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Being in a fraternity or being a Resident Advisor?

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PickleChiffonPie

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I'm almost done with my first year of undergrad at WSU and I have a 3.9 GPA and am currently an RA as well. It's not typical for freshmen to get this job but I guess I was a strong applicant. I decided not to join greek life as a freshman because I knew that good study habits form early on and I didn't want that constant distraction to hinder my GPA. Now I'm torn because I really dislike being an RA but it's good leadership experience, and I also want to join a fraternity so I can have a somewhat fun college experience and greek provides a lot of community service opportunities. I don't really want to do both things because I need time to study but will one activity will benefit me more than the other in the long run? Do med schools prefer an applicant to be in a high up position within greek life or an RA? Really tough decision for me and I would like some advice from people who know what's up. Thank you
 
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There's more to life than your medical school résumé. If you enjoy Greek life, you'll be able to talk more convincingly ff those experiences in an interview than your experience as an RA. As a former RA who has many classmates who participated in Greek life, I can safely say that both options appear compatible with medical school.

Now go breath some fresh air.
 
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To be MD

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That being said, when you say you want to go Greek "... so I can have a somewhat fun college experience and... community service opportunities," I'm going to tell you flat out that you might not yet get college as a rising sophmore.

Everyone can have fun in college... a lot of f*$%ing fun. You can party your brains out, be involved with 30 charities, and never pay a single membership fee to a fraternity or a sorority.

If you're really concerned about getting a social life, I encourage you to explore whatever awesome clubs that are available at your school (ex. APO = service fraternity, non-Greek = co-ed parties & volunteering on the weekends) and not limit your options just to Greek life.

It is not true that Greeks have fun while 'GDI's' just sit around and wish they were at frat parties. While Greek life seems super cool when you're 18 years old and are in line waiting to get into a party, by 3rd & 4th year & especially after college, no one cares.

Your fun is going to be had with your friends in college--fun in limitless supply. If you get those friends through Greek life, great. If you decide to join the ski team or an a-cappella group, establish a secret society of RA kingpins, or just become a member of a Habitat (or PKA) chapter at your school, you're going to have an outstanding college experience.

Just do something and be involved in whatever it is.
 
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PickleChiffonPie

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That being said, when you say you want to go Greek "... so I can have a somewhat fun college experience and... community service opportunities," I'm going to tell you flat out that you might not yet get college as a rising sophmore.

Everyone can have fun in college... a lot of f*$%ing fun. You can party your brains out, be involved with 30 charities, and never pay a single membership fee to a fraternity or a sorority.

If you're really concerned about getting a social life, I encourage you to explore whatever awesome clubs that are available at your school (ex. APO = service fraternity, non-Greek = co-ed parties & volunteering on the weekends) and not limit your options just to Greek life.

It is not true that Greeks have fun while 'GDI's' just sit around and wish they were at frat parties. While Greek life seems super cool when you're 18 years old and are in line waiting to get into a party, by 3rd & 4th year & especially after college, no one cares.

Your fun is going to be had with your friends in college--fun in limitless supply. If you get those friends through Greek life, great. If you decide to join the ski team or an a-cappella group, establish a secret society of RA kingpins, or just become a member of a Habitat (or PKA) chapter at your school, you're going to have an outstanding college experience.

Just do something and be involved in whatever it is.
I know I can have fun without being in a fraternity. Where I'm at, being an RA is a huge drain socially. I can't go out with my friends on the weekends because they will probably be drinking and as an RA I could get fired for being with those people. Being an RA is a great way to lower costs at college and gain experience, I just haven't had any fun yet in college because I really take job requirements seriously for fear of being caught and ruining my future. I want to work hard at grades and volunteerism, while also having an active social life with fun stories to tell and friendships to grow. I really appreciate your input and you have some great points that I will have to consider
 
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NotaCop

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1. Join the frat
2. ???????
3. Profit

P.S. the "???????" denotes blacking out on everclear punch and xanny 5 nights a week and gaining leadership experience by leading countless sorority women up to your room for a little A&P extra credit.

(In all seriousness, it sounds like the RA thing is a drag. I'm pro Greek personally, but I'll say it is what you make of it. I say try it out, see what you like better, and things will work out A-OK either way. Neither will make or break your application.)
 
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To be MD

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Sorry for sounding preachy :(.

