What Greek Life is like at a Small School
The media is constantly filling your screens with images of young college kids stepping onto their infinitely large college campuses littered with impressive, brick buildings and a Greek Row that puts celebrity houses to shame. Although this is the face of Greek Life that the public most often sees, there are many smaller universities nationwide that still host a strong Greek life presence on their campus. Not everyone shares the same college experience. However, no matter where your chapter resides, Greek Life is still a meaningful college experience.
Personally, while I was in high school and trying to decide which college to attend, I figured that I just didn’t have the personality for a big school. Ultimately, I decided to attend a university with just under 5,000 undergraduate students. The idea of joining Greek Life wasn’t even a thought in my head during the college process.
At the time, transitioning from a high school with a little over 1,000 students to a university with 5,000 undergraduate students seemed like a big deal. The first semester of school I realized that the campus felt very small. I would see the same people every day, and while you would think it was easy to make friends at a small school, it was actually the opposite. I really just stayed close to the same group of people that I had initially met during freshman orientation. I was still searching for that “home away from home” feeling.
Once second semester rolled around, I was introduced to Greek Life. Greek Life was not very popular on my campus at that time; under 20% of the student population was affiliated with a Greek organization and none of my freshmen year friends wanted to rush. I was unsure if should rush myself considering Greek Life seemed to be somewhat irrelevant on my campus.
I know that many people rush at larger schools because it can be hard to feel like you have a close-knit group of friends with over 30,000 students on the campus. On the other hand, on smaller campuses people may feel like they don’t need to rush because they will still have a social life regardless of their status.
Ultimately, I decided to rush and it has been the best decision I made in college thus far. Greek Life may not be huge on the campus but together it is a very close group. I have been able to meet so many different people that I never would have met without Greek Life.
While there might not be much going on at your small campus, you will always have a group of friends to turn to for a fun night. Greek Life and your new group of sisters provide you with that “home away from home” feeling you have been searching for. Whether you are at a big school or a small school, whether you are 20 minutes away from home or six hours, it can be tough living in college on your own.
Our university does not allow sorority houses, but that hasn’t stopped me from bonding with my sisters—staying up late into the night and talking with my them. I have never felt as if I have missed out on the “typical sorority experience” because I am at a smaller school.
By having a smaller chapter—under 100 girls—it has made developing close relationships with each of the sisters that much easier. When walking around campus, if I bump into any sister in the chapter I feel comfortable striking up a conversation about whatever her or I have been up to.
Not only have I developed strong friendships within my chapter, but all of the chapters intermingle and are very close because Greek Life as a whole is on the smaller scale at my university. Similarly, at other schools you will get to know individuals from each Greek organization and there will be an emphasis on balancing socializing with every chapter at your school.
Because the Greek community is so small, many members will branch out and get involved in non-Greek organizations as well. This means you are able to meet even more people on your campus and create an identity and social life aside from your Greek Life affiliation.
Greek Life at a smaller university can give you all of the benefits and experiences of Greek Life at a larger university. No matter the size of your campus, Greek Life will be your support system throughout your four years of college where you will gain leadership experience and create long-lasting friendships.
Written By: Brittany Maurer