There are a lot of different things that make up college life. Of course, we are all primarily here to learn, but we’re also here to grow up, make friends, have fun, and simply enjoy this transitional period in our lives. College isn't just academic – it’s social too. As honors students, we all know and understand the importance of academics, as we have all committed ourselves to a rigorous program that continuously challenges us. We devote ourselves to academic advancement, development, fulfillment, and work hard to accommodate the rigor of our course loads. It’s something we began doing in Honors 101 as first-years and have continued to carry with us as we have developed throughout the years. One can certainly say that the Honors Program and it’s students highly value academic achievement and excellence.
However, honors students also tend to be incredibly involved, looking to take on roles in other organizations and clubs. This remains true in greek and social life here on campus, which are designed to help students integrate into the college community and expand themselves in different ways. A multitude of Honors students belong to these organizations, and they work to balance commitments, academics, and campus social life. The groups themselves are large commitments, and add on to the multitude of things Honors students take on by simply participating in the program. Add that to other clubs, jobs, and commitments, and there’s a sometimes overwhelming list of to-dos. However, greek and social life offer new and exciting opportunities to expand outside of academia and the Honors community and see what else the campus and it’s students have to offer. Greek and social groups simply provide a different type of community on campus, and another way to engage with the St. Norbert experience.
Here, the Pulse’s own Josh Bregger ‘19 and Honors Marketing Assistant Anna Lipscomb ‘21 reflect on their involvement in greek and social life and consider it in the context of their participation in the Honors program.
What group are you a member of?
Lipscomb: Kappa Beta Gamma
What year are you?
Lipscomb: I'm a Sophomore!
What drew you to greek or social life?
Bregger: I enjoyed the camaraderie that one gained by being involved in social life. Making new friends at SNC wasn’t terribly difficult, but finding those life-long friends we all hope to find in college is certainly harder. Social life seemed like a way to get that without all the requirements and heavy tolls of Greek life.
Lipscomb: I never thought I would be the type of person to join a sorority. I had some friends in Bergstrom, but I didn’t feel like I knew many other people around campus, and I wanted to put myself out there more. Greek life seemed like a great way to meet new people and make close friendships.
Have you found it to be a large commitment? If so, how do you find a balance between your academic dedication and dedication to your group?
Bregger: I have found it to be a large commitment, especially now that I’m the group’s President! That being said, I accepted the responsibility because it was given to me by my brothers. It is tough to balance all the duties of a leadership position with the responsibilities of academics, but I rely on the other members of our E-Board and I delegate responsibilities to them when I feel that it is necessary. Just like my brothers know they can rely on me when things get tough, I know I can ask them for a favor when I need it.
Lipscomb: I think greek life is what you put into it. I have taken on two positions in Kappas as well as one in the Panhellenic Council, so it is a large part of my life. However, I have friends in my sorority who are busy with sports and academics, and don’t have as many (if any) positions, and that’s perfectly okay! As a member of the Honors program, academics are very important to me, and they come first before any other obligations. Sororities understand this, and everyone is really flexible and works with your schedule if you can’t make an event due to school. College is all about prioritization and scheduling, so that same reasoning stays true in greek life!
Have you learned anything through greek/social life that has impacted your perception/involvement/view of the Honors program, or vise versa?
Bregger: During my time in the Honors program, I learned plenty on what makes a good leader and what good leadership strategies look like in action. Now that I am the President, I employ these strategies on a regular basis in order to build a relationship with each of the members wherein they see me as a leader deserving of respect and, most importantly, as a friend that is willing to help with (literally) anything.
Lipscomb: I didn’t realize there were so many members of the Honors Program in greek life. As a freshman last year, I didn’t know any upperclassmen in the Honors Program. Through greek life I found out that three of my sisters were also in the program, and there are now five this year in Kappas alone!
Do you ever find that these two commitments conflict with each other? How do you determine your priorities?
Bregger: My commitment to academic success and my commitment to BIG will occasionally overlap and conflict in that I might have to postpone my studying in order to run a meeting or I might have to arrive late to an event in order to finish my homework, but I think a balance between the commitments is something each of us develops over time. That judgement call of which responsibilities is at the top of the list is something I make on a case by case basis and I don’t always put one over the other.
Lipscomb: I haven’t found that commitments for the Honors program and greek life have conflicted at all actually!
Would you recommend greek/social life to other Honors program students?
Bregger: I certainly would recommend it to other students in the Honors program! Despite the many opportunities the Honors program provides for our students to get involved with a group of people, I always remind them that there are plenty of other groups on campus for them to explore and it’s never too late to investigate.
Lipscomb: I would definitely recommend it! Bergstrom is a great community, but I never would have realized all the activities and things that go on outside of the Honors program.