“Harry Potter” Made Me a Better Member of My Greek Organization
Almost everyone with a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest account has seen the phrase “I would’ve gone to Hogwarts, but they didn’t have (insert Greek organization here).” As a member of a Greek organization in college, I’ve seen the phrase either on my Facebook timeline or had multiple people share it to my Facebook wall what feels like hundreds of times. I’ve also seen the more popular phrase “I would’ve gone to Hogwarts, but they didn’t take FASFA,” although irrelevant since Hogwarts in in fact free to attend.
I never thought I could join a Greek organization in college because of the things I loved, including Harry Potter. In fact, Potter made me a better member of my organization thanks to the values I learned from the series and the fan community I have been a part of.
1. Potter sparked my love of reading and my dedication to philanthropy.
It was the Potter series that made me the bookworm that I am today, and it also helped me appreciate the gift of literacy. Philanthropy is a huge part of being in Greek life since every organization dedicates multiple events and fundraisers to their chosen charity. As a member of my organization, I took philanthropy more seriously with the hope that I could give back to others the same way Potter gave me reading.
2. Potter taught me to tolerate all different kinds of people.
Like every family, you will never be in love with everyone, and the same goes for being in a Greek organization. Harry sure didn’t love his aunt and uncle, and I wasn’t head over heels for everyone, but if Harry could tolerate his family (to an extent), then I could put on a smile when working with my less favorite people. In addition, everyone thinks and operates differently in your organization, so it is important to be flexible when working on tasks. I like to imagine this the way a Head Girl and Boy would work together if one were from Gryffindor and the other from Slytherin.
3. Respect your elders (and your Big).
One thing that always stayed with me from the series was how respectful Hogwarts students were of their professors and families (aside from Snape and Umbridge). No one messed with Percy when he was Head Boy, and there was no chance of someone disrespecting McGonagall. In a Greek organization, it is an unspoken rule to respect the members who came before you, especially your “Big,” who is your mentor during your time as a new member. The way Harry treated Mr. and Mrs. Weasley influenced how I behaved around older sisters and members of the Executive Board.
4. Appreciate those around – and willing to help – you.
As a member of Greek life, there are opportunities to meet people from all different organizations and build different relationships. Harry and Draco may not have always gotten along, but that didn’t stop Harry from getting to know people from other Houses. Harry shows his appreciation for his friends throughout the series no matter how few or many he had. I found that it meant more to express my gratitude and support others by attending their fundraisers and reaching out to my organization’s advisor for help, the same way Harry had Dumbledore.
5. Potter helped me become a leader.
All of the characters in the series grew up to become leaders in their own fields, whether it was defeating Lord Voldemort, owning a joke shop, or teaching Herbology at Hogwarts. Watching Harry become the leader of Dumbledore’s Army gave me the confidence to run for positions in my organization that turned into my most memorable experiences. In addition, I was ambitious enough to run for three positions for my school’s Greek council at the same time to demonstrate my passion to be a part of the council.
6. Not all Slytherins are evil, and the same goes for that rival organization you can’t stand.
It’s true that there are good Slytherins, brave Hufflepuffs, smart Gryffindors, and sly Ravenclaws. For some Greek organizations, there may be a rival group that always gets on your nerves, but it doesn’t mean that everyone in that group has to be your sworn enemy since you can’t judge people based on their letters. By recognizing I couldn’t judge all Slytherins by their colored ties, it helped me be aware to give everyone in Greek life a chance to show their true selves.
7. You may be far, but you haven’t been forgotten.
People graduate and move on, but that doesn’t mean you’ve been left behind. Sirius was on the run for years but never let this keep him for being the godfather Harry needed. The same thing happens when your favorite and closest sisters graduate and start their lives. Harry and Sirius’s relationship inspired me to work hard to stay in contact with alumnae from my organization, and they’re still my closest friends today.
I learned a lot from being a part of Greek life, and I am extremely grateful I had the Potter series to teach me great morals that helped me achieve more success than I could ever imagine.