A fraternity is a brotherhood or sisterhood usually formed around common goals and aspirations. Men and women in fraternities/ sororities make commitments to each other for life. They help each other learn and grow; thus, they become stronger. Moreover, these members form to share their efforts, friendship, and knowledge.
The main objective is to unite men and women in college. They encourage great achievement in their endeavors and promote spiritual, social, intellectual, and moral welfare. Joining a fraternity can be a rewarding experience. However, joining the wrong sorority may make your life in college miserable. The following article gives you the benefits and challenges of fraternities.
Pros of fraternities
1. It gives you a sense of belonging: Everyone who has been through college will tell you that it wasn’t easy to adapt to college life. Especially if it is your first experience away from home, it is quite normal to get overwhelmed when you are in that situation. However, Fraternity helps you build your social network through your interaction with people. Therefore, you will belong to a society or organization that helps you build relationships. It, therefore, becomes easy to adapt to college life.
2. It enables you to join social events: Fraternities usually hold social events and are invited to other social events. Therefore, it will become difficult to attend these events without joining an organization in college. If you belong to a fraternity, you will not have difficulty attending social events, formal dates, brotherhood functions, or mixers.
3. They help in Networking: Most fraternity men are highly successful. It is because staying in contact with fraternity brothers or sisters helps often leads to employment opportunities, internships for undergraduate brothers, and jobs/ promotions for graduating seniors. The networking effect goes as far as sharing investment opportunities with brotherhood members. It is due to the life-long deep relationships the brothers have. They end up becoming a group of high achievers.
4. Members can do more because of pooled resources: Members usually have to pay dues before joining a fraternity. The dues are put to good use in most cases. The money is used to do things for the members that you wouldn’t have done alone if you hadn’t joined a fraternity.
5. They give academic assistance: Sororities have students across all years in college. They consist of newcomers to seniors. Therefore, it is possible to have members with similar majors and those taking the same classes. Therefore, study groups can be formed, or you can seek tutoring help from those from your fellow mates who did/ do the same classes. Some fraternities even have mandatory study hours to help you stay on track and get good grades throughout your time in college.
6. They offer housing options for members: Housing options for sorority members are a good option to consider if it is available. Some fraternities have houses where members can stay as they study through college. Study hours, meetings, and events can be held in these houses thus reducing the cost of renting space to which the members contribute. It helps to strengthen the bond among sorority members and help each other in times of crisis.
7. They offer leadership opportunities: Fraternities allow you to be a leader in the sorority apart from being an average member. Leaders in the sorority are charged with making important decisions for the members. It is important training for your future since you practice vital leadership skills such as responsibility.
8. Enable you to participate in community service: Part of being in a sorority is giving back to the community. Activities are planned within the sorority to give back to society, such as visiting homes, environmental conservation, and donating.
9. Philanthropy: This is almost the same as community service programs. It helps you gain a sense of pride from doing your civic duty of helping the needy.
10. Making memories: Due to all the activities you will be involved in through fraternities, your experiences have the potential to be richer than your counterparts who had not joined any fraternity in college. You will always be proud of the college years that gave you both education and experience.
Cons of fraternities
1. Cost: Joining a fraternity as a college student without any means of income can be expensive. It is because payment of some dues is required. Apart from annual dues, there are other hidden costs you will have to incur.
2. It needs time commitment: You will have to make a significant time commitment when joining a fraternity. Apart from the weekly meetings, you will also need to attend their social events, which require your time. It can lead to stressful situations in case you don’t know how to manage your time well
3. It shrinks your friendship circle: Time commitments can make you lose touch with some of your friends outside the Fraternity. Since you will meet other people, you may not have the time to invest in those relationships because the chances are that you will be spending more of your time with your fraternity mates.
4. Lack of privacy in fraternity house: If you choose to live in a fraternity house, then be prepared for tons of people there. It is because fraternity meetings and events will most likely take place here. It could create chaos and mess as well.
5. There is a stigma associated with joining fraternities: People do not value fraternity life. Therefore, you may be discriminated against by these people when you join certain fraternities. However, it should not discourage you from doing what you love.
6. You may be forced to associate with people you don’t like: Though fraternities are good, some people join who are less- desirable to associate with. However, you will be forced to associate with all these types of people because of organizational closeness.
7. It could lead to substance abuse: Fraternity life is similar to college life, regardless of the sorority. You have to be aware of the temptations of joining a fraternity. If you want drugs and alcohol, your fraternity mates will be able to find them for you.
8. It is a hotbed of racism: Some fraternities are known to discriminate the lesser- race members. Therefore, you may end up being discriminated against or acquiring that same behavior from fraternity mates.
9. Committing to the wrong group can be exhausting and isolating: This happens when you enter a fraternity where your fraternity mates behave in a way that may be uncomfortable to you. It includes drinking, gossiping, and smoking. This behavior could make you feel out of place; thus, you may quit or join your mates.
10. Bullying: It is important to note that some fraternities have bullies who could force you into doing uncomfortable things. When this happens, be sure to report the matter or leave the Fraternity since there are better activities to engage in while you are still in college.