Starting your life from scratch is not as glorious and fulfilling as people normally think. As someone who moved to another country at the age of 15, I can personally testify that — as liberating as it sounds — starting over has its own burdens. A few of the main obstacles that one faces when embarking on the college journey is creating new relationships from scratch and ultimately creating a solid friend group. One of the most common ways to achieve that goal, as portrayed by the media and television, is by joining Greek life. wWe have all seen movies or TV shows where the protagonist meets their best friends and has the time of their lives upon entering Greek organizations, such as sororities and fraternities. While Greek life can be an intriguing part of your college experience, it is not the key to building your desired friend group. Many undergraduates, such as myself, have found their closest college friends through other means, such as classes, parties, clubs or even in ordinary settings such as dining halls.
The romanticization of college Greek life is presented in many intricate ways in our society; it’s presented as the only scenario in which you meet your “sisters” and “brothers” who will stick by you throughout the rest of your life. In addition, people have constructed the mistaken view that the best parties and social events in college can only occur within a sorority or fraternity, where undergraduates drink from a huge keg of beer and make questionable decisions. While joining Greek organizations has its many benefits, such as offering a setting for social connection, it also contains quite a few drawbacks as well. Personally, the first time I decided to attend a frat party, I expected to be blown away by that experience; I thought that attending that event was the first step to feeling like I “fit in” at Tufts. However, only a few moments into the party, I came to the realization that Greek life did not suit me in the way that I had envisioned. This led me to lose some hope that I would find a friend group that I truly enjoyed spending time with. If Greek life was the ultimate setting to create friendships, then how come I didn't feel connected to anyone who was there?
Some might find that Greek life is exactly what they need in order to smoothly transition into college, while others might take another route such as joining clubs, sports teams or even just distancing themselves from the social scene for a while. Everyone has a different way in which they choose to adapt into a new environment whether that means joining social groups or just finding their path on their own depends entirely on each individual person. Doing what feels best for you, even if that may not conform to expectations of the typical social scene, is key to building a friend group that will allow you to enjoy the college experience to the fullest.