Greek letters in the academe have always been associated with either fraternities or sororities. Those hard to pronounce and weirdly shaped letters have always invoked a feeling of seniority, exclusivity, and prestige in me…especially the popular ones. I didn’t have the heart to join any frat in my college years because of all the “danger” associated with it, and joining a sorority is out of the question, so I had to content myself with an org (don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed being part of two orgs ). But the high regard I hold for most frats and soros never vanished.
So when I got those two letters inviting me to join organizations bearing Greek letters for their names, I was anxious and excited at the same time. They are better than any frat or soro, more exclusive than any society in the campus, and more renowned internationally. They are honor societies.
I first got invited to Pi Gamma Mu, an honor society for the social sciences (mass comm. is actually part of the social sciences), and then to Phi Kappa Phi, which is open to both the social and natural sciences. From what I gathered, the latter is more prestigious because they only invite a smaller percentage of academically excellent students from the entire graduating class, and the society has a wider range of disciplines to consider. I joined both.
Being part of an honor society is better because the consideration of being a member is solely based on merit and not on harsh initiation rites, influential backers, or sometimes false promises of brotherhood (my brother and father were both part of a frat, they were “brothers” in one). Being a member not only proves your worth as a student but also as a fellow lover of knowledge as every annual fee you pay for membership activation is used to provide scholarship grants and research grants for other members. Not to mention other perks such as discounts with partner corporations (at least for Phi Kappa Phi…).
So for those about to start their college lives, bear this in mind: be part of something you believe in—may it be a frat, soro, or org—but aim to be part of an honor society by your twilight years in college. Why? Because being part of one will definitely open opportunities for you to be part of even something greater in the future…
Or at least that was how the brochures explained the whole shiz to us.