Monday, January 28, 2008

High School Seniors Thinking about Joining Greeks

Whether to 'go Greek' an early college choice
Huntsville Times

At this point, most high school seniors at least have an idea where they will be attending college. Our minds are now on the imminent date of graduation, summer jobs, possible majors and choosing whether or not to go Greek.

The decision to join a sorority or fraternity is a subject many seniors start to think about as college approaches. Many think of it as a means to make new friends or to get involved. while others see it as the partier's guide to a memorable four years.

Like many, I sit on the fence. I think being a part of a sorority could be one of the greatest opportunities waiting at college, but I have concerns. I worry about the time commitment and how to make sure I join the right sorority.

Recently, Gayle Fuller, a member of the Huntsville Panhellenic Association, talked about all that going Greek has to offer.

Asked what advice she would give to someone who was considering joining a sorority or fraternity, Fuller suggested at least attending rush.

"You'll never know if it's right for you unless you try it out," Fuller said. "If you find that it's not for you, then you can always drop out. Rushing is a great way to meet new friends, often long-lasting friends."

As to how you know which Greek organization is best for you, Fuller has some advice: "Enter rush with an open mind and don't decide where you're going to pledge based off of your best friend. Each society has its own personality; look for the group that best matches yours and the one you feel most comfortable being a part of. This is the one you should pledge."

Fuller said sororities and fraternities can help you get involved in university activities and many promote academic excellence.

"All of the Greek societies compete for the academic scholarships," Fuller said. "On most campuses, the top three sororities and fraternities with the highest GPAs are recognized. This encourages all of the members to do well and to succeed."

Sororities and fraternities also do philanthropic work, and your sisters or brothers can give you advice on classes and professors.

For those concerned about time requirements, Fuller said you are able to pick functions you want to attend, but "commonly those who are the most involved are the happiest."

Many think joining a Greek organization is all about the party scene, but "every organization has its different groups - the academics, the religious, the jocks and the partiers," Fuller said. "There's no keeping any drinking or excessive partying out - just like with any society. It's up to the individual to decide which group they are going to be involved in within the sorority."