[This piece was written by Alexzandria Chill | UNT Graduate. Marketing Freak. Frankie Bev Fanatic. Adamant Knowledge Seeker. Lady of ZPHIB [Pearl Clu5]. Founder of Blog: @DPTaughtMe]
There is nothing more energizing than seeing a fraternity or sorority release their Neos out onto the yard. Their energy is dangerously compelling. Their affinity to everything with Greek Life letters is hilariously astounding. But is their commitment to the cause as profound and deep as it needs to be? You won’t know until they ask these three questions:
1. WHAT DO YOU NEED ME TO DO?
One of the perks of being a new member is learning the ropes. The tricks of the Greek Life trade. As Neos, your work is dependent on the size and efficiency of your chapter. Neos, you play an intricate role in how the chapter will elevate this year and beyond.
The sweat equity you put in to your first year as a fraternity or sorority member will determine many things. Some of those things include how people perceive the quality of your leadership skills, how attractive you are to hiring recruiters, and most importantly, how and if the student body sees you as a valuable asset to your campus. Taking an early, active role in your fraternity or sorority can help establish yourself and your chapter as a force to be reckoned with.
To do this effectively, identify your strongest talents and skills first and see where you can apply them in your chapter. Then, if necessary, seek out a mentor. Having someone you can reference throughout the year for chapter advice, protocol and insight can be a godsend. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something. Greek Life is not like anything you’ve experienced before. There are nuances you couldn’t have predicted. Unsaid rules people abide by. And sometimes complex systems that are only understood by someone’s who’s been in the game for a minute. Do what it takes to dig in and make an impact. Prove everyone who said yes to you making the line right.
2. WHY DON’T YOU LIKE THEM?
One of the biggest regrets post collegiate Greeks experience is the missed opportunity to mingle with other NPHC Greek members while they were in college due to pettiness and gossip. Granted, that doesn’t mean you completely ignore a warning sign. However, if you’re wondering if you should rock with person from another organization, remember this: YOU ARE A GROWN ASS ADULT. No one can tell you who and who you can’t befriend. This is not Mean Girls, college edition.
Use your own judgement to establish a friendship and/or relationship with someone from another fraternity or sorority. Don’t let anyone put a fraternal or sororal friendship mandate on you because they had a negative experience with someone. Sometimes there’s nothing to worry about. In other cases, Greek Life really does change a person for the worse (and the better). But it will be in that moment, that YOU decided to proceed with this relationship based off of your own experience, not hearsay. And this doesn’t only go for people outside your chapter. Internal turmoil can cause intense division and frustration too. Be cautious and get to know frat brothers and sorors on your own terms, on your own time.
3. WHAT CAN I DO TO LEAVE A MARK?
As a new member, you have all the opportunity in the world to make a huge impact off the jump. Once you get a hang of things, map out what you want to accomplish over the next few semesters and in what capacity. Express your goals and aspirations with someone in your chapter that you trust. They can hold you accountable and help guide you in your journey in Greekdom. The whole purpose of establishing campus chapters was to penetrate young malleable minds with the resources, knowledge and tools they would need to really succeed. College classes gives you that. Student organizations give you networks. Combine the two, and there is literally nothing you can’t do.
Keep tabs on how you’re reaching your goal (or take note if they’re even worth pursuing). The only way to really fulfill the ultimate Greek Life experience is finding your niche within your group. Pinpoint what’s going to be your unique way of contributing to something greater. If you’re good with graphics, you can make the dope flyers. If it’s organization, you can be in charge of coordinating all the amazing events. If you’re a social butterfly, you will be the face when it comes to passing out flyers, cross promoting at other events, etc. The yard is waiting for you to leave your mark. Are you up for the challenge?