Today, I wanted to touch on the subject of professional fraternities and what they’re all about. I was presented with the opportunity to join a professional pharmaceutical fraternity in my second semester of my P1 year. It actually was a real challenge for me, deciding on whether I should pledge one of our fraternities or not. I wanted the friends, I wanted the networking opportunities, and I wanted the chance to make a difference in the fraternity’s chosen philanthropy. On the negative side, I didn’t know what pledging actually entailed, I didn’t want a boatload of extra work, I didn’t want my bid to be rejected for my chosen fraternity, and I certainly didn’t want to be hazed. What was a girl to do?! All of these decisions and all this stress on top of everything else I had going on with school…
Long story short, I did end up pledging a fraternity, and became a full fledged member before the semester was over. The honest truth? The meetings and the extra work were definitely time consuming, some of the pledging requirements were difficult to complete, it was expensive, and of course the process start to finish was filled with anxiety-ridden moments that I can’t even share with you due to the nature of the fraternity.
All in all, though, pledging a professional fraternity is a good idea in my opinion.
If you are wondering if this is the right extracurricular to get involved in, I encourage you to think about a few things – Does the fraternity have a philanthropy that you care about? Do you have the money to pledge right now? Do you plan on being active for the following years of schooling or was this just a temporary venture to put on your CV? Are the people in the fraternity people you don’t mind spending a lot of time around? Will you take advantage of everything that the fraternity has to offer, such as regional conferences, volunteering events, leadership workshops, and career networking opportunities?
When deciding between fraternities, or just deciding to pledge a fraternity in general, think about those things. Once you pledge one fraternity, you can’t pledge another professional one. Take the decision seriously. Do your research before you make any big decisions. Take the time to talk to fraternity members to get a feel of what the culture is like once you make it in. You don’t want to devote all of your time, money, and efforts getting into a fraternity, and finding out it’s not what you expected or wanted it to be. This is not only a chance to make new friends, it is also a chance to grow professionally.
Till next time,