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Guidelines for going greek

It’s coming next weekend: fraternity and sorority recruitment.
When I was a freshman going through recruitment I wish somebody would have warned me about what to expect. Fortunately, I get to write a column the weekend before recruitment and I know the kind of questions that are probably going through your minds. These are my attempts to answer them.
Bear in mind that these are meant to encompass all of greek life, but clearly I only have experience in being in a sorority.
What’s recruitment like?
First of all, no matter what you hear about formal recruitment, it’s going to be nothing like you’ve ever or will ever experience. So, I encourage you to experience it. Trust me, there are no words to explain it. Also, make sure you know there’s an emphasis on the “formal” part of it. Once recruitment is over houses are usually more laid back.
Are sororities and fraternities anything like the movies?
You might think you want to join a house after watching “Animal House,” “Legally Blonde” or “Greek.” And while a few aspects are true, don’t expect it all to happen if you join a house. After all, the point of movies and TV shows is to dramatize events, otherwise they wouldn’t get the ratings they want.
Do all greek houses hate each other?
During recruitment you will most likely be told this is not true, and it’s not really a lie.
There are times when we are meant to compete against each other, such as recruitment, greek week or grand chapter, but we never get too crazy about it. We have lives outside of our houses.
All in all, members of the greek system tend to stick together to defend themselves from the stereotypes, no matter what house you are in.
Why would I like being in a house?
Every house has people who enjoy: parties, academics, community service, leadership roles, friendship or whatever else you’re into. There’s always a different dynamic of people in houses. You’ll have people who are really interested in taking leadership or people who are there for the social aspect. No matter what you’re into there will be people who are looking for the same thing as you. Your college experience is what you make of it and there is always something you can enjoy in a greek house.
What would I get from a house that I wouldn’t get from any other organization?
There are so many answers to this question, but these are what stick out as the best parts of being in a greek house to me.
You’ll hear this a lot but being in a house really is the best way to meet people.
Living in house will be one of the greatest experiences you will have, possibly in your life. I don’t think there will ever be another time in my life that I will get to live with 30 friends. It truly is a bonding experience.
This might sound cheesy but you will get life-long friends here. These are people who have lived with you, do community service with you, go to social events with you and know all the same people you do. The experience doesn’t end with graduation – it follows you wherever you go through alumni associations because you are a part of the house for life.
Networking from a national greek organization is fantastic. Some houses receive internship opportunities or job recommendations from alumni. Not to mention it’s really cool to meet someone who is in the same fraternity or sorority as you but is from a different university. All houses have traditions and rituals that are practiced nationwide. So even though that person may be from a totally different region, you know he or she shares the same basic principles as you and practiced the same rituals you did throughout college.
These are just a few reasons why I think people should join the greek system, but there are so many more and every house means so much to so many people on campus. You might not be convinced yet, but I always say you can’t judge an organization unless you’ve been in it and there’s no harm in trying it out.
Annabelle Vang is a junior journalism major from Pekin. She is the Scout news editor.
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