Social Misconceptions About College - Greek Life - Getting Pussy, Hazing, Minorities, etc. (Part V)
Moving right along in our "Academic and Social Misconceptions About College" series, lets talk about what goes down in the fraternity scene.
In Part IV, we discussed "The Greek Hierarchy", similar to the college social hierarchy presented in Part II - it's the basis for everything that happens (or doesn't happen) in Greek social life.
While pledging a fraternity is undeniably the quickest way to "Top 20%" popularity and meeting countless college girls, simply "joining a frat" doesn't ensure entrance to the that group - sometimes called "The In-Crowd".
It has to be a respected fraternity.
Let's debunk some misconceptions about fraternities and discuss why it is probably in your best interest to join one - even if you are Good Looking with good social skills.
Here's the Greek Hierarchy -
(only these Fraternity guys are in the Top 20%)
Misconception: Joining a Fraternity Means You Are a Follower
For many underclassmen, including myself in 2001, this will be the primary justification/excuse for not joining or considering a fraternity.
I was so concerned about "showing myself/people I wasn't a follower" that I didn't give any consideration to the less-obvious-at-the-time benefits of Fraternity life.
In fact, many Independents will cling to this idea over all 4 years of college - even when they see that social benefits and opportunities with the opposite sex are clearly better.
Sure, there are plenty of 'followers' that join fraternities.
There are just as many 'followers' that remain Independent because they choose to follow the anti-fraternity crowd.
There is no single stereotype that applies to all members of Greek life.
(or ALL ORGANIZED GROUP OF HUMANS, for that matter)
Whatever your decision, I urge you to get the "Am I being a follower?" nonsense out of your head and do whatever is best for you.
Your decision should be based 100% on WHAT YOU WANT TO DO and not how others see your decision.
After you rush, pledge and become a member of a fraternity (or don't) - nobody gives a shit.
If people hold your fraternity status against you - they probably aren't getting much action themselves and have their own emotional/social issues.
Misconception: "Getting Pussy" is a Lousy Reason to Join a Fraternity
The 2nd most popular justification/excuse to not take advantage of Greek life is that "Getting Girls" is a stupid, superficial reason to join a fraternity.
This is utterly absurd.
Whether we admit it or not, one of the primary reasons to even go to college is to Get Laid.
That's why most of the guys are there in the first place. Regardless of what they say.
Although I'm not the best example of this, to some degree, I wanted to prove to myself and everyone else that I could get girls and not be in a fraternity.
While I was moderately successful, at times, in my little-clandestine-validation-based endeavor - I could have gotten twice the amount of pussy if I hadn't clung to this ridiculous belief.
Every guy wants to Get Laid.
Most guys would like it to be easy as possible.
No guy wants to "work on" a girl for an entire year and promise her an engagement ring in exchange for a below-average blow job where the girl doesn't even use her hands.
No guy wants to spend their college career as an underachiever and feel the need to become a low-yield late 20's "pick up artist" to try and make up for lost time.
(if that's you - it was me too, so obviously you can make things right)
"Getting Pussy" is a priority among all 18-22 year old heterosexual males and it's a GOOD PRIORITY.
There's a time and place and it's called - COLLEGE.
Misconception: Fraternity Guys Are Losers
See the first misconception.
There is no universal stereotype that applies to ALL guys involved in Greek life.
Some are losers.
Some are cool, cooler than your friends and are wise enough to take advantage of the opportunity.
Most like to drink at their age, not all though.
All want to Get Laid.
Just like the real world.
Misconception: I Can Have a Social/Sex Life That Is As Good, If Not Better, If I Don't Join a Fraternity
As I mentioned before, the vast majority of guys will benefit socially and with members of the opposite sex by joining a fraternity.
Even if they are good looking.
Even if they have tight social skills.
Regardless of how good looking or "social" you are - if you aren't in a fraternity, there will simply be less social opportunities for you.
Unless you are an athlete (in a major sport; athletes are somewhat their own fraternity), you will probably need to join a fraternity if you want to reach your "social potential" in college.
There are exceptions to this rule, like at small schools where everyone knows each other.
But by and large, the chances of you having an Independent social life that is as good, if not better than Fraternity social life - is quite small.
