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You Don’t Need Greek Life to Thrive in College

Skills |

As I sit to write this article, I just want to note that this is many years removed from college. Junior year in college, circa 2003, I had a bad bug. I wanted to join a sorority really badly. No, like, extremely badly. But I didn’t get to join my sorority of choice because they didn’t have a chapter on my campus at Stonybrook University, and I didn’t want to join any other Greek organization.

I would have loved a network of females to provide me with support and sisterhood. It’s akin to now joining Levo League, this social good community of like-minded women to provide me with resources to help me achieve my career goals.

Yet for all the great reasons there are for joining a sorority — because there are many reasons to join — here three ways I was able to thrive in college without Greek life.

I Found Other Powerful Networks

As time passed, I was better able to see that I still thrived personally and professionally in college by utilizing other powerful networks. While in college, I was really bummed about not having the opportunity to join a sorority. I thought that it was the only way to surely open doors and change my life. But now I appreciate the many other networks that allowed me to succeed personally and professionally without being in a sorority. The networks that I eventually joined were in line with my academic interests and extracurricular activities, and still did a great job to provide me with proper resources to prosper.

I Had a Laser-like Focus on My Studies

For the second half of my college years, I decided to ditch the social scene all together. I felt no pressure to be present at any party. I didn’t feel obligated to show face at any social activities, and I certainly didn’t feel bad about being any place other than my beloved library. It was a complete 180 because, prior to my junior year, I attended all of the parties, where I would revel at the sight of Greeks strolling to the party beat and throwing up their signs. I’m personally not sure if I would have been able to quit the social scene in the way that I did if I had become sorority member because I would have enjoyed being more involved with my sisters. Instead, I’m happy about the intense focus and concentration that I placed solely on my studies.

I Get to Represent a Variety of Greek Organizations Now!

In the end I had friends from all types of Greek organizations, and still got to live vicariously through their stories. Today I am the Founder of Punch Street, a greeting card company for urban Millennials. One of the card lines we design covers African American Greek organizations, like many of the ones that my college friends joined. I feel so free to represent for a wide variety of Greek societies without the fear of looking biased towards one organization.

Whether you were able to join a sorority or not in college, remember that there are still resources at your disposal and bright sides to the lack of a Greek life experience.

How do you feel about joining a sorority, or not, while in college? Tell us in the comments!

Ask Carly Heitlinger, Director of New Media at Levo League, how to know whether to join Greek life or not!

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sorority college advice

7 Comments

THANK YOU so much for this post! I graduated from a women's college and I didn't have the opportunity to join an org; however I realized I was able to connect with ALL women due to my women's college experience. In a way I lived that life without having biased letters on my chest.

2y

I love all of the benefits that being in a sorority has provided me, but I also have many non-Greek friends that are thriving in college. It's truly a personal choice, and you can't go wrong either way. You just have to pick what's the best option for you.

3y

I was actually totally against joining a sorority when I got to college because of stereotypes about sororities. Plus, I thought it would be a distraction from academics. I ended up giving in and joined a community service sorority (Omega Phi Alpha) and it's been a great way for me to have a smaller group of friends at such a large school (BU) while also sharing my passion for service with others.

3y
Carly Heitlinger

My college didn't have sororities. At first, I was really worried that it would be impossible to make friends! But as the years went on, I realized that there are SO many ways to create a personal network. Greek life is definitely one way (my sister loves her sorority!), but it's definitely not the only way!

3y

I joined Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority in college and have benefited both socially and professionally. When I moved to a large city I had a large network of women to call on for advice from where to live to career advice. Nearly ten years after joining if I could do it all over, I would.

3y

I have to agree with Jacqueline 100%. I was so hesitant to join a sorority, but I am SO glad I did. Now 6 years later, I am still benefiting from it.

3y

While I am not in a sorority, I am sure they are wonderful for networking and creating close bonds with friends. I think what is most important though, is simply having a support network, whether formed from sorority friendships or not

3y
Keisha De Paz

Keisha is founder of Punch Street, a greeting card startup focused on urban Millennials. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram: @keishadepaz, and on Facebook: facebook.com/keishadepaz. Keisha enjoys writing about various topics of interest for the 20- and 30-somethings of the world. Email keisha@punchstreet.com. That usually works.