Home is an idea that many people — especially college students —struggle to define.
Coming into Elon University means leaving all the different places you once called home. Naturally, freshmen then attempt to find a new definition of home upon arrival. For many, one of the most obvious places to find a family and a sense of community is in fraternity and sorority life. But, it is important to recognize that these organizations are not the only places to find your “home away from home” at Elon.
With 51.5 percent of women and 22.6 percent of men involved in fraternity and sorority life, it is easy to feel on the outside if you are unaffiliated. Yes, the statistics do seem daunting, but with more than 200 organizations represented on campus, Elon offers so many more communities to find brotherhood and sisterhood in — you just have to look for them.
Fraternities and sororities, etymologically speaking, literally mean brothers and sisters, and for many people it really does bring that connection. But, if this is not where you find that sense of family, you shouldn’t feel like finding home is a lost cause.
Just like all organizations across campus, fraternities and sororities are not for everyone. There could be a number of reasons why — the time commitment, the cost or even simply not being “into it”. Because the fraternity and sorority culture is so strong at Elon, it seems that students who don’t find a home within fraternity and sorority life feel exceptionally “different” or alone because of it, but it is more than OK if that community isn’t right for you.
You aren’t going to join the club soccer team if you don’t like soccer. It is no different for fraternity and sorority life. No single organization can fulfill every student’s wants and needs, but all students can find an organization that does. For some, this may mean an a cappella group or club sport team. For others, this could be found in student media organizations or service fraternities.
While other organizations don’t promote the ideas of family as obviously as greek organizations do, they do have strong, supportive communities within them. Each student can find a place to call home at Elon — you just need to open your mind to broaden your definition of brotherhood, sisterhood and community. In many instances, those who are seeking a community here need to simply broaden their involvement.
In addition, for those in the percentage of students who have gone through recruitment, it is imperative to not forget the roots you created during your first semester here. Elon delays recruitment until the spring for a number of reasons, but perhaps most importantly to allow students can to get involved in other areas of campus before committing themselves to a fraternity or a sorority.
It is important to hold onto involvement in these other organizations and the relationships made within them. Especially during the new member period, it can be easy and convenient to let go of other obligations in order to focus on fraternity and sorority events. But, it is so important to maintain a wide array of interests and commitments.
Strive to see the new relationships you are making as an addition to your life here at Elon, not a replacement. As easy as it may be to dedicate yourself entirely to one single organization, try not to lose sight of the fact that Elon has so much to offer. The connections you made during your first semester here are not to be forgotten, they are to be expanded on by the new connections you have made.