I don’t mind buying my friends: Greek Life shapes strong connections

By Erika Kuehl | Staff Writer

“You pay that much money for friends?”

Yes, I’m in a sorority. It’s a privilege to be in Greek Life, and I know not everyone has the luxury of spending thousands of dollars on top of their tuition. By the grace of God (and my mother), I’ve had the opportunity to join a sorority with the most amazing group of women.

In my personal experience, my circle of peers has grown astronomically since joining. During my first semester at Baylor, I had a small circle of friends. They were all gracious and kind, but I never felt like they were my people. Being in a sorority helped me find a sense of belonging at Baylor and increased my overall joy in life.

A 2014 Gallup-Purdue University Index study of U.S. college graduates found that “graduates who are members of fraternities or sororities are more likely to thrive in all five elements of well-being during their post-graduate years than those graduates who did not join.”

The elements of this study include purpose, social, financial, physical and community. Although I can’t attest to the financial thriving due to my campus job budget, I can agree with the rest of the statement.

A big part of Greek Life is the time commitment. Everything I didn’t necessarily want to do led me to make more friends across all grade levels. I found my future roommates by complaining about Pigskin Revue. I found my role models by going to chapter. And in the moments I didn’t always want to be there, I remembered how special it was to have 300 friends.

I’ve been in a Sephora in Southern California and a small cafe in Florida where people have stopped me because of my Greek letters. Connecting with strangers wherever I go is such a special thing. Being in a sorority means a lifelong connection to others. And one day, I might go further because of my organization on my resume.

A 2021 Gallup study found that “more than half of fraternity and sorority alumni said they had a job immediately after or within two months of graduating college compared with only 36 percent of unaffiliated college graduates.”

Most college graduates probably aren’t itching to return to their alma mater for annual events, but picture having an alumni network and a home base to come to every time you visit. I know that in the future, I’ll gladly visit the university that gifted me my future bridesmaids.

If you can join an organization in Greek Life, I could not recommend it more. Go where your heart is and where you can be fully yourself. And if not, become friends with us here at Zeta Tau Alpha — we’d love to have you.