You got 2 main options:

(1) Continue being an RA with lower money spent, leadership experience, but not a lot of partying because of your doubts.
(2) Don't be an RA anymore and have a better social life but spend a lot more money.

I'm just saying if you're going to go with (2), there's many social benefits to be had outside of Greek life. Financially speaking, Greek life is an extra $300-2000+ a year. Add that expense to your loss of income (free housing) for being an RA. That's a lot of $$$ if you're paying for this.

If you just dropped being an RA, you could pursue your social life anywhere outside of Greek life and, while losing the free housing, you wouldn't have membership dues and initiation fees to pay.

There's always option (3), too, of relaxing a bit and being one of those RA's who bends the rules and parties. But, as you say, you still lose that weekend time. Ultimately, it comes down to whether or not you're willing to spend the $$$.
 

PickleChiffonPie

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1. Join the frat
2. ???????
3. Profit

P.S. the "???????" denotes blacking out on everclear punch and xanny 5 nights a week and gaining leadership experience by leading countless sorority women up to your room for a little A&P extra credit.

(In all seriousness, it sounds like the RA thing is a drag. I'm pro Greek personally, but I'll say it is what you make of it. I say try it out, see what you like better, and things will work out A-OK either way. Neither will make or break your application.)
lol that's hilarious from someone pro-greek. I guess it's a good thing I rarely drink (due to family history of addiction) or do drugs. Thanks for the serious input as well, I appreciate any and all perspectives
 
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PickleChiffonPie

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Sorry for sounding preachy :(.

You got 2 main options:

(1) Continue being an RA with lower money spent, leadership experience, but not a lot of partying because of your doubts.
(2) Don't be an RA anymore and have a better social life but spend a lot more money.

I'm just saying if you're going to go with (2), there's many social benefits to be had outside of Greek life. Financially speaking, Greek life is an extra $300-2000+ a year. Add that expense to your loss of income (free housing) for being an RA. That's a lot of $$$ if you're paying for this.

If you just dropped being an RA, you could pursue your social life anywhere outside of Greek life and, while losing the free housing, you wouldn't have membership dues and initiation fees to pay.

There's always option (3), too, of relaxing a bit and being one of those RA's who bends the rules and parties. But, as you say, you still lose that weekend time. Ultimately, it comes down to whether or not you're willing to spend the $$$.
I'm fortunate enough to have my undergraduate college completely paid for, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be saving money when possible. My father i guess, "started from the bottom now he's here" by working extraordinarily hard throughout college and I guess I feel guilty for wanting a social life which may require more money spent. It's a difficult situation for me so thank you for all of your input, it's greatly valued.
 

El-Rami

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I personally would advise folks just starting college to not become involved with fraternities/sororities. I have seen far too many folks let their grades tank because they get too involved with partying/screwing around. They're completely unnecessary for a social life as you'll find plenty of friends among classmates to hang out with. Like others said, just find a club that meets every so often.
 

Pastamahn

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Sorry for sounding preachy :(.

You got 2 main options:

(1) Continue being an RA with lower money spent, leadership experience, but not a lot of partying because of your doubts.
(2) Don't be an RA anymore and have a better social life but spend a lot more money.

I'm just saying if you're going to go with (2), there's many social benefits to be had outside of Greek life. Financially speaking, Greek life is an extra $300-2000+ a year. Add that expense to your loss of income (free housing) for being an RA. That's a lot of $$$ if you're paying for this.

If you just dropped being an RA, you could pursue your social life anywhere outside of Greek life and, while losing the free housing, you wouldn't have membership dues and initiation fees to pay.

There's always option (3), too, of relaxing a bit and being one of those RA's who bends the rules and parties. But, as you say, you still lose that weekend time. Ultimately, it comes down to whether or not you're willing to spend the $$$.
I'm getting the sense you're extremely anti-Greek...
 

Pastamahn

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I personally would advise folks just starting college to not become involved with fraternities/sororities. I have seen far too many folks let their grades tank because they get too involved with partying/screwing around. They're completely unnecessary for a social life as you'll find plenty of friends among classmates to hang out with. Like others said, just find a club that meets every so often.
At a certain point that's more a lack of discipline than anything inherently wrong with Greek like. I have just as many, if not more, friends who fit this description who have no affiliation with Greek life.
 
