5 reasons alcohol is hurting Greek life
This is NOT an anti-alcohol blog post. I enjoy a beer now and then. I have nothing against people who are twenty-one drinking responsibly. Even Jesus turned water to wine, right? With that said, I do want to provide some reasons I believe Greeks should cut back on making alcohol the center of their social sphere.
1) You are cool without the “liquid courage.”
I’ve heard several people say that they drink at parties because they feel like it’s the only way they can open up or be funny. It’s true that reserved people may benefit from the relaxing nature of alcohol in some situations. However, when you begin thinking you need alcohol to be someone better than you normally are, that is an issue. You should be confident in who you are, without needing “liquid courage” to transform you.
2) People desire to be pursued because of who they are.
During the fall of 2008, I was a freshman and at my first ever frat party in college. I walked in the front door, and like cattle, was herded in a line as cups were being handed out. I wasn’t really interested in drinking before I was twenty one, so I declined. A few girls around me followed suit. The “gentleman” handing out red plastic cups laughed, point left, and said, “sober corner’s over there!” He moved down the line and we went to the corner. We talked amongst ourselves, getting to know one another and having fun. Not one guy from the fraternity spoke to the “sober corner” that night.
Other girls who were there who chose to drink and the fraternity men had a great time engaging them in conversation, beer pong, and whatever else. Although no one would probably have verbally said it, there was a message sent to me that night - “Unless you are drinking, you aren’t worth pursuing.” That message doesn’t sit well with people, men and women alike, who truly reflect on it. At the core of who we are as humans, we desire to be pursued for who we are and not for what we do or what others want to get from us. If the women who chose to drink stepped back and saw this attitude, they may have been just as irritated. Who wants to be engaged in a conversation just because they have a red cup or any other superficial reason? People want to be sought out because someone thinks they are worth getting to know. Alcohol can affect who we think is worth hanging out with.
3) You laugh now but may regret it later.
“Live with no regrets!” I’ve heard this advice give numerous times in my sorority. As nice as that phrase sounds, I find it next to impossible to live by. We’re all sinners and do dumb stuff we’re sorry for at some time or another. I go to the Sacrament of Confession and reconcile with God but I still regret ever hurting anyone.
Alcohol can actually impair our thinking and reason. Most people would probably admit they’ve done things when they are drunk that they wouldn’t do if they were sober. Yeah, some of those things may make for a great story while you sit around with fraternity brothers or sorority sisters, but will they be as funny when you recant the story to your future spouse or even future children? Often times the stories will cause regret. You likely wouldn’t want your children to choose the random one night stand or those vicious words you slung at someone you were angry with that ruined a friendship.
4) We need a return of good clean fun.
Most fraternity and sorority exchanges go something like this: guys invite girls to a party, girls show up, many people get wasted, the end. Exaggerated? Slightly, but you get the point. Alcohol has become the center of our relating in Greek life, even with our own sisters and brothers.
If a fraternity showed up to a sorority, picked them up in cars, took them to get ice cream, went roller skating, and took them home…I am not sure what the girls would do with themselves! Ladies, go puddle jumping in the rain or have a chick-flick marathon with your sisters. Gentlemen, get out there and play some capture the flag at night or train for a half-marathon with your bros.
5) Alcohol based friendships aren’t true friendships.
There are three types of friendship according to Aristotle –
The first two types of friendship are based on something the friends have in common or do together. The third is based on character and a common goal of growing alongside one another to be better: at the core of fraternities and sororities this is the foundational reason our founders came together in the first place! Today, friendships tend to revolve around parties and drinking together. As soon as the “good times” stop rolling, you stop hanging out. If you want a friendship to become based on virtue, start doing more than just partying and begin engaging in deep conversations about your values, your faith, and ways you desire to grow. This will test a friendship to see what it’s made of.
No, alcohol is not inherently bad. The way Greek life has allowed it to become the foundation of our interactions with one another is not alright. Our founders never intended this, so it’s time for something to change. If Greeks everywhere began to change the basis of their social lives from alcohol to fostering friendships and creating a culture of virtue, I guarantee no loss of fun but the start of an abundant life.
FOCUS Greek exists to revolutionize Greek culture for Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church through raising up a transformed generation of fraternity and sorority leaders convicted to bring truth to the world, impacting today, tomorrow, and eternity.
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Feb 18, 2013
5 reasons alcohol is hurting Greek life
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