Freaks and Greeks

My blog post titles are finally starting to be competitive with some of the other interns.

Greek life is one of the places where I think you see the most disparity between expectations and reality.

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my favorite movie was getting a GIF at some point.

Every college movie paints frat life as this insane, out-of-control rollercoaster ride that’s somewhere between Mad Max and Sodom and Gomorrah in terms of morality. Once initiated after suffering the sort of hazing process that rivals Navy SEAL training, you become a kind of ethereal figure, flowing from one party to the next, pausing only to build the occasional float or have chapter meetings.


This, of course, is not an accurate depiction.

I am not in Greek life. I pledged briefly, before dropping. I pledged my senior year – I went through some of rush my freshman year just to hear the process out, but wasn’t fully sold on the concept. So I can’t speak to the actual experience of Greek life – but I can talk about life on campus outside of the Greek bubble.

I’d like to say I don’t want anything to come off as critical of Greek life – like I said, I strongly considered joining, and a large portion of my social circle is in Greek life. So here are a few concerns I had when I was in high school regarding greek life.

1).  Will you be able to make friends without joining a fraternity or sorority?

Very much yes.

Ask me

While portrayals like Accepted‘s are hilarious, they’re not really accurate. I have never been at a loss for social events being outside of Greek life. I’ve been invited to numerous Greek functions, parties, and formals across different societies. So to that aspect, you aren’t marginalized from all the goings-on of campus if you don’t rush, and you won’t be unable to talk to people in other fraternities or sororities.

2) But if I’m not interested in Greek life at all, will I still be able to make friends?

Also, very much yes.

There’s so much going on at Furman’s campus that, if you are ever bored, you have only yourself to blame. There’s concerts, dodgeball games, rec sports, musicals and plays, political groups, academic competitions, and even occasional improv shows, I’ve heard. So not rushing doesn’t mean you’re adrift in a sea of boredom – you’ll still have plenty to do.


3) What is the Greek life culture like?

Again, I can’t fully comment on this as a non-member of Greek life. However, I can give you my impressions.

I’ll say that the portrayal you see in the movies is definitely not true at Furman’s campus. There’s no brutal hazing, no hyper-exclusivity, no house parties that rival The Hangover in terms of debauchery that can’t be remembered. For the most part, Greek life at Furman is much more laidback – there’s parties and events, but they’re relaxed. I’m routinely invited to numerous social events by several different organizations. I believe (a brother or sister could say better than I) that all the Greek organizations are also involved in philanthropic work with a variety of charity groups.

All in all, Greek life isn’t something you should be afraid of. If you join – great. If not…also great. It’s a fun thing for movies and shows to make a huge deal out of, but the reality is much more laidback on Furman’s campus.

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