Any college student organization member can benefit from tips on balancing campus life and the classroom. For Greeks and others, such as student athletes, emotional attachments to their commitments outside of the classroom can ruin the balance. In Greek life, the lure of popularity on campus can prove dangerous. Also, defiance toward critics can compromise Greeks’ perspective on life. Because of that, it is necessary for college Greeks to re-calibrate every semester to make sure they do what they enrolled in college to do—succeed in the classroom and graduate.
Here are some tips to maintain a healthy balance between Greek life and the classroom.
Success in the classroom is your primary obligation. Without your college or university, you would not have access to Greek life, in the first place. In fact, there are great colleges and universities without Greek systems and they are doing quite well. Your institution, regardless of what you may think of it, is the biggest connection between today and your future success. Treat it that way.
Create a Schedule
Your classroom time is set. If you have a job, that time is set, too. Now is the time to schedule everything else around classes—Greek life and other organizational commitments. Keeping a schedule not only helps you prioritize but it also helps you figure out how to move commitments outside of the classroom around, if need be. In Greek life, chapter event scheduling can be unpredictable; so the more organized your schedule is, the easier it is for you to manipulate your schedule to your liking.
Greek life can lead those who are not on their toes to the temptation of forgetting that the classroom even exists. I know because I made the mistake of giving in to the temptation of playing pool or goofing off between classes when I was in college. You know those weird fraternity and sorority members who sacrifice a nice day on the yard for time in the library or the study hall? Quite a few of these people are probably getting ahead on their syllabi by taking in some extra reading and study time. Man, I wish someone told me this one while I was in college!
Focus on Your Goals and Aims
There are three common denominators among the goals and aims of “Divine Nine” organizations—fellowship with mankind, servant leadership, and scholarship. Greek life demands that we spend some part of our lives promoting education not only through our words but also through our actions. It goes without saying that leadership in the classroom is an extension of our organizations’ goals and aims. Please spare yourself the embarrassment of proudly reciting your goals and aims at events while not even living up to them. Allow your fraternity’s or sorority’s goals and aims to boost your success in the classroom.
Rest During Rest Time
Pay attention to your body. Sleep when it is time to sleep, rest when it is time to rest, and take naps if you have to. I loved to party just as much as the next student and I paid dearly for it when I under performed in the classroom. Cram sessions are also a killer on the body and can be avoided if you study when you’re supposed to study. Greek life can be highly active, so that makes rest even more necessary.
If you fall behind in the classroom, be aggressive about getting back on track. It happens to even the best students. Take advantage of tutoring or form a chapter study group. That is not the only kind of help to consider. As I mentioned above, Greek life can be an emotional experience for many students so you may find that there are times you need to get things off your chest by talking to a campus counselor. Without a healthy mind and healthy heart, it is very difficult to perform in the classroom and it is definitely hard to honor the tenets of Greek life. Whether it is needed inside the classroom or outside of the classroom, wanting help is not a sign of weakness. It is confirmation that you want to be at your best at all times.