So you are thinking of joining a fraternity… that’s great! This is the best place to see if it’s right for you, but before you read on, please understand that there are many misconceptions of fraternity life. If you haven’t already, I would suggest taking a look at the 10 Reasons why you should NOT join a fraternity first.
So why should you be a part of one? Why should you put in all your precious time and effort?
Well here are 12 reasons why.
You will become a better communicator. This benefit isn’t talked about much in joining a fraternity, but I have seen it help tremendously in my life since pledging. Some people are naturally better at this and other people, like me, are not. Like all skills, it takes practice to become a better communicator, but once you become more confident, you will shine everywhere from networking events to parties.
This is different from social skills, because speaking in front of an audience is a completely different ball game.
If you’re anything like me, I would hate giving speeches in class. I would always stutter, shake, lose my train of thought, and can even have panic attacks just thinking about it after.
But you know what? I got over it.
Having a position in the fraternity gave me weekly opportunities to practice speaking in front of people. I have already been applying this new skill and I’ve seen a vast improvement in my class speeches and work meetings.
Looking back, I can’t believe how unorganized I was and how I managed to do everything I did. I was forced to learn time management during pledging and I am still learning new tips to increase my productivity to this day.
Now I use a calendar and set reminders to keep myself punctual (extremely important!) and lower my stress (even more important!). When it seems like you don’t have enough hours in the day, try implementing some time management strategies to get more out of your day.
Event Planning Skills
My fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, imposed obligatory brotherhood, fundraising, community service, and professional events. Different positions plan each of the events and more than likely you will be in one of these positions to plan an event.
There is a lot of behind the scenes work required to plan even the simplest of events that I didn’t know about until I joined a fraternity – the planning, booking, content, food and beverages, marketing, hosting, and so much more.
This skill is extremely useful in my job today that I know will be used all throughout my future career.
Ever thought of starting or running your own business? Oh, but you don’t like accounting? Then you will probably be a part of that statistic that says 90% of businesses fail within the second year. Vice President of Finance (or another similar position) will help you gain the basics of cash flows for your chapter that help keep it afloat. If your chapter runs a business like mine does, then you will learn the fundamental and imperative accounting skills now before you implement that great business idea of yours.
Many experts teach the secret to happiness is genuinely helping people and making a real difference in people’s lives. Joining a fraternity will give you the opportunity to make that difference.
I know it’s hard for people to get themselves off their butt to do community service, but you never hear people saying they regret doing good. For a theoretical example, “Man, I really regret making that homeless man lunch today, because I’m hungry and I could have ate it.”
Just like it’s hard sometimes to go to the gym, no one regrets a good workout after they have done it.
Fraternities give you many opportunities to help your local community and it will leave you feeling great about yourself and making a difference in someone’s life.
You will learn to be able to conduct yourself more professionally. From the basics of tying a tie to perfecting your resume and cover letter, you will be able to look the part for any professional networking event or job interview.
It doesn’t stop at your appearance though. You will learn professional behavior and become more mature, too. Basically, you don’t want to look like this guy:
The power of networking is truly amazing within a fraternity.
If you are thinking of joining one of the more popular fraternities, there are probably over 200,000 active collegiate members across the globe.
On top of that, there are millions of alumni and several hundred if not thousands of alumni from your chapter alone (if you’re chapter is old enough). You will be able to perfect your networking skills at the multiple network events and alumni mixers offered by your fraternity.
On top of learning networking skills, you will also be able to reap the benefits of networking itself. This means easy ins to possible career opportunities that put yourself ahead of the other candidates.
Networking is considered by many to be the best benefit of joining a fraternity.
Depending on the chapter, it may have its own business or it may not. If it does, that’s great, because you can practice running a small business and understand fundamental business operations.
Now unless you stare at funny pictures of cats all day, you will understand how important these fundamentals are to your future.
“Well, that’s great Reggie, but my chapter doesn’t run a business.”
I say even better! Then you will have the perfect opportunity to not only learn how to run a business, but how to start one from the ground up. Here’s a basic overview of how to start a chapter business.
Finding a Mentor
All of my favorite and most admired successful business people teach how a mentor in their life significantly helped them achieve their success. Access to a vast alumni network and fellow brothers at neighboring universities will help tremendously in finding a mentor.
Don’t just choose any guy with money though, make sure they are the type of person you would like to become..
Personal Development and Character Building
Everything on this list contributes to this benefit. The amount I have seen myself grow and the amount I’ve seen my brothers grow directly from this fraternity is so moving that it’s one of the main reasons I started this website.
If you are really looking to grow and become a better person, I personally believe there is no other place to do this in a university than joining a fraternity.
For the Brotherhood
Any fraternity member will tell you this is the biggest benefit of joining a fraternity. You don’t just make friends, you create relationships on a brotherly level with many of these relationships lasting for decades.
A brother is there for you when you’re in need, they keep you accountable, and they are interested in seeing you grow as a person.
If you are in a fraternity now, what other benefits of being in a fraternity are there?
Please share with a comment!
Bonus! More reasons are…
There are a few different types of fraternities that you can join: Social, Professional, Community Service, and Honorary or Academic fraternities. Each one has their own unique concentration. Depending on what you want to get out of college life should influence your decision about which type to join.
You may be disappointed joining a social fraternity when all you really wanted to do was network and gain professional experience with like minded people. Or perhaps you are worried about your academics more than anything; joining anything other than academic fraternity may be a bad idea.
Find out more on the different types of fraternities here.