The witching hour approaches, the bass is thumping, sweaty limbs are flailing (we’ll call it “dancing” so as not to embarrass anyone), the conversation is good and the company better. You’re meeting people who are fun, interesting, or maybe they’re just really hot. You’re dressed to kill, and you’re having the time of your life. The house is pulsing as if it’s alive, and Snoop and Frank the Tank are going streaking through the quad to the gymnasium. Nowhere in any of the remotest recesses of the deepest nooks and crannies of the farthest reaches of your brain does the word “school” appear.
So goes the life of the party animal. And hey, everyone loves a good party. They’re basically concentrated adventure factories, and socializing is part of growing as a person (and of course relieving stress from the daily grind of college classes and double shifts at Applebees). But the danger is disappearing into the sea of bodies and voices and rap music and letting all your assignment due dates slip away into the darkness beyond midnight. That morning class, you can miss one more, right? It’s just half a letter grade. Of course you can’t. Wake up! Literally. Hey, OmegaFi, you are saying to yourself, lay off. C’s get degrees, and I go to study hours like everyone else. Isn’t that enough?
Strictly speaking, no. It isn’t enough to just go to study hours and glide through your studies. Probably no one in the working world is going to withhold a job offer because of your GPA being a little dicey, but while you’re here in college, it can have a number of negative impacts on your college experience. For one, it likely goes against the credos of your chapter and respective organization that members uphold themselves to a higher standard. Slacking is not a good character trait and it spills over into doing other tasks half-heartedly, as well as showing a lack of conviction when it comes to your desire to better yourself and your knowledgebase as a student. It can also threaten scholarships and grants, and having to drop or re-take a class is a fast way to pile on the student debt. At a certain point, these kinds of funding complications can make chapter dues an unrealistic obligation. Once you can’t pay, you either leech off other members as warnings from the treasurer pile up, or you go inactive or leave the chapter. Get the picture? Good. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, OmegaFi is happy to present to you 6 Tips to Raise Member GPAs and Keep Them Up.
6. Eye on the Prize
Simply, school must always take priority. Easier said than done, right? It’s true, though, and the only way you’ll survive the next four years. That means if you have a particularly tough semester, try to ease up on work hours if you can afford the lighter wallet. Conversely, don’t overburden yourself by taking a bazillion (that’s right, we said bazillion) credit hours at once. Typically 12 is average. A few more is okay, but beyond that you’re going to be in hell aka the butt-end of an all-nighter and multiple 15-page papers due at the same time, plus exams to study for and lab work--yeah, just don’t. Trust us. As much as it may feel like you’re not contributing to your chapter, a good fraternity or sorority understands the precedence school takes in all its members’ lives, so don’t be afraid to ask officers to lighten your duties if you’re struggling with a heavy academic load (and for goodness sakes don’t run for president that semester).
5. Study Hours (After Hours)
You know the deal. You’ll get a bit done during study hours, but there’s no way to cram everything you have to do and learn into that window. Study hours are a guideline, not meant to substitute the time you spend independently on your classwork. Yet surrounded by distractions--most of them coming from fellow members beckoning you to lunch or to the gym--it’s neigh impossible to say no, I don’t want to hit up Chipotle, I’d rather sit down and stare into the abyss of a blank Microsoft Word document.
That’s why we recommend setting up your own study hours with some of these other distracting members. Heck, maybe even hold them at Chipotle. If some of these members are in the same classes with you, even better. Go over the material for tomorrow’s test one more time, then down your sodas and watch SportsCenter.
4. You Scratch My Back: The Art of Co-Tutoring
Your chapter can, either digitally or with a physical whiteboard, begin an informal tutoring program. What does this mean? It means Amanda needs to get a B or higher on the final to pass Business Calculus, and Leah (seeing desperate-for-help Amanda has scratched her name on the whiteboard) is just the math whiz to guide her in her studies. And when Leah takes Spanish II in the Spring, guess what? Amanda’s family is from Puerto Rico. Returning the favor es muy fácil.
3. Take Breaks
Go to the social and have a good time. Get your groove back, Stella. You heard us. You can’t study 24-7, and it’s not smart to do so. You’ll burn yourself out if you don’t take time to de-stress and be a human being. A burnout will leave you unable to cope with your responsibilities, or you’ll become apathetic out of self-preservation. So ace that midterm, then call up that boy you met the other day and ask him to the bonfire.
2. Chocolate Cake
It’s not just Donald Trump’s favorite dessert. It’s also a delicious way to thank yourself for finishing that beast of an essay on Dickens’s treatment of the working class in Great Expectations. So you’re probably not going to have a cake just lying around all the time if no one’s had a birthday recently. However, the chocolate cake can also be a metaphor for rewards in general. Get as much done as you can one night, and give yourself the next night off. Try to keep it to a regular schedule if you do this in order to keep things sailing smoothly. Or . . . buy those concert tickets. Head to the park to toss some Frisbee golf. In essence, associate completing schoolwork with things you enjoy. For bonus points, a chapter can also offer incentives and rewards to its members for keeping a GPA above a certain level.
This is a powerful word, yet difficult to wield. It is a weapon which requires the utmost skill and responsibility. Yes, you can study while you chow down on meaty nachos, you can reward yourself all day, you can take breaks, but if you can’t say no when it counts, the amount of work you’ll get done will never be enough to keep up. Practice with us. Want to hit the basketball court before lunch? No. How about a quick round of Mario Kart? Nope. We’re going longboarding around campus. You down? Nuh-uh. Say it enough and it becomes habit. Thanks, guys, but I just took a break to watch Kardashians and I really have to get this lab report done. See? Simple.
Did we miss anything? What tips to raise member GPAs and keep them up have worked for you? Let us know in the comments bellow.