Friday, September 12, 2014

Go Greek! ... or dont!

In the face of all the hoopla and excitement that surrounds the run-up to Greek recruitment, we would recommend letting a little bit of common sense prevail: calm down. Whether you have decided for or against participating in rush, you will be fine and will do well during your time at Ole Miss. 

Our campus is considered by many to be “heavily Greek,” because about one third of Ole Miss undergrads are members of a fraternity or a sorority. But, of course, this means that two thirds of undergrads are not in a fraternity or sorority. 

There are plenty of ways to be meet people, socialize, serve and lead on campus. In the grand scheme of things, and despite how things might feel at the moment, whether you participate in Greek life or not is ultimately not all that important. 

Whatever decision you make about Greek life, recognize that God has placed you where you are to be a leader in faith to those around you and to be an example of Christ-like love to those who see you. Greek or not, remember that you’re the only “you,” with all the gifts and talents you’ve been loaned by God for your role in building up his kingdom, whether within the confines of the fraternity or sorority house or in any corner of campus. 

Here are our tips on how to make the most of your decision about Greek life:

  1. Faith first: Remember that you’re a Catholic, first and foremost, before any manmade label. Greek or not, Regular Mass attendance, daily prayer, and being active with CCM are the tried and true methods to finding the most important type of success during your college career: spiritual success.  
  2. Be confident in your decision. Remember that God has a very specific plan for you and your life and, if you prayerfully seek his guidance, you’ll land exactly where you’re meant to be. Seek and follow his will above all else. 
  3. Be respectful of other peoples’ feelings in what you do and say before, during, and after rush. Don’t succumb to the temptation of bashing those who made a different decision than you did about Greek life. Emulating Christ means to be Christ-like in all of your actions – and conversations. Strive to be “all things to all people … for the sake of the Gospel.” (see 1 Corinthians 9:22-23)
  4. Make a concerted effort to get involved in other ways on campus. To have success in your first year in college, it’s vital that you plug in and get involved on campus in diverse ways, so whether or not you "go Greek," find and join any campus organizations that meet your interests and goals.
  5. Be aware that you might face some special challenges if one of your close friends or roommates makes a different decision than you do about Greek life. They’ll have new demands on their time and you might have to patiently endure stories from them about new people and events that you don’t have the same connection to. See this as an opportunity for your friendship to grow and be open to making adjustments to the changing dynamics that can occur between friends during and after rush and "above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8)

After rush week, every one of you will still be the same, uniquely-created, purpose-driven individual that you were before. You’ll still be loved and wonderful and the nervous excitement of rush will be nothing more than past life event. 

The point is (and you have to trust me on this, as someone speaking from personal experience), at this moment, everyone seems to be talking about rush and Greek life, but soon the newness will pass and the excitement will fade. In a short time from now, you’ll all look back at this time with a chuckle about how much unnecessary fuss and drama was involved. 

Those who join a fraternity or sorority will still mingle and be friends with those who decide against joining. There will be no great cosmic shift in the social balance of your freshman class and life will return to normal. 

Trust me.