By Alicia Magda
So you’ve watched Animal House and Sorority Row, and well, Greek life seems like it’d be heavy on the fraternizing side and light on studying, right? The media seems to only perpetuate Greek life myths, and sure, it may make for a great movie or TV show plot line, but who wants to join a fraternity where the guys leave the house dirty and messy, and the girls form gossipy cliques?
Real Greek life is dramatically different from the media stereotypes. It’s important to distinguish fact from fiction. Sure, there’s always going to be some Greeks who like to party or think hazing is “okay”, but this is a very small piece of the Greek life pie.
We’re here to shed some light on what really goes on behind those chapter house doors:
Myth #1: All Good Looks and Preppy Dress
Watch a fraternity or sorority movie, and in most cases, the girls will look like real-life Barbie dolls and the guys will look like chiseled Greek gods. Now welcome to the real world. Fraternity brothers and sorority sisters emphasize diversity – both in race and personality. Have a quirky, eclectic side? You can still join a fraternity or sorority and feel connected to your brothers or sisters. Take a look at the fraternities and sororities on your campus, rather than what movies and TV shows depict, and you’ll see that all types of college students join Greek organizations – from indie-rock guys living in their Chucks to reading-addicted, pixie-haired coffee shop girls.
Myth #2: You Gotta Fight…For Your Right To…Study?!
The Beastie Boys ode to partying is so welcome when you’ve studied hard all semester and need a little release, but partying all semester is going to quickly and swiftly get you kicked out of college. Greeks deal with a “party 24/7” stereotype, where textbooks hardly leave their shelves and studying is left on the backburner. If this was the case in real Greek life, few Greek organizations would be as successful and yield as many positive leaders and professionals as they do! Just like any of-age college student, Greeks like to have fun, but Greek organizations also have minimum GPA requirements in place to ensure their members work their hardest to achieve academic success. They also participate in regular community service and campus events to ensure they foster well-rounded members. There’s no fighting for your right to study in modern-day Greek organizations!
Myth #3: In order to be a brother or sister, I’m just going to have to endure hazing.
You might be surprised to learn that hazing bans exist in nearly every state, and if you’re in one of the few states where hazing isn’t banned, you still have rights and can object to it and report it to both campus authorities and the police. Greek organizations take anti-hazing policies very seriously and are committed to staying in line with these policies. We still unfortunately hear hazing stories in the Greek community, but they are far and few between, yet these terrible incidents cast a bad light over the entire community. Don’t let the bad choices of a few outweigh your choice to pledge a Greek organization!
The real story behind Greek life is dramatically different than the portrait the media draws. Fraternity brothers and sorority sisters are contributing members of campus, and after graduation, are poised to become leaders in their professional lives. We encourage you to get to know the Greek organizations on your campus to combat common Greek life myths!
StudentAdvisor thanks Alicia Magda from the GreekForMe.com team for helping to seperate Greek life myths from real fraternity and sorority life. GreekForMe.com is made up of Greeks who love and support the benefits of Greek life with personalized Greek apparel.