You’ve just made one of the largest decisions of your life by going to college. If you were lucky enough to have had a few options, then get ready for a few more. If you’ve already surpassed the question of whether or not to pledge, on comes the greatest decision of all: the choice of fraternities. Your timetable isn’t on your side; your decision will be made during the slim days of #2 rush, and you’ll never look back. Yet, choose wisely. Once you’ve entered one brotherhood, there’s no turning back to enter another. Let’s take a look at the handful of elements you should consider when choosing the right fraternity for you.
The comparison has often been made between the choice of wives and the choice of universities. When in high school, your college counselors ask you time and time again whether you’re 100% sure you’ve made the correct decision. While the Brotherhood completely agrees, we might have to take it a step further. So yea, let’s call your college your wife. In that case, your choice of fraternity is that of your mistress. Yet, let’s not go around fucking everything that walks; that ends up with divorce, child support and much worse. Your fraternity should fit you perfectly as you’re tied to it for life. Your brothers will hide your secrets and comfort your pains. While you might’ve already chosen your college (much like already choosing your wife), you have a second chance at happiness by choosing your fraternity (your mistress). Make sense? Apologies for the symbolism, it’s the easiest way of explaining things. It’s #30 fratty vocabulary at it’s best.
No matter what university you go to, as long as there’s Greek life, there’s going to be a few choices when it comes to fraternities. If you’re at a small college, your options are slim. Life sucks, that was your mistake for going there in the first place. If you’ve garnered the nut-sack to attend a prestigious public university (one of decent size), you might have between 10 and 20 fraternities to choose from. Call me crazy, but if I’m choosing the girl I’m going to cheat on my wife with, I better have some fucking options.
So let’s get right down to it. What elements can dictate your decision? Well, each rushee has his own perspective on things, but we’ll delve into the most basic components of choosing a fraternity:
Like we discussed in our post on #59 fraternity stereotypes, each fraternity has it’s own look, way of life and reputation. It’s almost impossible to truly understand what the stereotype of each fraternity is within the first week of #2 rush, but you better find a way to understand the basics. Right off the bat you’ve got fraternities based on race, religion and ethnicity. Whether you’re black, white, Christian, Jewish or multicultural, there’s a fraternity for you. Grab your balls and ask around. Don’t be afraid to ask the obvious and establish what fraternity has what kinds of guys.
The stereotypes get even more detailed. Southern, Guido, athletic, social, nerdy frats are all out there. If you know what kind of person you are, or atleast what kind of person you want to be, find the right match. Understand that alcohol and drugs are prevalent no matter where you go. Make sure you know what you’re doing, and whether or not you’re prepared to get hammered every night, blow down a time or two, or jerk it in solitude. The choice is yours.
Friends and Family
One of the biggest determinates of choosing one fraternity over another involves a family member or close friend already being apart of one of the brotherhoods. Being a “legacy” involves having a family member in a fraternity. That family member could have graduated decades ago, but you’re still a legacy. In most cases, legacies are given automatic bids.
When it comes to having close friends in a fraternity, it’s hard to walk down a different path. The feeling of comfort is huge in college, and when you’ve got someone looking out for you, it’s hard to think outside the box. Just realize that the decision of your brother, father or close friend has nothing to do with your own well being. It’s your life, so make your own fucking decision.
Right down the lines of fraternity stereotypes comes the notion of hazing. While it’s impossible to truly know just how much a fraternity hazes, it should be a crucial part of your decision. Again, don’t be afraid to ask around. It should be fairly obvious as to which fraternities haze and which ones don’t. #44 Hazing visualized will give you a small taste of what to expect. You need to understand just how difficult it is going to be to enter one fraternity or another. Don’t become starry eyed with the top social house if you’re a weak, math-club introvert. Hazing can make or break you. Be smart about it.
Which fraternity is right for you? Well, it’s the one you can fucking afford. Let’s get this straight, fratting ain’t free. It isn’t cheap, and it’s going to cost you. Fraternities are pretty much up-front with you as to how much it’s going to cost you every year. Run the numbers and make an educated decision. You might have to involve your parents as well. Check out the #62 cost of pledgeship post to get a better idea.
You want to find the fraternity that matches you. Don’t try and be something you’re not. When talking with the brothers at rush, make an effort to gauge how much you’d like to spend the next four years with and around them. Keep in mind that the brothers of your fraternity can and will be life-long friends of yours. If you’re a drinker, then find your fellow alcoholics. If you’re a library-guy, then find the smartest fraternity. While thinking outside the box is almost always a positive, be careful when it comes to joining a fraternity.
The overwhelming key involves your ability to ask around. Find out #60 what the letters really mean. Don’t be afraid to ask the tougher questions to brothers of each fraternity and fellow students on campus. The more you ask, the more you’ll know. Your decision will only be as easy as you make it. Some guys join the first fraternity they enter, while others test the waters of each and every one. You’ll find that the older guys who ventured to a greater number of houses during rush are more satisfied with their decision than those who had made up their mind before rush even started.
Don’t be naive; take it slow. It’s a big decision, and one that you should make with pure confidence. Take into consideration each fraternity’s stereotype, the opinions of family and friends, the rumored amount of hazing during pledgeship, the cost of each fraternity and the personality similarities. The more work you put in now, the better off you’ll be four years down the line.
What went into your decision? Sound off in the comments below.