Beyond The Fraternities
by Kami Rieck
photography courtesy of Pexels
When Margo Ghertner entered the college scene at Boston University as a freshman, she grappled with conflicting feelings about party culture: whether to embrace it or march to the beat of her own drum.
As a high schooler, Ghertner (COM ’21) never engaged in the stereotypical nightlife but decided to give fraternities three fair chances to sway her preconceived perspective. She concluded that her ideal weekend was filled with leisure reading, practicing calligraphy and indulging in her favorite cooking shows, and not dance music pumping through the speakers of an Allston basement party.
A bubbly extroverted individual with an aura of positivity, Ghertner believes people sometimes underestimate the value of nontypical college activities.
“People assume just because I don’t like to go out into a party setting, I like to spend my weekends just twiddling my thumbs,” Ghertner said. “That’s not to shame the way other people choose to spend their time because everyone’s different.”
Ghertner defines personal productivity as incorporating creative activities into her weekend routine. While the common perception of productivity is checking off assignments, papers and internship applications, she said engaging in enriching pursuits breeds fulfillment and superior energy to be productive in every aspect of life.
“You not only feel revitalized from a mental health standpoint, but then when you go out into the world and you have other work to do, you feel that gratification because you’re taking the time for yourself,” Ghertner said.
Anthony Dongfack (CAS ’20), affirms the belief that experiencing weekend activities beyond a fraternity basement is more ideal, especially in Boston. “Parties are still optimal,” he said, “but do not forget to add a touch of adventure.”
During his freshman year at BU, Dongfack said he attended a party hosted by the Harvard Chinese Student Association. Instead of being held in a campus setting, the event took place on a luxurious yacht on the Boston Harbor.
“I would definitely encourage people to branch out,” Dongfack said. “If you go on Facebook, you can find more extravagant and unique party scenes, not just the average frat party you can go to any time.”
Boston University’s fraternities are located west of the Charles River campus in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, but this didn’t alleviate Ghertner’s fear of missing out. She said she sometimes questioned if it was weird to not like what everyone else seemed to love.
Growing up in Nashville, Tennessee, Ghertner said her hometown was built around the idea of self-care over the weekends. She witnessed the symphony, shopped at local farmers’ markets with her mother and engaged in music during the end of the work week.
“That’s the one thing I think people need to know is listening to your intuition and your gut, and asking what will make me feel good right now, whether that’s eating, living or experiencing,” Ghertner said. “It makes all the difference in your productivity.”
Ghertner is currently the editor-in-chief and Campus Correspondent for BU’s Her Campus chapter. Each month in the academic calendar, she helps coordinate events that foster a community for girls in the chapter and hopes to continue to create an inclusive support network for females at Boston University and beyond.