For many people, Greek life is often associated with a range of stereotypes that aren’t necessarily positive.
For example, movies and TV shows such as Neighbors and LegallyBlonde often portray sororities and fraternities in a way that primarily focuses on hazing and heavy drinking, which often deters people from the community value that Greek life brings.
These undesirable perceptions surrounding Greek life culture often discourage people from wanting to be a part of the community, and many miss out on the opportunities it offers for fear of obstructive labels.
Sophomore marketing and supply chain management pre-law major Brooke Lesser is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi at UMD. She was hesitant at first to join Greek life, but said she is glad that she did.
“I basically have 140 new best friends who are as different as we are similar,” said Lesser. She said being in a sorority has made her time at the University of Maryland much more rewarding. She encourages everyone to try Greek life because it has been one of the best decisions she has ever made.
Junior environmental science and policy and management major Amanda Lindsay is the vice president of the operations and risk management of Kappa Alpha Theta. She said everyone should give Greek life a chance because you will take something out of it no matter what.
“Halfway through, if you realize it isn’t for you anymore, you will still have people who will have your back,” said Lindsay. “You will never grow without doing new things and living a stagnant life.”
Greek life not only bonds the members within a chapter but also constructs friendships with other chapters. In addition, Greek life connects people in numerous sororities and fraternities to one big supportive community.
Sophomore psychology major Sarah Cohen of Alpha Xi Delta agrees with Lesser that joining changed her life unimaginably.
Cohen said she was indecisive about her decision to rush in fear of not fitting in, but assured anyone that feels hesitant that they will find their people.
“I always thought it was cliché when people used to tell me that I will end up where I am supposed to, but it couldn’t be more true,” said Cohen. “I honestly believe Alpha Xi Delta is where I am meant to be.”
Not only is Greek life helpful in creating lifelong relationships and essential to building key connections, but fraternities and sororities also take pride in their philanthropic efforts.
Lesser said getting to participate in Alpha Omicron Pi’s “Pie a Pi” event in support of the Arthritis Foundation was one of the highlights of her year so far, and supporting such a great cause made it even better.
Cohen, Lesser, and Linsday agree that they wouldn’t change their experience in Greek life for the world.
“I met my forever friends,” Cohen said. “Actually, I met my family.”