It’s unfortunate, but largely thanks to pop-culture portrayals of Greek Life in movies and television, many people think that to join a fraternity or a sorority means that you’ll spend your days swilling alcohol and generally behaving badly. My experience was vastly different, however, and I am thankful for it. I would not be where I am today without having been part of the Greek community at the College of Charleston.
My father was also in Kappa Sigma, so growing up I heard lots of stories about how much fun he had as an undergraduate and how he met people that remain his friends to this day – some of those same people are now friends of mine as well thanks to the common bond that we all share. But his time as a Greek meant more to my father than just lasting friendships: my father would attribute much of his career success to having been Greek.
I can make that same claim now as well because having been in Kappa Sigma taught me many things that a college student cannot learn in the classroom. For instance, my time as a Greek taught me how to effectively communicate with the administration at the College. Along with the other officers in my chapter, I successfully petitioned and presented for the use of a historical house as our chapter house. This gave me invaluable experience and confidence in my abilities which later helped facilitate a rapid promotion to management with a previous employer. That promotion – which came years before it might have otherwise – gave me the chance that I needed to further my career and prove that I am a valuable employee.
I am very comfortable with public speaking because of the experience that I gained while serving as an officer in my chapter. I now speak publicly several times a week for my position here at CofC, and I was able to truthfully highlight that during my interview in order to secure my current job.
I also learned how to work with others towards a common goal, even while sometimes disagreeing with those I am working with. This is one of the most valuable lessons that I gained from being in Kappa Sigma, and I still benefit from it to this day. Despite the current economy, I have been able to find not just work, but challenging, desirable employment. I attribute that to the head start I got from going Greek.
I continue to be involved with my fraternity as well. My life with Kappa Sigma did not end when I walked across the Cistern at graduation. I am currently the president of my alumni chapter, and I serve as an advisor to the undergraduate chapter even now. To say that this has been rewarding would be an understatement.
I could go on for quite some time about how meaningful and significant being Greek has been to me, but I really think that it is something that you should experience for yourself. Being Greek is not what Hollywood portrays. It is so much better than that! You will be doing yourself a life-long favor by joining a fraternity or a sorority. My life is much richer (and a lot more fun) thanks to Kappa Sigma. These are the sorts of things that you can expect when you go Greek.
Phil Stevenson ’06