In the 1960’s my mother joined a sorority and later told me that it offered a community of friendship and opportunities. She said it helped her break out of her shell.
In the 1990’s I joined a pharmacy fraternity and without knowing what to expect, I felt support and belonging and comradery with like-minded students. And I had so.much.fun.
In 2020, I overheard a P3 student explaining to a P1 student how much they enjoyed being in a frat because they did things they never would have done on their own. They said it helped them break out of their shell.
Not much has changed in 60 years, huh?
This past weekend I was invited to be the keynote speaker at a Phi Delta Chi regional meeting. They were dedicating their weekend to workshops and policy-making for their chapters. [I tried to sound like a motivating pharmacist and less like a seasoned professor. I’m not exactly sure it was what they expected, but they invited me out for a beer.]
Seeing this group of students forced a flood of memories reminding me of when I was immersed in this during pharmacy school. I remember how it felt being connected to other pharmacy students in a way that was different than my other friendships. I remember the shirts, the secret handshakes, and so.many.laughs. Connections that last a lifetime – networking before we knew we were networking. I thought about my big sister and my big big sister and how I wish I could see them more often. Fraternities offer something to pharmacy students that is unmatched to other types of student groups.
Is it necessary for everyone? No.
Can you obtain similar opportunities and connectivity without a frat? Yes.
Could I have survived pharmacy school without being in a fraternity? Sure.
Would it have been as fun? No.
This is not a suggestion for pharmacy students to pledge – that is a personal decision.
This is just me walking down memory lane.
Which frat did you join? Chapter? Post below!