Misconception: I Can't Join a Fraternity if I'm Not An Underclassman
It's true that the majority of pledges are Freshmen or Sophomores, but there's always a few guys (that are already friends with guys in the fraternity) that pledge.
Often, pledging is very easy for upperclassmen since they already know a lot of the brothers and guys won't fuck with them or demand they make every event, since they already have some status/old enough to beat the shit out of hazers.
I pledged a fraternity during my Junior year (I was still a Sophomore by credits) and all my pledge brothers looked to me for leadership and support.
It wasn't a big deal and the pledging process gave me a chance to get to know the other guys in the fraternity.
You probably don't want to pledge a fraternity as an upperclassman if you don't know anyone in the frat.
(why are you pledging a house where you don't know at least some people in the first place?)
As an upperclassman pledge, the older guys will generally make things easy for you.
Try to pledge a frat where you are already tight with a bunch of the guys though.
If you aren't into the fraternity scene - getting a "social job" as bartender (at a popular bar) can be just as good for an upperclassman who is trying to break in to the scene.
Misconception: You Can't/Won't Be Friends With Guys Who Are Outside of Your Fraternity
While larger universities keep more exclusive circles, this is largely a misconception.
You can have plenty of Independents as friends if you join a fraternity.
You can have plenty of friends in other fraternities.
(even if your fraternity has a direct rivalry with that fraternity)
These 'other friendships' are generally made after pledging and after your first year in the fraternity.
During pledging, which usually lasts for an entire ~4-month semester, you will mainly see your pledge class and the other brothers in the fraternity. There's not a lot of time for others.
After that, aside from certain 'frat traditions', you don't really have any mandatory times that you HAVE TO hang out with your fraternity.
(you should want to chill with your brothers though, that's supposedly why you pledged in the first place)
A lot of upperclassmen in fraternities start to make a bunch of Independent friends outside the house after about 2 years in frat scene.
By Junior and Senior year and when they turn 21, the same-old, same-old Greek scene gets a bit boring and they mainly want to chill with other guys their age, rather than getting to know the new recruits and younger guys in the fraternity.
Some guys actually get tired of their fraternity and purposely branch out. Some get serious girlfriends.
(most do not drop out of their frat altogether though)
You won't even see the Seniors that much. Most don't waste their time really getting to know/fucking with pledges.
By Senior year, most guys have a "been there, done that" attitude, move to their own off-campus apartments and are more concerned with finishing school on a good note, securing internships and getting ridiculously drunk for one last time on Spring Break.
Again, this usually happens among older upperclassmen and guys who turn 21.
There's no rules against having "other friends" and no one will give you any problems if they like you.
The majority of "frat drama" is mainly among Sophomores and immature Juniors that are known to be drama queens.
Misconception: You Shouldn't Join a Fraternity Where Most of the Guys Are Better Looking Than You
At some level, every guy (and especially girls), gives consideration to how attractive the rest of their house is and how they will measure up in the eyes of the opposite sex.
I don't think this should be a significant concern - despite the inevitable competition.
If you can join a fraternity that is considered the "Best Looking on Campus," I encourage you to do so.
Simply being a member will give you status and better social opportunities than if you were to join elsewhere.
Average-looking guys in the coolest/best looking fraternities will party more with the hottest girls and have more status than if they joined elsewhere.
You can ultimately "steal" girls from the better looking guys that aren't good with girls.
Misconception: A Frat is a Frat (Status)
You've heard this before but I'm going to repeat it.
When I encourage you to join a fraternity, I am suggesting that you join a socially-respected fraternity that parties and has cool guys that you relate to.
Not just "a frat".
Like the pyramid in Part II details for all students, there is also a social order among fraternities.
Some are cool.
Some are not particularly cool.
If you join one of the cool fraternities - you're set.
It doesn't matter if they are the "consensus #1 party fraternity".
Usually there are 4 or 5 fraternities that are considered high-status and will be just fine.
Have a look at the bottom of Part IV for how to check which fraternities are cool.
There's plenty of sorority pussy to go around and the hot sororities will party with several of the cool fraternities.
Misconception: A Frat is a Frat (Culture)
As I've mentioned over-and-over, it's pretty much impossible to universally stereotype individuals (parts) in fraternities.
It's equally impossible to stereotype fraternities as a whole.
The "party" fraternities share similarities and somewhat follow the 'Animal House' stereotype, but there are other fraternities that have a different culture.
