Dear Incoming Students: Don't Feel Pressured to Join Greek Life

Greek life is a huge part of campus involvement at the University of Florida. Around 20 percent of undergraduates participate in some facet of the Greek community. With so many students joining fraternities and sororities, incoming freshman may feel pressure to rush in order to be in the social scene. While Greek life can be a fun opportunity, you shouldn’t feel the need to join just because it seems like everyone else is.

Greek life is a huge time requirement and can oftentimes come with stigmas. On the other hand, you have the opportunity to make new friends and are presented with networking opportunities. These are two of the benefits Elizabeth Hargett, a sophomore at UF found when she joined her sorority.

She is a member of Phi Mu and made the decision to go Greek because she saw how positive the experience was for others in her family. She says that Greek life has enabled her to grow as a person.

Hargett also noted that Greek life can provide structure and make the transition from home to college easier.

Although it can be costly and time-consuming, she said, “the experiences I have made are worth more than any money I could imagine spending.”

Starr Courakos is the Vice President of Delta Nu Zeta, a service sorority not affiliated with The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC). Starr said she joined because community service has always been important to her.

“The biggest pro has been finding so many amazing friends in DNZ that care about giving back like I do,” Courakos said.

Viviana Moreno, a second-year journalism major was among those who decided not to join Greek life.

“To be honest, rushing never even crossed my mind even when I was exposed to it as a first-year student. That's part of the reason I never rushed,” Moreno said.  “Another major reason is because I knew I really wanted to dedicate myself to a few organizations, and I would probably be overworking myself to also participate in Greek life.”

Amy Lelis, a second-year pre-nursing major, also decided not to join Greek life.

“I decided not to join Greek life firstly, because I am an introvert, but also because I would never be able to afford it,” she said. She currently receives the Bright Futures scholarship and has Florida Prepaid, which help cover her tuition, rent and textbooks. College is already expensive enough. “I couldn’t imagine spending x amount to join a sorority.” Leis said.

If you are still concerned about how to meet new people in college but maybe don’t want to join Greek life there plenty of options for you. There are many campus clubs that cater to a wide variety of interests. Even better, you can find a club relating to your major that can enable you to meet potential friends while also networking. You can find a list of clubs and organizations at UF here.

However, if you are still set on participating in Greek life, there is no rule that you have to rush fall of your freshman year. You can wait until you settle into college life and then decide if you want to rush in the spring or even your sophomore year. Ultimately, the choice is yours regarding if and when you decide to join.