Ashi Patel Essay Graphic

Our UGA 101 guide to campus includes letters of advice and recommendation from students and recent graduates. These are the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Red & Black. 

When I first came to UGA, I didn’t plan to join a sorority. I came from a city in which everyone knew each other, so I assumed that making friends in college would be just as easy. In my first semester, I realized how much harder it was to make lasting friendships, or even an impression.

In my second semester, I decided I would go through spring recruitment, and I believe it was the best decision I’ve made in college. Here are some reasons I’m glad I joined Greek life, and why you should consider it too.

It helps a huge campus seem grounded. When you come to a campus that has over 30,000 students, it’s easy to feel small in all the hustle and bustle. Some of my very first classes had over 100 students, so making friends in class was not as easy as I had originally imagined. However, in my second semester I found that even being a new member in a sorority already gave me familiar faces in those huge classes and in the dining halls.

It keeps you academically accountable. All Greek organizations require a certain GPA, and Panhellenic had an average GPA of 3.73 in the spring of 2020. Sisters are typically matched with others in the chapter of the same major so that younger members can receive help from older members. If you’re in an intro class, it’s likely an older sister has been in the same one and can help.

It gives you opportunities to give back. A huge component of Greek life is philanthropy. Not only does every organization have at least one philanthropy they support, but all chapters are involved in the “Big Three,” UGA HEROs, UGA Miracle and Relay for Life. Service is something I am passionate about, and there are endless opportunities in the Greek community.

It encourages leadership. Every chapter is run by an executive team and committees full of coordinator positions, giving sisters opportunities to build leadership skills and impress future employers with their involvement. There’s myriad opportunities, from recruitment and philanthropy committees to serving as chapter president.

It gives you connections across the nation. Not only did I make connections with people in my organization, but since my organization has chapters across the globe, I already have a built-in network of connections wherever I go, and this has already helped me in my professional life.

The connections I’ve made through my chapter’s various online groups are ones that I’ll have for life.

Ashi Patel, class of 2021, serves as president of Delta Phi Epsilon

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