How To Succeed in College/Fraternities and Sororities
A very effective way to obtain a job after college is to utilize networking - i.e., people you know. Some research indicates that students who utilize their fraternity and sorority networks, including other members and alumni, are more likely to obtain high paying jobs than individuals who do not have these resources. Former college students, when asked, reported that networking through their fraternity or sorority was a very helpful way to find a good job. Students receiving help and advice from their fraternity or sorority members are more likely to not only find a job, but to find a job they like. Finding a job through fraternity and sorority networks often results in a greater mean salary than those who find jobs through other networks or through other references, like: professors, alumni, career services, relatives, or alone.
Fraternity and sorority members are also often more involved than students not in fraternities or sororities in activities relating to student learning and intellectual development. Some fraternities and sororities also have a GPA requirement that must be maintained, which leads to greater student success in college. Furthermore, students in fraternities and sororities reported having significantly higher levels of active and collaborative learning, as well as greater interaction with their professors, other faculty members, and peers. This resulted in advantages in both academic and personal development.
Fraternity and Sorority Membership and Drinking Alcohol
Seven out of eight college students (or 87.5%) drink and 44% engage in binge drinking. College is a period of time associated with heavy levels of drinking. It is also associated with elevated risk for acute health problems, including serious injury and psychological distress. Membership in a fraternity or sorority leads to drinking more heavily and frequently. Additionally, membership in a fraternity or sorority increases the odds of developing dependence symptoms, initiating or continuing abusive alcohol use patterns, and experiencing alcohol related problems. Those who join fraternities later in their college careers experience an increase in abusive alcohol consumption while those who leave fraternities and sororities experience a decrease in such activities.
The reasons why members of fraternities and sororities are more likely to consume alcohol are not perfectly clear, but it appears as though social norms play a prominent role. Members of these groups view drinking as more of a social norm. However, many members of these groups enter college with these beliefs, which may indicate that it is not exclusively the environments of the fraternities and sororities that lead to these attitudes and behaviors but prior views of the members. Heavy drinkers and partiers in high school may intentionally seek out fraternity and sorority membership because they are aware of the reputation these organizations have for drinking and partying. Other factors that may contribute to alcohol use among members of these groups could be the characteristics of the members. Members of these groups tend to score high on extraversion and also tend to be impulsive.
Despite the differences in drinking during college, three years after college the levels of drinking of members of fraternities and sororities does not appear to be significantly different from that of college graduates who were not in these types of organizations. This is suggestive of a pro-drinking environment in fraternities and sororities.
- Marmaros, D., & Sacerdote, B. (2002). Peer and social networks in job search. European Economic Review, 46(4–5), 870–879. doi:10.1016/S0014-2921(01)00221-5
- Pike, G. R. (2003). Membership in a Fraternity or Sorority, Student Engagement, and Educational Outcomes at AAU Public Research Universities. Journal of College Student Development, 44(3), 369–382. doi:10.1353/csd.2003.0031
- Sher, K J, B D Bartholow, and S Nanda. 2001. “Short- and long-term effects of fraternity and sorority membership on heavy drinking: a social norms perspective.” Psychology of Addictive Behaviors: Journal of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors 15(1):42-51.
- Park, Aesoon, Kenneth J. Sher, and Jennifer L. Krull. 2008. “Risky Drinking in College Changes as Fraternity/Sorority Affiliation Changes: A Person–Environment Perspective.” Psychology of addictive behaviors : journal of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors 22(2):219-229.