Now that recruitment is over and all sororities and fraternities are welcoming their new sisters and brothers, independents may be feeling like they are “missing out” on part of the college experience. Watching your friends go through the recruitment process and coming out with bids is without a doubt difficult, even though you are excited for them as well.
What many students fail to realize is that there are indeed perks to the God Damn Independent (GDI) lifestyle.
On the surface, sorority and fraternity life appears to be the be-all and end-all of sophomore year and your entire
college career, but there are so many fantastic things about not being part of a Panhellenic organization. First off, you have so much more free time to try new things, catch up on sleep, hang out with non-Greek friends, and get your work done. Time not spent at recruitment events, chapter meetings, and other Greek duties adds up in the end, and will leave you less stressed out. Another bonus to being independent is not worrying about what the outside world thinks about Greek organizations and their members. Fraternities and sororities are often stigmatized in the media and consequently not as well-respected in the outside world. When I was considering going through recruitment, I was certainly judged by my outside friends because they had heard of all the negative stereotypes. Though these stereotypes often do not apply to most Greek organizations, they are still prevalent and I appreciate not having to worry about them as an independent.
Being independent makes you eligible to be the perfect date for your single friends at date parties and formals! Not having an affiliation with a particular
fraternity or sorority makes it much easier to attend any date party you are invited to. Finally and most obviously, the amount of money you save by remaining independent is incredible. First-time members of a sorority must pay a fee of approximately $400-600 and then about $250 each semester after that. In the least expensive sorority, dues come to about $1,650 for your college career. That is a lot of money that can be spent or saved somewhere else.
While being a GDI can be hard at times, there are many covert and overt benefits to not identifying with a Greek organization. Once
students realize that Greek life is only a small portion of the huge array of activities, events, and clubs our school has to offer, these benefits will become clearer. The University relies on independents to bring diversity to the social scene and to balance out the Panhellenic influence on campus. Remember that not being Greek does not make your college experience any lesser. You can be happy on either side of the spectrum, and what is most important is finding the right place for you.