Finding a balance in Greek Life

Photo courtesy of Brittney Prather. Senior public relations major Daniel Henderson speaks during a PRSSA meeting in Franklin Hall. Henderson balances PRSSA, ROTC, academics, Greek life and more as a part of his college career.

Brittney Prather

Time Management from Brittney Prather on Vimeo.

It’s been reported that an estimated 9 million college students are members of a Greek organization at their respective universities. Whether they join to make friends, build their resumes, go to parties or learn leadership skills, they each have an incentive to change some aspect of their life.

“I joined to create a home away from home. However, it became more than just that and it was so worth it,” said Tess Ryan, a senior fashion merchandising major and member of Delta Gamma.

Although Greek life is not for everyone, some students may decide not to join because they are concerned about the inability to balance social, academic and personal time.

For Kent State students who are involved in Greek Life along with outside activities, time management is the most essential part on the road to success. 

“You have to have good time management skills just because you’re going to have … like any student, plenty of homework,” said Logan Miller, a junior computer information systems major and Kappa Sigma member. “Then, you have different events — whether it be social events or philanthropy events or chapter meetings — that you have to attend.”

Ryan said she bought a planning book this school year — something she’s never done before.

“It has helped me so much,” Ryan said. “I just try and write everything down, and whenever I do have free time, I try and get all of my homework done so that I am not overwhelmed with all of the other activities I have going on.”

Keri Richmond, a senior public relations major and director of fraternal philanthropy for Delta Gamma, said that when she (used to get) busier … (with) Greek life, she knew she had to write everything down in order to remember it.

“My calendar was like my bible and every moment I had, I needed to make value in it,” Richmond said.

For some students, social life is a key factor in deciding where they will attend school. College is more than a place to take classes: it is a place that becomes a home for the next couple of years.

“Honestly, I would say Greek life kind of takes care of all that for you because you have to maintain a certain GPA in any sorority or fraternity,” said John Durkin, a junior computer information systems major and Kappa Sigma social chair. “We kind of push each other to maintain our academics … Greek life is already a social organization, so we are always meeting new people anyways.”

Richmond said the nice thing about being involved during college is the large amount of activities, which become students’ social life.

“You’re working so closely together that they become your friends and you wind up spending free time outside of that together,” she said. “It’s work, and it’s your social life tied into one.”

For any student, there is stress that comes along with school. It is essentially a part of the job description of going to college. However, there is a way to get through it and prioritize what is important.

“There are definitely times where it is like hell week and every teacher decides that they want to give you a test or a huge paper and you kind of have to stop your social life for that week and say ‘academics are what I’m here for and that is what’s important, and I just need to put everything else on hold while I focus on my homework,'” Ryan said.

Kent State students said they feel as though being actively involved in Greek life and other extracurricular activities will benefit them in the future, and for some it has already has enhanced their abilities.

Miller said he gained a lot of really great leadership experience and networking skills through all of the activities he participates in along with his involvement in Greek life.

“I have dealt with a wide variety of people that I didn’t think I would have been able to deal with without joining a fraternity, so I think that having to deal with a large assortment of people I can bring that to the workplace and it will make me very adaptable,” Miller said.

Richmond emphasized that a person’s personal brand is built during their freshman year of college.

“I encourage every freshman I know to get involved right off the bat,” Richmond said. “Take leadership positions, join an organization, find something to grab onto because it will be like a domino effect. It will keep leading to these amazing opportunities that just don’t stop.”

For those who feel as though doing multiple things can’t be done, it can be accomplished with hard work, time management, organization and perseverance.

“It’s just about a systematic order to your day with the realization that at some point you are going to be done with it (everything going on),” said Daniel Henderson, a senior public relations major and Sigma Nu member. “It’s going to be fine and you are going to move on and sitting there wallowing in stress accomplishes absolutely nothing. You just have to to push through and tackle each task at hand.”

Brittney Prather is the Greek life reporter, contact her at [email protected].