At most large schools-
- There will always be a handful of "Crazy, Party Boy" frats.
- There will be a "Nerd frat".
(I don't suggest you sign on there if you want to party with hot girls)
- There will a "Jew frat".
- There will be an "Asian frat".
- There will be an "Athlete frat".
(not necessarily guys that actually play sports for the school)
- There will be a "Redneck frat".
(not necessarily full of racist rednecks, just a lot of white republicans that like guns)
- There is often a "Straight-Edge frat" that abstains from sex, drugs and alcohol.
Tau Kappa Epsilon at Furman, the fraternity I was briefly a part of, is thought of as the "Rape frat" (or Athlete frat).
For a small super-conservative school in the Bible Belt - they had this reputation just because they threw parties and were more athletic than the other fraternities.
The extreme stereotypes that extend beyond "wild" are usually not true.
Just a note for when we talk about minorities below - the "All Asian", "All Black", "All [Insert Minority]" fraternities are almost always NOT considered to be cool. They aren't necessarily uncool but they aren't usually that popular with popular and attractive girls.
I didn't make the rules, so don't blame me.
Most "All Jewish" fraternities fall outside this stereotype and usually have 2 or 3 Jewish sororities to party with. With the exception of some girls in the Southeastern states, most Christian girls consider Jewish guys to be White.
Misconception: Fraternity Chapters Are Universal
Not only do fraternities vary on the same campus, but there's very little uniformity among their chapters.
Beta Theta Pi, a popular fraternity, has 127 active chapters.
They were the "Nerd frat" at Furman, they were the "Good Guy frat" at Emory and I think they were the "Creative/Artistic frat" at the University of North Carolina.
Other fraternities and their chapters can differ just as much.
Fraternities' chapters were perhaps uniform at some point in history - but not so much anymore.
An exception to the rule are primarily race/religious based fraternities.
For example - ZBT is Jewish, Omega Psi Phi is Black.
The personalities/culture among individual chapters can vary significantly however.
Misconception: Joining a Fraternity Will Hurt Your Overall Academic Performance
With the exception of less than a handful of "frat traditions", in the vast majority of Houses, the only time you are REQUIRED to be at fraternity events is when you are pledging.
During that 4+ month period, you will have to find a balance between pledging and academics.
(if you just ask for time to study - usually you can get out of pledging responsibilities for that night)
After that, you can be as active or not active as you want.
In fact, over a 4 year period, I can argue that-
If you are in a fraternity, you will HAVE MORE TIME FOR SCHOOL because you won't have to dedicate as much time to social activities/meeting girls.
It will somewhat be provided for you, in some cases - you won't even have to leave the house.
If you are in a competitive major, know you will have to study a lot and still want to have a tight social/sex life - joining a fraternity is a GOOD DECISION, not a bad decision.
The pledging process might make academics tough for a semester but you will be set after that.
Misconception: You Have to Live at the Fraternity House
You don't have to live in the frat house.
Depending on how nice or shitty your house is, the parties, location as compared to your classes/off-campus housing and YOUR PERSONALTY - you may want to consider it for a year.
Some fraternity houses are on-campus (or just across the street from the campus) and some are significantly off-campus.
(schools with on-campus houses usually have BIG fraternity scenes)
Most Juniors and Seniors prefer to move to off-campus apartments, which are usually newer, nicer and quieter than the house.
Other than having your own bedroom and a parking spot at a house where young, drunk, horny 18 year-olds are running about on Friday and Saturday nights - there's other benefits to living at the house-
- Unlike dorms, there's a kitchen, individual bathrooms, large fridge or several of them.
- Unlike dorms and apartments, there's less rules and community standards.
- Usually they provide meals, televisions, DirectTV, Internet, basketball hoop or pool table and alcohol is readily available.
- You don't have to drive to House events.
- Girls stop over with their friends to hang out during the week.
- You have a network of guys for emotional and academic support.
- There's usually a collection of old tests, essays, notes, files, etc. to cheat off.
The decision to live at the house will vary considerable from campus to campus, fraternity to fraternity and person to person.
The alternatives, other options and your lifestyle must be considered.
The Tau Kappa Epsilon house at Furman was a run down piece of shit.
I've visited friends all over the country and some had just moved into new frat houses and they were quite nice.
