Making friends at UK without Greek life—can it be done?


Kernel Opinion SIG

Matt Hasty

UK has a dominant presence of Greek life on campus, but what about those students who choose not to join a sorority or fraternity?

With the large Greek life presence on our campus, joining a fraternity or sorority is seen as a one-way ticket to a more active social life. When it comes to not being in Greek life, however, UK is a bad place to make friends.

Is it because campus is too big and fast-paced for people to meet others and get to know them? Is it because different clubs and organizations on campus are so inclusive in themselves that reaching out to people is not a plausible thing to do? No matter the reason, we as a campus community should be talking to the introverted people and making sure we have programs to meet them.  

I was one of those people. The first year I was here after transferring from Jefferson Community and Technical College, being social was not my strong-suit. I had no true friends that first year. After that, I made a personal choice to join a fraternity. Greek life, particularly through my fraternity Beta Upsilon Chi, is where I gained the true friends I needed.

While I made the decision to join Greek life, I realize now that there are other ways I could have went about making friends without it. A person who is introverted like me could start by frequenting a coffee shop like Willy T. Starbucks or Chocolate Holler. Other campus hangouts include Christian Student Fellowship (CSF) or Baptist Campus Ministries (BCM), both of which have interactive events throughout the year.

I wish now that I had the courage then to just talk to one person in my class and have them connect me with their friends. I love my fraternity brothers and I am glad God led me to them, but I wish I did not have to go through all that mental and emotional pain before I met them.

From someone who cares, you are not alone in your struggles. If you need a friend, I will be your friend. Without Greek, sometimes students have to work harder to find friendships, but they exist.