- everything! I learned that Greek life is a large and powerful network, and each organization supports a charity. Sororities are not simply just a social group; they are powerful cohorts of women who seek and succeed to enact change on campus and around the world. While it’s true that my House was my lifeline all throughout first year, I decided that it might be a good idea to add a second source of support and friendship. I participated in formal recruitment my second year, met hundreds of successful and amazing women, and joined a sorority.
Reflecting on my first year in Greek life, I can say many things. Through my sorority I have gained friendships, leadership skills, and a lifelong membership to a community that stretches across the globe. I also participated in a record-breaking philanthropy event, and devoted hours of my time to serving a greater cause. The UChicago Greek scene, like most things at UChicago, is unique. It is nothing like what you may have seen in the media. For example, at UChicago, sororities do not have their own houses. Therefore, it’s very common to hang out with your sorority sisters while continuing to be active within your College House for a fulfilling college experience. Greek life at UChicago exists as a means to add to your overall experience in the College, just like your College House, or any organization you may join.
Personally, I joined Greek life because I wanted to expand my group of friends and for future networking benefits, but people join for many other reasons, and you will gain so much more than you ever expected. If you’re on the fence about going Greek, talking to current members of a Greek organization and attending the Panhellenic information sessions in the fall can certainly help you make a decision. At UChicago, there is absolutely no pressure to join a Greek organization. After doing research and talking to current sisters, I decided that it was a good option for me on my own terms; not because my friends were doing it and certainly not because it’s impossible to have a great social circle without it. I know going Greek was the right choice for me, and I’m looking forward to making the most out of my membership during college and for the rest of my life.