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PickleChiffonPie

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At a certain point that's more a lack of discipline than anything inherently wrong with Greek like. I have just as many, if not more, friends who fit this description who have no affiliation with Greek life.
I agree with you there. I know GDI's who are doing absolutely terrible and I know the same of greeks. But also there are greeks that are doing extremely well. Personally, I am super disciplined and my first semester in college I had a 3.9 GPA and it's looking the same to finish up the year. I'm not too worried about my grades tanking
 

jqueb29

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It's not hard at all to maintain a stellar GPA while also enjoying the Greek lifestyle. I don't think there's much of a difference in terms of benefit for your app between RA and Greek leadership unless you are the President or VP of your chapter, but I think going Greek would have a bigger impact on your development as a person. As an old man, I could never imagine living in a fraternity house again, but I'm thankful that I once did.
 
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Terror Billy

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That being said, when you say you want to go Greek "... so I can have a somewhat fun college experience and... community service opportunities," I'm going to tell you flat out that you might not yet get college as a rising sophmore.

Everyone can have fun in college... a lot of f*$%ing fun. You can party your brains out, be involved with 30 charities, and never pay a single membership fee to a fraternity or a sorority.

If you're really concerned about getting a social life, I encourage you to explore whatever awesome clubs that are available at your school (ex. APO = service fraternity, non-Greek = co-ed parties & volunteering on the weekends) and not limit your options just to Greek life.

It is not true that Greeks have fun while 'GDI's' just sit around and wish they were at frat parties. While Greek life seems super cool when you're 18 years old and are in line waiting to get into a party, by 3rd & 4th year & especially after college, no one cares.

Your fun is going to be had with your friends in college--fun in limitless supply. If you get those friends through Greek life, great. If you decide to join the ski team or an a-cappella group, establish a secret society of RA kingpins, or just become a member of a Habitat (or PKA) chapter at your school, you're going to have an outstanding college experience.

Just do something and be involved in whatever it is.

LOL...spoken like a true GDI.

To the OP Greek Life is awesome for the most part, it's great way to network if you're socially competent and provides you with so many opportunities you would not even know existed (career, school, life etc.).
 
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NicksMD

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OP I had the pleasure of doing both during undergrad and I think Greek life is what you make it. If I had to choose one I would pick Greek life but, my fraternity is a little bit different than others. Personally I think the RA job did more for my application but, it's what YOU make of the experience.
 
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Pastamahn

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As for how Greek life helps your app, I think as was said above is the key. It's all about how you frame and talk about your time in Greek life (if you choose to pursue it). It will not in itself jump off the page, but if you become really involved with say, community service or philanthropy, and are able to talk extensively and passionately about these topics, that is what is going to be important.
 
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PickleChiffonPie

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Thanks everyone for the help. I definitely have a lot to think about. I'm glad the thread wasn't entirely greek bashing like some turn out to be and I'm glad people presented pros and cons of both sides. Either way I choose, I will need to manage my time well in order to pursue my dream of being a surgeon. Thanks everyone!
 

To be MD

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LOL...spoken like a true GDI.

To the OP Greek Life is awesome for the most part, it's great way to network if you're socially competent and provides you with so many opportunities you would not even know existed (career, school, life etc.).

I'm just going to fire back that I was Greek in college. Again, you can have just as much fun outside of it as inside of it and do so without restricting your social circle to the Greeks.

So 'LOL' if you want to. I'm just trying to save OP from spending money unnecessarily.

As I said earlier, the fun in college is to be had with your circle of friends. And again, whether or not you get those friends from Greek life or from a soup kitchen is not very important.
 

MaxPlancker

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Well this is a no brainer to me. If you don't like being an RA, then ditch it. You already have a year of it which is solid. Doing RA for another few years will have diminishing returns unlike other activities. If you are a Greek type of person, go for it. There's many opportunities in Greek life whether it be academic or otherwise (also dependent on your school).
 

The Knife & Gun Club

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I'm a strong advocate of Greek life. I got involved in Greek life, had a ton of fun, and made some of the best friends I will ever make. It was an experience I wouldn't trade for anything.

You can also get very involved from Greek life.
I was on the exec board of the frat for 5 terms, served on some interorganizational boards and conduct committees, and was able to get involved with student government. One of the deans who works with the frats to keep them on good behavior even wrote me a letter of rec for med school.

I'd say do it, have fun, and get involved on Camus through your organizations
 
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