The best possible situation, in my opinion, is to have a "Frat Star" status and have your own luxury apartment off campus.
That's just me. I'm a high-maintenance little princess.
Misconception: Minorities Are the Cuckolds/Low Status Guys of the House
There's three ways that non-athlete minorities can get enough status to have a lot of popular and attractive girls consider them as a sexual option-
- Be a Good Looking Independent
- Join a Cool Fraternity
and the best one-
- Be Good Looking AND Join a Cool, Non-Exclusive Fraternity
See a trend here?
It's the same as it is for non-minorities.
In general -
Most minorities that join cool, non-exclusive fraternities are already cool guys.
They have cool friends that are White. They have cool friends of all races.
They don't maintain any sort of archaic friendship standards that disqualifies 90% of society and people that have different skin colors.
They have more in common with cool guys than "their kind".
They are good socially, better than the majority of their frat brothers.
Most don't reach "Frat Star" status but they aren't usually the "Frat Rejects" or "Frat Slobs" that are at the bottom of their fraternity and fall outside of the Top 20%.
They usually have "middle of the road" standing in the fraternity but have better social skills than "middle of the road" non-minorities.
They do absolutely fine with attractive White girls and minority girls always like to meet them.
Mayan Is The Man
When I thought about this misconception, I immediately thought back to the University of Florida and this particular fraternity called PIKE (Pi Kappa Alpha).
Though the stereotypes usually aren't just, PIKE has a national repetition for having some of the the coolest, craziest chapters.
Drug dealing, public sex, naked parties, etc.
(although this is overstated - the prevalence is higher than other Houses)
For an upperclassmen transfer student, I had a lot of friends in PIKE.
One such guy was a FULL ASIAN kid.
He was about 5' 10" and dated (now married to) one of the hottest blondes at the University of Florida.
(she is hot - all of our 'juice crew' at Florida would try our best to talk to her in the gym)
He wasn't the typical Asian kid though.
- He hit the gym everyday.
- He drank/partied hard when it was time.
- He made the effort to introduce himself to EVERYONE.
- He was nice to everyone.
- He would make the effort to make all the parties.
- He went tanning.
- He didn't pledge an "All Asian" frat.
- He could care less about being Asian and rather hang out with cool guys [of any race] than "his people".
So basically - a White party boy from head-to-toe, with an Asian's face.
He resented how exclusive most Asian circles were.
He was cool as hell and everyone knew it. He had the respect of everyone in his fraternity.
While most sorority girls might not consider him their 1st sexual option, he was popular/cool enough to hook up with plenty of pretty girls. No one confused him for being a loser.
By Senior year, he had a super hot blonde as a girlfriend and he was pretty much a minor Frat Star at that point.
All the girls wanted to meet him and all the guys, including myself respected him.
Some people think that minorities that rush fraternities are simply applying for "low fraternity" status.
That's not true at all - minorities can have significant status in cool fraternities and thereby significant status in the college scene.
Misconception: Pledging a Fraternity (Hazing) is Like Spending 4 Months in a Concentration Camp
We are fans of hyperbole to prove certain points.
A lot of guys are legitimately AFRAID of the hazing that takes place during the pledging process.
First off - I was concerned about it myself.
Not because I would end up dead or forced to drink 2 liters of the fraternity's diarrhea - but because I don't do well with people telling me what to do or touching me.
Throughout my life, not that it happened too often, I almost always fought back violently and aggressively - as if my life depended on it.
I was literally picturing that during pledging I would be jamming a pencil in someone's neck if they touched me. At the time, I had a mean streak that made this type of stuff totally possible.
The reality is, the hazing isn't very bad, if not largely non-existent, based on what we consider "hazing" (torture, violence, bullying, swallowing inedible food/drink, sexual humiliation, incarceration, etc.) to be.
The fraternity that I was briefly a part of, TKE at Furman, was notorious known for having a "tough pledging process".
The worst thing we did was jog around the perimeter of the secluded house naked and then do pushups.
Although the younger guys in my pledge class were bothered, I didn't care. I'd rather go streaking than clean a kitchen or do something else that required hours of my time.
Some of the other stuff we did included -
- Being blindfolded and taken to different ceremonies where we were celebrated.
- Searching for golf balls that were hit from the house to the campus.
