Across the country, thousands of men and women have accepted bids or crossed into fraternities and sororities. Pledge. Neophyte. New Member. No matter what you call yourself, you’re all asking the same question: Now what?
As I look back when I was pledging Pi Beta Phi, here are my top five ways to make the most of your Greek experience:
1) Think hard about your priorities.
College, in many ways, is like drinking from a fire hose. Take a minute to visualize that. Got the mental picture? Now replace all that water with opportunities. That fraternity mixer. That awesome step show. Student government. Free movie night at the dorm. Maybe even chess club? With so much to take in, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and figuratively choke. Rather than respond to what’s most urgent, take some time to get clear on your priorities. As a Jesus-follower, my faith is my top priority. But sometimes my actual schedule reveals that Jesus is my 3rd, 5th, or 10thpriority. If, like me, your faith is a top priority, make your schedule reflect that! Make it a point this week to check out the Greek IV chapter on your campus.
2) It’s ok to say no.
Did you just roll your eyes and assume I was going to talk about drugs? Well, jokes on you, because I’m not (ok, real talk for a minute, please don’t do drugs!). What I’m really getting at is over-commitment. We are a generation that suffers from severe FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). We often say yes to way too many things because we’re afraid of lost opportunities. But here is a hard truth: Too many yeses make no difference at all. The more commitments you add to your list, the more you will dilute your ability to contribute. Whether it’s your Greek chapter, your classes, your leadership roles on campus, or your relationship with Jesus, they all take a hit when you keep adding more. Figure out your limits (yes, you have limits), and learn how and when to say no.
3) It’s ok to say yes.
Don’t get so good at saying no that you don’t say yes to anything! College is a time to try new things. So get out there and experience things you’ve never experienced. But be cautious with what you actually commit to. As I said in No. 1, think hard about your priorities and stick to them. Are your priorities faith, your Greek chapter and academics? If so, say yes when a Greek IV staff invites you to a weekend retreat. Say yes when your brothers invite you to play pick-up basketball. And say yes when you friends in Greek IV invite you to study (look at that, you just fit all three into one event!). Stay committed to your priorities and say yes to opportunities that will help you deepen them.
4) It’s not as weird as you think to go public with your faith.
As a freshman, I was terrified about what older members would think of my faith. Would they make fun of me? Would they avoid and reject me? As a step of faith, I started to tell sisters what I was really doing on Sunday mornings. I wasn’t coming home after a rough night out. I didn’t just finish studying at the library. I was… coming home from church. When the word got out, I figured that my sisters would treat me like someone with an infectious disease. But actually, they were intrigued! The beautiful thing about the Greek System is it fosters relationships of openness and curiosity. Because my sisterhood cared about me as a member, they wanted to know about my relationship with Jesus.
5) God has a purpose for you greater than getting a degree and getting out.
What if God specifically placed you in your Greek chapter for a purpose greater than making friends and building your resume? While these are amazing parts of the Greek system, God has a greater and deeper purpose for you! The truth is, if you are a Jesus follower, no one can help your brothers and sisters connect with Jesus like you can. Your Greek IV staff worker can’t. Your pastor can’t. Your brothers and sisters trust you over any outsider. And because of this you have a great opportunity to expand God’s Kingdom in your Greek chapter and across campus. If you feel like this is striking a chord for you, talk more with God about his purpose for you in your Greek chapter.
As members of the Greek System, you have so many exciting opportunities and experiences ahead of you. The next four years will go by faster than you can imagine, so don’t waste them! Reflect on my five tips and put them into practice.
Of the five tips in this article, which ones resonate the most with you? What would you add to this list?