The Value of Greek Life
As an incoming freshman at the University of Toledo, I was immature and lacked motivation in finding my place at my college and in this world. During my first semester I made friends and maintained a 4.0 GPA, yet didn’t really understand why I was there. I lacked a purpose for being in college. With no direction and no satisfaction with my performance, I decided I needed to make a change.
Fearing the Unknown
Before entering college, I applied for a scholarship known as the Balanced Man Scholarship given away by Sigma Phi Epsilon at my university. They had a banquet to give scholarships to young men like me and even invited my parents! I met amazing men that I wanted so badly to learn from. Yet, after all of this, I was still afraid to join. I was afraid to give myself to a fraternity. I was too afraid of the stereotypes that came with a fraternity so I refused to participate in recruitment. At the end of my first semester I found myself academically successful, but with no meaningful relationships or memories. I was not about to let my time at my university go to waste, so I took a huge risk.
Finding Your Fit
In the spring, I decided to go out for recruitment and I ended up joining Sigma Phi Epsilon. The fraternity experience, when done right, can be absolutely life changing. I have grown unbelievable amounts since joining. I currently serve on our executive board as the Vice President of Communications. I run all our social media, our website and control all the chapter’s information. Sigma Phi Epsilon got rid of the traditional pledging process almost 15 years ago which is why they were the fraternity I chose. My fraternity has banned discrimination of any kind. We eliminated the pledging process and allow all new members full rights in the fraternity. Brothers no longer must prove themselves to join. Sigma Phi Epsilon runs on the idea that, “This fraternity will be different” and it continues to prove that every single day. A lot of fraternities are different, so finding what works best for you is important. If you learn that you haven’t found what you are looking for in Greek life, that is okay!
Being Able to Grow
Since joining, I have now moved out on my own. I have gained two internships and I am only beginning my junior year. My fraternity has supported me in traveling to Texas, Chicago and Indiana for leadership programs where I can grow and develop personally as well as professionally. Yet, that is only the beginning. I still have years to continue growing within my chapter and it is my absolute promise to lead Greek life in the right direction. If anything, trust me when I say that there is a home for you in Greek life.
The value in Greek life comes from the meaningful relationships we have with one another. I have brothers who truly value and support me. No matter what Greek fraternity or sorority you join, they all have a purpose. They have values and a purpose to their existence. Unfortunately, Greek life has sometimes been in the negative spotlight of media. Not everyone takes it seriously anymore, although many Greek organizations work to create an environment that is safe and open to everyone. We all deserve to have a family on campus that will support us throughout our lives. Do not be afraid to be true to who you are; we are all looking for something!
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