Fraternities have always been more intriguing to me than sororities. It’s not that I don’t love sorority life because I do, but sometimes I just feel as if I’m meant to be in a fraternity instead. Most of us have heard the saying, “On the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.” Well dammit, I want to understand frat life. As I think about different parts of this lifestyle, I know that a tremendous part of joining a fraternity is going through pledgeship. So here’s what I imagine fraternity pledge culture is like.
You get a bid, have one last party celebrating the few hours of freedom left, and then the dreaded hazing commences. The actives have been shaking with excitement from the moment they gave out bids for this time of the semester. They have fresh puppets to control for the next few months. You are on call 24/7 waiting to fulfill every active’s needs, regardless of how ridiculous they may be. The chores are never-ending. You have to be DD, clean everything an active orders you to until you can see your reflection on anything that’s meant to shine, provide food for the hungry (i.e. actives), be a personal human alarm clock, drive the actives to class, etc. Some of the other hazing techniques I picture might happen include: wrestling each other in a mud pit, giving a lap dance to the ugliest girl at a party, playing “ookie cookie” (Google it), and probably participating in some kind of drinking obstacle course naked.
The basement of the frat house soon becomes your second home, one of which sends chills down your spine every time you step foot in it. Not only does the basement have a certain stench that resembles that of donkey piss and cheap whiskey, but there’s also no getaway. Whatever the actives want to do to your pledge class will remain secretive and will have no limits. You also earn pretty lovable nicknames such as Schoolgirl and Jizzface. And don’t you dare tell a soul what kind of hell the actives put you through.
Chicks throw out their numbers to you left and right. The ones with loose morals will get on their knees right in front of your boat shoes as soon as you say, “I’m in a fraternity.” The more adroit girls, however, are only flirting with you so you become their own personal pledge. If a girl is your fraternity’s sweetheart or just a known frat rat, she’s going to expect certain things from you. Most of the time girls will expect you to become their taxi driver for the night. And if the jungle juice you make isn’t to their liking, you can bet your ass you’ll have some kind of punishment in the basement at 6 a.m.
One shot. Two shot. Three shot. Four. You can’t stop until the active pouring them says you can. There’s an unwritten rule that says if you can’t shotgun a beer within five seconds, you better learn how really fucking quickly. Puking your guts up, waking up on the bathroom floor, and sporting nasty hangovers become the norm with the exception of when the actives demand you to be on DD duty. And if you are committing to pledgeship one hundred percent, you will probably eventually wave bye-bye to any remotely toned body you might have and say hello a beer gut. Words such as “Chug that shit, pledge” haunt you in your dreams. It’s all for your own good. You’ll adapt.
You’ve never had such high expectations from this many people before, yourself included. You are required to always look presentable, be a gentleman to the ladies, accomplish all tasks given to you by the actives, recite the entire fraternity pledge, know all of the actives’ names, finish a bottle of bourbon by yourself in one night, and still maintain a high GPA. Tough shit.
Pledgeship is when you learn the most about what it means to be a part of a brotherhood. You might not be able to make it through these dark times without your pledge brothers. The group goes through hell and back together. There are good times and there are bad, and you share them all with the guys you’ll call your friends for the rest of your life.
Or maybe they just get a ton of presents, sing a lot of songs, and constantly take pictures. Either way, pledgeship man. Shit’s cray..