As college students return to campus, many will choose to rush Greek organizations or rejoin their fraternities and sororities. Though these communities offer socialization and career connections that are appealing to many students, they can also be a source of stress, anxiety, and depression for a variety of reasons.
Students participating in Greek life may experience higher levels of social anxiety and stress than non-Greek peers. Studies show that the recruitment process in particular causes a significant increase in anxiety, especially when rushing students face rejection. These feelings of anxiety can contribute to lowered self-esteem and worsened mental wellbeing.
In addition to social anxiety, students in Greek communities may experience peer pressure. The prominence of partying, drinking, drug use, and hazing within some organizations can pressure members into participating in these activities, resulting in added stress and anxiety.
Beyond the social aspects of Greek life, demanding time commitments may also overwhelm current and prospective members. From philanthropy events to chapter meetings, members are kept busy, which can make it difficult to find time for academics and personal care. Given the correlation between time management, academic performance, and stress, balancing Greek life commitments with other responsibilities may impact mental wellbeing.
Membership in a Greek organization can come at a significant price. The cost of dues, housing, meals, and events can quickly become overwhelming. With 70% of college students feeling stressed about their finances, participation in Greek life may only worsen this anxiety for some.
Managing mental wellbeing
To manage feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression related to Greek organization membership, use the following tips:
- Set time for yourself away from your Greek house
- Find a friend outside of your Greek community to attend campus events with
- Practice saying “no” to offers you’re not interested in
- Create a schedule for your studying, extracurricular commitments, and other involvements
- Get into a routine to feel more in control of your time
- Speak with a member of your organization about financial aid opportunities
College can be a particularly difficult time to manage mental health. Whether it’s joining Greek life or another organization, there are positives to finding your community and having a place to call home. If you’re still struggling, though, we’re here to support you and help address any concerns. Whether you’re facing anxiety, depression, stress, or other mental health challenges, we provide many services that help you focus on making the most out of this time.