How High Will You Jump

End Game

The finish line is 
Somewhere in the sky
And you can't reach it
If your wings are bound—
If you're scared of heights
Or you simply don't try.
Past Earth's unpredictable weather
Or gravity's constant tug,
Persistence made it there once;
A sparkling paradise
Awaiting those willing to fly.

Meeting a Standard

Someone asked me why should they have to "do all of that" to get into a BGLO[1]. I can understand not wanting to get hit—I, myself, am not OK with people hitting people (particularly someone hitting me: homie don't play that)—but some of "all that" is very much necessary. It's funny to me, that people want Greek processes to be changed (you'd be surprised what's officially listed as hazing), yet,  not only do many of the requirements make perfect sense, they parallel with other hurdles people jump through on the regular. For instance, I witnessed a case where a non-BGLO was suspended for requiring to their pledges[2]  to stay off of Facebook during their process. The act of staying off Facebook is harmless enough without any explanation, but on a daily basis, forums and conversations take place to discuss what should and should not go on your Facebook page in an effort to keep it professional. This is done so as not to scare away potential employers. What is the difference in being told to simply say off college's biggest distraction for a few weeks and being told what you can and can't display on your page? It's considered an act of hazing to define what pledges can or cannot wear. Not only will you be required to uphold the organization's image and wear appropriate clothes once you become a member, this same principle applies to the workforce. There are dress codes in offices and standard of dress for interviews. If you're interviewing to be the CEO of a company, you should not show up in dingy sweatpants and a wife-beater expecting to get hired.

One of the things people often neglect, is that in order to have an organization that up holds a standard, there has to be enforcement of the standard.  People say, "I want to join that organization because it's for smart people," "I want to join that organization because they look nice" or what have you. Yet, people think its strange if they get told they weren't smart enough or came out of the house looking busted. How else does one maintain a standard?

Relating the Task to the Real World

When you interview with a company, they want to see how much research you've done on them, how bad you want to work for them, what you bring to the table, and how much you are willing to give to mold yourself into what the company wants. Greek life is no different. While those who feel they should not have to "work" to join the organization grumble over the idea of being taken out of their comfort zone, those of us who have been there see it for exactly what it is: an interview. 

The question in any situation is how high are you willing to jump to get the end result? As a PhD student, I find myself telling people that's all a Ph.D. is: determination. It's not about intellect or passing classes, it's about putting in the time and pushing on when you'd rather quit (and quitting seems like the best option 9 out of 10 times). There's nothing to the things you're given without having to work for them—I cannot tell you where my high school diploma is to save my life. High school was a cake walk for me though. My undergraduate diploma, however, is sitting on the wall next to me. I worked hard for that and I take a lot of pride in it. The same principle is applied to BGLOs. When you get to the other side and feel that pride, it motivates many of the previous topics discussed. When you were brought in based on the organization's principles and forced to jump through hoops to demonstrate that you met those principles, you will speak up when you see a member shaming those ideals and principles. You will have a desire to improve the image of your organization to the general public. You will want to prove that your organization is all about those particular principles.

The same person who asks why they have to "do all that" to joining the organization, is the one who will go in to the interview and the job thinking they don't have to impress or jump to get anything. These are the people who want things handed to them freely. Now, I know, in some cases the jump height exceeds the desire for the object being jumped for; that's understandable, and in that case you should walk away. I think that experiencing Greek life, makes this even more clear. There are some things you won't (and shouldn't) be willing to do and you do have to learn when to walk away. Similarly, there are things you haven't tried because you're lazy, but you might actually be good at it. It takes someone pushing you to hone in on that particular task to really focus your skill. Throughout life you will always have to ask yourself how high will you jump and push yourself to jump to new heights, being Greek is one way of seeing benefits to this method early on in life.


  1. Black Greek Letter Organization
  2. I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to use that word, but, nothing else really fits so...

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