August 9, 2013- the first day of my career as a Transylvania pioneer. I had unpacked my bags. I had decorated my room. I was excited- about my classes, about making new friends, about exploring Lexington. About, well, everything… or almost everything.
One thing still made me nervous. I knew that Transylvania had a very large and very influential Greek scene… What if I decided Greek life wasn’t for me? At a school with such an omnipresent Greek system, would I be left out if I didn’t rush?
The answer? Absolutely not. I’ve discovered that as far as socialization, fun, and involvement go, there is nothing Greeks can do that we Indies can’t do just as well!
During August term, a three week long introduction to life at Transylvania, there were a ton of orientation activities and free time which allowed me plenty of opportunities to meet people and bond with the class of 2016. Before the upperclassmen even arrived on campus, I had already developed a group of friends that I was tremendously close to, and I’ve maintained these friendships as the year has progressed. And choosing to be independent doesn’t limit your friend selection either- I’ve found plenty of camaraderie from people in sororities and fraternities as well as other independents.
With Greek mixers, galas, and other get-togethers a prominent fixture of social life, I used to worry that I’d be socially stranded on the weekends if I didn’t rush. However, I’ve found there is never any shortage of fun to be had for those who look for it, regardless of your Greek affiliation or lack thereof. Many sorority and fraternity sponsored activities are open to everyone on campus, Greek or not, and for those daring enough to break the Transy bubble, there is almost always some sort of concert or festival going on within Lexington.
Don’t get me wrong, Greek life is a great way to get involved. But it is definitely not the only way to get involved. Whether you’re looking for academic, social, or service oriented activities, there are tons of non-affiliated organizations that can meet your needs. Even though I’m not involved with a Greek organization, between writing for the campus newspaper The Rambler, competing on the speech and debate team, and, of course, student blogging, there is very rarely a dull moment in my schedule.
In the end, what really matters is that you find some way on campus to reach out, something that takes you out of your comfort zone and makes you feel like a part of community that is Transylvania. For some people, this is Greek life. But it doesn’t have to be. For others, it’s a religious organization, student government, or Quidditch team. The question is: What will it be for you?