My Experience and Take on Greek Life
First, I've got to acknowledge just how beautiful campus looks after the recent snowfall. Each season brings its own unique spin to the wonder of Dartmouth's campus, but winter term has a different feel. The snow blankets everything – from the bare branches of the deciduous trees across campus to the pine needles on the conifers that paint the surrounding hills. I'll include a few more photos below; you're welcome!
Now let's get down to business. I wanted to talk about my experience with Greek life on campus. In particular, I wanted to frame my experience through the lens of an introverted person. I also wanted to clear up some misconceptions about making friends at Dartmouth. To make a very long story short, I figured out that Greek life wasn't for me. During my freshman year, I heard a lot about what "rushing" was, the process of formally joining a Greek space, but I didn't get give it much thought after that. I knew I didn't want to be around alcohol, and I've always been a low-key kind of person. That's just who I am. That being said, there was a Greek space on campus that seemed it might align with my values. I joined in the fall of 2022, but it didn't last too long.
I spent that entire term as a part of a fraternity, and I'm glad I had the experience. But the truth is, it's simply not for me. In my experience, being a part of a fraternity meant having a fairly big time-commitment, participating in "high-strung" events like rather loud parties (without alcohol), planning events, etc. There were good elements to the Greek space I was involved in – a bond with the other members, "family" meals, and a good support group. In the end, the cons outweighed the pros, and I decided to resign from the fraternity, and I made the right decision. Although a good amount of the undergraduate population is affiliated with some Greek organization, there are a lot of people who aren't. It turns out, you absolutely don't need to be involved in Greek life to make awesome connections and form an awesome friend group.
The closest friends that I've made at Dartmouth have nothing to do with any kind of Greek life experience. Part of why I chose to go to Dartmouth was that it's small, and I love that about this place. You don't have to over-exert yourself to make friends here. From my experience, whether it be through classes, extracurricular activities, study groups, etc., it's been fairly stress-free to make connections. Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who would much rather stay in his dorm, read a book, and drink some coffee rather than go out to a party. The point is, I'm an introverted person and I appreciate my alone time. Still, I don't feel isolated because there are plenty of opportunities to be social and make friends. In my mind, it's truly not something that's worth stressing over. Of course, put yourself out there, talk to people, and, most importantly, be kind to someone. You'll be surprised just how big of an impression kindness can have on someone here!
Now, enjoy the photos of the beautiful snow that I mentioned: