5 Things You Learn When You #GoGreek
Aaahh, the college life. There’s nothing quite like it — especially when you make the awesome and life-changing decision to #GoGreek ! Here are a few things you’ll probably learn when you become a member of a fraternity or sorority:
You learn how to make a MEAN grilled cheese sandwich. When you’re trolling around the kitchen late at night looking for something to eat, there’s two ingredients you’ll almost always find in there — cheese and bread! You know what that means: grilled cheese time! Slap the cheese inside of two slices of bread and fire up the gas stove. Don’t forget to use a small plate to press it down. Pair it with a bowl of Ramen noodles and the night is complete.
Don’t register for any 8am classes on Fridays. One thing you’ll learn when you go Greek is that weekends officially start on Thursday around 2pm. The best socials usually happen on Thursday night at fraternity and sorority houses up and down the row. So do yourself a favor and avoid taking any 8am classes on Friday if at all possible!
You gotta protect your para. One thing you’ll learn when you start buying Greek Gear is that you have to keep a close eye on your para — especially the really good stuff, like engraved paddles and your bedazzled lettered tees. There’s a little game some chapters like to play called the “para game” where your paraphernalia could suddenly end up missing and on display in someone else’s dorm room!
The real hard work begins when you become a member. If you thought that the end of the bidding and recruitment process meant that it’s time to party 24/7, you’re going to learn really quickly that the real work begins once you become an official member of a fraternity or sorority. You’ve got weekly chapter meetings to attend, events to plan, budgets to manage and most of all you’ve got to represent your org everywhere you go on campus. But what’s great about all of this is that it teaches you life-long lessons about how to manage your time and handle your business.
Your sorority sisters and fraternity brothers are connected to you for life. You may think that once you graduate the Greek experience is over and you’re never going to see these people again, but that’s just not so — you are going to be in touch with some (maybe all) of your frat brothers and sorors for many years to come. You’ll stay connected through email lists, homecoming events, alumni events and important life events like weddings and baby showers. Face it — you’re stuck with them for life!
There are so many great things about going Greek, which is probably why fraternity and sorority membership is linked to higher well-being for college grads. One thing is for certain – it’s an experience that you’ll never forget and won’t likely regret!
The Greek Gear Team
So you’ve joined a sorority. Good for you! You have just joined a sisterhood that will change your life. Now that you are a member, it is time to choose your Big. What does that even mean? What does that entail? How in the world do I choose? Here’s the skinny:
In a sorority, your Big is an upperclassman member of the chapter that will be your confidon, go-to girl, and pro advice-giver. Preferably, this sorority member should be one that you look up to and feel totally comfortable with. She will be your mentor through your “newbie” stage of being a member of a sorority and will share a special bond with you even after college. Think of these things when choosing a Big.
- Who do you see as someone who could be your mentor as an initiated member?
- Who do you want to share special moments with throughout your college experience?
- In your chapter, who do you look up to?
- Is there a member that has an officer position that you think you would like to have one day?
- Is this woman a person who is only fun on the weekends or is she someone who is consistent and accountable to put you in your place if you start to slip?
These are all great attributes to look for in your future Big. You want someone who will support you and lead you. Your Big will be someone that will encourage you in both your sorority and your schooling as well as your career.
No matter who your Big ends up being, value the relationship and appreciate the new bond. You were put together for a reason! Getting a Big is an exciting time, so cherish every member of this new experience!
The Greek Gear Team
The fall semester is in full swing at colleges across the country, which means that you probably have a few new members hanging out at your chapter house every weekend! If they’re freshmen, they’re probably still a little nervous about fitting in with the group. Here are 7 simple ideas for speeding along the bonding process with your brand new sorority sisters and fraternity brothers:
- “Date” night. This goes without saying, but Bigs and Littles need one-on-one time together, not just to learn more about each other but to get the 411 about how the chapter works. Set up a day when all Bigs matched with Littles go out for a little “date” funded by the chapter’s social budget. The date could be as small as a coffee at Starbucks or a window shopping trip downtown.
- Fun before frat business. New members are going to have to learn the ropes and start attending meetings soon enough, but before you hit them with serious chapter business, throw them a fun little party at your house with just members and close associate. You want them to relax a bit and enjoy themselves before they become overwhelmed with things-to-do.
- Apple and pumpkin picking. Fall is the season for harvesting apples, pumpkins and other crops. Find a local farm that offers picking open to the public and bring your new members out for a fun day in the fields.
- Project Adventure. If your chapter has the budget for a really nice field trip in early fall, invest in a visit to a Project Adventure challenge course. It’s hard not to bond when you’re 40 feet in the air and only have a carabiner and your new big brother to keep you safe!
- Dance routine contest. Host a challenge at your chapter house with teams of four (two bigs, two littles) to see who has the best moves. Each team has to create a unique dance routine — whoever wins gets a free dinner at a fine restaurant near your school. Invite some friends over and make it a big deal.
- Extended sleepover in the den. When everyone gets assigned to their own rooms, they’re probably going to start bonding and forming cliques with their roommates. So to avoid this happening, have everyone sleep over in your great room or den together the first week back — including the new members. You could also camp out in the backyard with tents and a (safe) bonfire if you have a pit. This way, everyone will have a chance to get to know everyone else equally before splitting up into dorm rooms.
- Family dinner. There’s nothing quite like eating dinner together as a group to help form a bond with your brothers or sisters — but not at the school’s dining hall. Assign a dish to each big and little pair to prepare for dinner and sit together in the dining room of your own chapter house as a family.
The faster you bond with your new members (and help them bond with each other) the faster you all can start having some really great times together at college. Welcome back to school — have a ball enjoying some of the best times of your life with your new fraternity brothers and sorority sisters!
The Greek Gear Team