When Greek Life first arrived at Piedmont last fall, I was skeptical. Knowing how fraternities and sororities are portrayed in movies had me questioning if the stereotypes were true. I decided I had to see for myself.
First impressions are usually the most significant factor in getting someone interested in anything, and I felt the fraternity at the time didn’t start right. They wanted me to join just for the sake of the numbers, and I didn’t feel valuable compared to being part of the pride.
At the time, I was heavily involved with school by being a Residential Assistant (RA) and working for the Campus Activities Board (C.A.B.). My time commitment was taken up as it was, and they didn’t see how busy I was.
As the fall semester came to an end in 2018, I had lost my RA and C.A.B. jobs and was in a deep depression. The jobs I had so much drive and passion for, were gone due to an academic integrity policy I broke.
In a span of two months, I had lost two jobs and a girlfriend of two years. I felt alone, and nothing would make me smile. I went to counseling for help because I felt so lost and blamed myself for mistakes that were out of my control. I went from being involved on campus to barely even leaving my room. I had no ambition or motivation to do well in my classes.
With nothing to lose, I finally took a chance in Alpha Sigma Phi. I learned a lot about being initiated into a brotherhood. “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” applies to my experience in a fraternity. In Greek Life, it’s more like “don’t judge a person by their letters.” Speaking from firsthand experience, Greek Life students are tired of the negative stereotypes that are always getting thrown at us.
I remember feeling a sense of belonging again after joining. I was in a place where I could be myself and laugh with lifelong brothers. I wasn’t that kid seeking approval from others to fit in anymore, but a young man maturing with each day and learning from his mistakes. The benefits that come along with being in Greek Life are numerous. But for me, it changed my life.