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My College Experience as a Non-Greek

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

 

“Well, how are you going to make friends?”

So, there’s a lot to unpack here. 

Frankly, there’s a lot to critique about the way Greek life is prioritized and made to seem like it’s necessary for having a good (or even tolerable) college experience. 

This was a real question that I was asked multiple times as I prepared to start my college journey, by both peers and adults in my life. It was a theme that was discussed more than my academic plans. 

It was an unspoken rule that if I were to attend a college such as the University of Oklahoma, where Greek life is something many students participate in, I would rush in the fall.

Coming from an affluent community, I wasn’t at all surprised that I was being asked this question so frequently.

Most families in the area could afford to send their child to college with the intent of “going Greek.” As a student that is paying for my own education, it was almost impossible to even consider. This is an often overlooked aspect of Greek life, especially if it’s an aspect you don’t have to think about.

I was unfazed as I began my freshman year, never worrying that I wouldn’t make friends just because I didn’t rush. As the year went on, I became involved in clubs and organizations that emphasized my true passions and interests. I was doing everything that I wanted to be doing in college – and I was happy.

When I meet another student on campus, one of the first things I am asked is what “house” I am in – as if that’s the central personality trait that you’d like to know most about me. As if there are categories of students, Greeks and Non-Greeks, and you can determine who they are based on this snippet of information.

Many of my friends and peers are active in Greek life at OU, and I know that there is something to be said about the value of the experience. I also know that there is value in other experiences and goals, which aren’t to be minimized in comparison.

So, why write an article about this?

If you’re worried about going to a school where Greek life is heavy, and you know you won’t be a part of it, know that you can succeed here as well. Your interests, goals and plans are important and needed. You will have a voice here, and we want to hear it.

 

Caroline Sparks

Oklahoma '22

My name is Caroline Sparks and I am a sophomore public relations and sociology student. Originally from California, I spent most of my life in Tulsa!
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