Recently, I was having a conversation about on-campus university life, and my experience in Alpha Kappa Psi Co-Ed Business Fraternity. Based on the energy in that conversation, I decided to jot some of my thoughts here.
We’ve all heard it in dormitory hallways during fall, winter and spring rush periods: “I’m not joining a fraternity/sorority. I don’t need to pay for my friends.” IMO, now years out of college, this rationale is shortsighted, and I would encourage all prospective college/university students to consider joining a fraternity or sorority! Here’s why:
“Paying for your friends” can be boiled down to paying to join a group of likeminded 18-22 year olds in a fraternity or sorority on campus, to find a sense of belonging or purpose. Sure you can go it alone, but you can also join a group you jive with, that shares a creed and looks out for you in the short-term and long-run.
Being part of the group affords benefits you may otherwise miss. Every penny I’ve spent to be a part of AKPsi – during college and after – has had tremendous ROI. During my student days, I picked up critical leadership and organizational development skills on the “executive board” for our chapter. I also quickly learned to work effectively with all types of people. This has helped me tons in Corporate America and beyond. Additionally, I have relied on alumni “bros” (men and women) for jobs, advice and, more recently, mentorship and referrals that have been pivotal in my role as Co-Founder at Trove.
Even if we’re half way around the world and have never met, my fraternity bros and I share a common fraternal experience. We also hold a similar professional value system that was instilled through AKPsi teachings and programming. This makes things like breaking the ice, finding a subject matter expert or mentor, cold calling, and asking for introductions much easier. Furthermore, it has the potential to reduce one’s “degrees of separation” from others, opening more doors. Business fraternity aside, social fraternity and sorority alumni credit their social and philanthropic activities for building their network, and they benefit from the same things I’ve described above.
Final thought, for those who worry about “paying for friends”. The “dues” you pay are typically budgeted to cover a HQ franchise fee, and a mix of social, philanthropic, and professional activities. Keggers, you ask? They’re often funded by members chipping in at the time of the party- and not taken from the common pot. :) So the bulk of your money goes towards enrichment for yourself and your peers. Meanwhile, you’re with the group so much, you’re building everlasting friendships and a trusted network that will pay dividends for life.