Life beyond Greek Life—does it exist? Despite some common misconceptions, yes, yes it does. While there is admittedly a great deal of validity to the claim that most social life stems from Greek Life on campus, there are still other ways to achieve the goal of not being a recluse. It’s harder to find these other options, but in all reality they must exist somewhere, right? It hasn’t been easy for me to find alternatives to Greek Life social events, but somewhere between intramural/club sports and student event planning clubs, lie the un-Greeks.
While many people are proponents of the “meet people in your classes” approach, this seems infeasible and unlikely at best. You walk in, you sit, you listen, you leave. Not exactly an environment that is highly conducive to fostering a social life. Thus, it’s clubs, sports and hobbies that one must take up. Clubs such as the Student Engagement Council , Associated Students of the University of Arizona or other student government type clubs, are great for meeting new people. The more interpersonal interaction required of a club’s activities, the better.
Similarly, the vast spread of intramural and/or club sports available on campus are a great opportunity to make some new connections. The downside of these, as compared to most other clubs, is that they cost money to be involved in, so they are not an option for everyone. If the money isn’t a deterrent, sports teams are usually tight-knit and inclusive, making for a good friend-finding environment.
The most important thing—especially for new students—is to not get frustrated or take it personally when you feel like you are struggling more to find friends than those in Greek Life. It’s true, it takes longer and it’s more effort to meet people sans Greek Life, but at least the friends you will eventually find won’t cost money and, most likely, won’t want to dress identically to you.
If you missed rush this semester, whether on purpose or by accident, fear not. Despite the digging that must be done to locate and involve oneself in non Greek life, it’s still feasible and even fun. UA’s campus has 30,000 undergrads, so before you decide that your exclusion from Greek Life thereby excludes you from a social life, don’t be afraid to try some of the random, quirkiest clubs on campus. You never know what could turn out to be fun, entertaining or at the very least, an interesting experience. The worst that could happen is you end up thinking the club is boring or stupid, but the simple answer is to not come back. Between the hula hooping club and the 3D printing club, you’re nearly guaranteed to find your “type”, without ever having to step foot onto Greek row.
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