It takes enough effort just to survive Greek Week--a week-long extravaganza during which Greek organizations across the nation compete on their respective campuses in tug-of-war, eating contests, trivia, sports, talent competitions, and more. Someone wins. Someone loses. And, of course, the big winners are usually charities for which money is raised during the events. So how does an organization garner the strength to actually win this battle royale, this test of brains and brawn? Where do sisters and brothers find the esprit de corps to become number one? It takes concerted effort, but more than that, the biggest Greek Week secret is perhaps that a chapter needs to gel together as one. After all, this is a team activity, and it’s supposed to be fun.
Fun? Fun?!? We know what you’re thinking: This is serious. This is Sparta--er, Greek Week! But come on. You’re never going to win with that attitude. Even if you do win, you and your fellow members won’t enjoy it after such a demanding and joyless experience. Trust us. What do you really win at the end of the day? Are you grinding through this for some stupid laurels, or some fleeting notoriety? Those may not be the right goals for Greek Week. While it does take some discipline and team work to win, it also really helps if your chapter is motivated by the journey (not the *groan* destination). This is for charity. It’s also for the joy of getting up on stage during the talent portion and dancing around in togas like idiots, or eating so many pies that you’re wearing a lemon-meringue beard and burping for days. This ain’t no Greek tragedy, girls and boys. Thus, OmegaFi would like nothing better than to help make sure your chapter is trotting down victory lane after Winning Greek Week.
Giving is Getting
Greek Week’s charitable element is undeniably important, and well integrated into the overall experience. There is a distinct advantage for chapters in focusing on this part of the experience. For one, it gets you all focusing on something other than yourselves and winning--which is both good for those benefiting from your efforts, and also takes the pressure off of you to focus solely on winning every single event. Paradoxically, thinking less about winning means members are more likely to be able to get in the zone and relax, and their efforts the whole week will come more naturally. At the same time, it gives them a goal that is noble and bigger than themselves. So if you’re going to go all drill sergeant on your fellow members--do it by making sure they’re each giving to the blood drive. Make sure they’re participating in All Greek Service Day. Make sure those giving gears are oiled, and that members do a good job helping out at the local Veterans Affairs office, or whatever the case may be. Then ease up when you’re playing volleyball and don’t shout down Sarah’s throat when she misses the easy spike; if during the pie-eating contest Mikey pukes, don’t make him run laps (seriously, he’s dehydrated--get him some water!). Have a laugh with each other, because winning isn’t just taking the crown. At the end of the day, it’s also about how your chapter comes together and bonds.
Do as Much as, but Not More Than, You Can
Participation is key to winning, of course. If you know Greek Week is coming up, try to get your homework done ahead of time so you can pitch in. Really utilize those study hours. It’s definitely a team effort, and you’re a part of that team. That means if there’s a basketball or volleyball match, and you’ve got some sporting in you, don’t just sit on the sidelines talking smack to the other team. Get in there! However, if you’ve got butterfingers and you know another member has a sick hook shot, bow to the better player. You don’t have to do everything, and in fact, it’s probably to your chapter’s advantage if you don’t. Being a team means making sure all the pieces fit where they belong. If you can’t actually play sports very well, but happen to know historic dates, championships, stats, and players using that photographic memory of yours, then the trivia portion of Greek Week may be your time to shine. If you need to get in on tug-of-war but are a weak link, let your fellow members know so they can place you strategically. For the talent portion, your chapter should formulate a performance that gets the most talent out of the most members. Maybe you shouldn’t debut to the world your chapter’s tuba playing abilities--unless they actually possess the ability to play tuba. That, or get ready to learn it in a hurry. Getting the idea here? Everyone should pitch in, but make sure your efforts are to the benefit of your organization.
Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl
Remember when you first started getting arranged by adults in this fashion? You probably hated it and thought the opposite sex sitting shoulder to shoulder next to you had cooties. Well, now you are the adults. As it turns out, no, there are no cooties to be found. In fact, during Greek Week you pretty much have to integrate well with the fraternity or sorority you’re partnered with in order to win. Okay, so not every organization is going to pair with one that works as well together as every other organization. Cooties? No. But the world isn’t perfect, either. You’re really going to have to get to know those you’re working with, so don’t be standoffish. Socialize. Work out strengths and weaknesses when it comes to competitions. You don’t have to be besties after you take home to glory, but if you really put a human effort into getting to know the boys (or girls) you’re working with, it’s going to be difficult not becoming friends. And what is friendship, if not winning? Okay, so you want to actually win it all, too. But having that closer relationship also instills the confidence to work together through the various competitive events and likely do better than those who are tripping over each other’s toes (ten-legged race, anyone?). Make it fun. What about team shirts? You’ll figure it out. Together.
If you can focus on competing for a bigger cause, pitching in where it counts, and getting comfortable with your teammates, we think you have a surefire shot at Winning Greek Week. What strategies have worked for you in the past? Let us know in the comments below!