Throughout high school I was constantly told by older friends that I would end up being in a fraternity. Some of the people who told me this were GDI’s and said it in a condescending manner, while anyone in a fraternity or sorority flaunted the positives to rushing and meeting new people.
My first week of college was rush week. I was finally off on my own, no curfew, and best of all no parents to tell me not to drink to the point I couldn’t stand…. No sir, life was good. My first frat party was on Monday of rush, after the shenanigans that occurred that night my roommate and I convinced each other that this could quite possibly be one of the wildest weeks of our lives and we shouldn’t stay in the fraternity for another night.
Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every fraternity is right for you. That is what rush week is for! During rush, you get to survey each fraternity for a night or two to see how well you get along with the members. Every fraternity has different values, I went into one house and a member asked me what my parents do and to write it down on a “getting to know you survey” haha yeah right bud I’m outta here. But not every fraternity is like that, I ended up liking the Sig Ep’s the best. It worked out perfect for my roommate and I, we both got bids along with one or two other kids we knew from our 45 person pledge class.
On bid night they took us into the basement and gave us a speech (sorry I can’t tell you what the speech consisted of). After the speech we went into a football huddle of a sort while the brothers surrounded us singing songs about life in the brotherhood. At this point my adrenaline was pumping something fierce. They piled us all into cars and brought us to our bid party. That night was one of the wilder nights of my life. We partied well into the night and I ended up kissing more girls than I probably should have (haha I was in college and needed to get my feet wet). At the end of the night my roommate and I walked back to the dorm with grins on our faces. How we didn’t get arrested or in any trouble, to this day I don’t understand, but we were now college students and soon to be fraternity men… life was good.
Once you get to this point, pledge semester begins. The saying I loved the most was “it’s the best semester that you will never want to do again” It describes pledge semester to a T. During pledge semester, you are obviously every ones grunt, but you get the opportunity to meet so many people and do so many fun/probably border line extremely dumb things. The positive side to pledge semester is that it’s ONLY one semester, and then you get the next three and a half years to be on the other side of the spectrum. The moral of my story is that everyone should at least try rushing for a fraternity/sorority. Meeting new people and venturing off on your own doesn’t hurt. Unless it’s your dignity.. but hey, you are in college–you don’t need that anyway!
…or Not to Rush
Rushing is one of those very personal decisions that end up subject to a lot of pressure from outside sources. Maybe your mom or dad were in a sorority and want you to be a Lambda Lambda Lambda too because they loved it so much and feel allegiance to it. Maybe your hall-mates are all rushing and you would feel left out in a stressful transition period. Is your new roommate eager to be ‘besties’ and can’t wait to rush with you?
At some schools Greek life dominates the student culture, front-and-center at the student event fairs for freshmen, a week devoted to rushing, and a gulf between Greek and non-Greek students. At some schools, which sorority or fraternity you choose “defines” you to a certain extent as ‘girlfriend material’, the ‘priveledged kids’, the ‘pre-med nerds’, the ‘jocks’, in a way that’s reminiscent of high-school. At Princeton, we have a Jewish frat that support each other through the Yom Kippur fast and enjoy a huge meal together at the end of it. Choosing to rush that frat would absolutely play a role in defining those students.
I chose not to rush and have never regretted it. I’m sure this has a lot to do with my school’s weak Greek life presence (they aren’t recognized by the school, no houses, etc.). Benefits that I think would receive consideration no matter where I went:
1. The expense. Unless your parents are footing the bill or you’re taking out massive student loans, the expense of sororities can be extremely prohibitive.
2. I experienced less pressure to drink. The option will always be there on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, but if your sorority is throwing a party, or a mixer is going on, you will feel a lot more pressured to go. If you’re not naturally outgoing and are meeting a lot of new people, you’ll experience a lot of pressure to drink.
3. I got to pick all of my friends, they weren’t picked for me through a rush process.
I have no doubt that rush can be a lot of fun. I welcome input from anyone with a different experience!
Thanks for reading!
I’m reading Intermediate Accounting