- Raking leaves and picking up some trash after a party that we were invited to.
- Being the designated driver.
- Buying beer with money they gave us. (I was 21)
- Washing some dishes.
- Stacking bricks in the cold.
- Being substitute players in some basketball/football intramural games.
- Drinking a bunch but never beyond the point when you have the balls to say, "No more."
(most pledges get sick from drinking simply because they want to and don't stick up for themselves or they are trying to get sick to prove their masculinity)
And Remember - this fraternity was considered to have a REALLY BAD HAZING process.
There's a rumor that floats around several fraternities that your initiation night concludes with the brothers beating you to a bloody pulp with your fraternity "paddle" that they give you when you join.
What happens in most fraternities (I talked to my other friends on this) is -
- It doesn't happen at all.
- They turn the lights off, create the illusion that you are about to get beat with a paddle, and then turn the lights on and hug you.
TKE was notorious for this "paddling" thing. But one of the brothers told me ahead of time that it's all bullshit and it's just to scare people to see what they are made of.
Most fraternities like to maintain that their pledging/initiation process is really tough so they get committed pledges and social points with the other fraternities.
99% of it isn't true and a lot of people will totally bullshit you about "how hard" they had it as a pledge.
Part of being a "loyal" fraternity guy is lying about how much tougher, better and united your house is.
Also, if you consider how much negative attention "hazing" and "bullying" has gotten in the media in the past few years - fraternities make certain that their chapters DO NOT go too far.
Basically - if you say, "No." or "Sorry, I respectfully decline to do that - what can I do instead?", they won't push you much further. In fact, on a human level, they will respect you more.
The stories about eating month-old human shit and road kill, bathing in stale urine, giving blowjobs to large cocks, picking up bodily fluids with your tongue, being tied up in a basement and being burned with cigarettes until you break - are simply not true.
Pledging consists mainly of "chores" and goofy little satanic-like ceremonies.
The fear of the "unknown" is the scariest part for most.
Otherwise, pledging is a fun time if you have a good attitude, it's just time-consuming.
(carry a knife - not a gun - if you are still super concerned)
There are certain fraternities (usually race-exclusive), like Omega Psi-Phi, that maintain rituals like branding or carrying bricks around your neck (slavery simulation).
These "rituals" are VOLUNTARY and have been for some time.
No one is going to tie you up and fry your skin with Greek letters.
Anything illegal or considered assault (or even extremely indecent) WILL NOT be official initiation procedure.
Fraternities can and will lose their entire chapter for this kind of stuff.
* For guys that want to write in and tell me "what happened to them...", "what their friend told them..." -- I don't want to hear it. Sorry.
Fraternity guys lie so much about their initiation experience that I'm not even going to consider the story.
I was part of a "hard pledging process" and it was nothing as advertised.
Nothing serious happens via organized pledging. If one loser brother gets off from bullying - that's his own thing, you can deal with him on a need-basis, it's not typical at all.
Misconception: Fraternity Brothers and Sorority Sisters All Love Each Other
Obviously, as we know by now, that any sort of "all" or "everybody" stereotype is never quite true.
Fraternities and sororities are no different.
There are cliques and plenty of [usually friendly] social competition between brothers and sisters.
How it evolves, most 'pledge classes' (the guys that pledged at the same time as each other) become cliques.
Within pledge classes, 2 or 4 other cliques develop of 4 to 7 guys each.
On the surface, fraternities and sororities like to present themselves as one big brother/sisterhood.
Obviously it's never the case when social status is at stake.
If you join a fraternity, you are guaranteed to-
- Be close friends with 3 to 6 guys.
- Hate 1 to 5 guys.
- Be cordial with the rest of the guys.
How Did Chris Get Kicked Out of Tau Kappa Epsilon at Furman?
As you know, I was briefly part of the fraternity - Tau Kappa Epsilon during my fairly brief stay at Furman University in Greenville, SC.
I had become friends with the guys in TKE (a party/crazy frat). A lot were athletes, all liked to party.
I wasn't liking Furman, missing my long-distance girlfriend and as a last ditch effort I was talked into pledging TKE by a few of the fraternity guys I lived with in the off-campus apartments.
Furman was the most rigorous university I went to. It was closer to high school with just over 1,000 students and class EVERY DAY.
I took school very seriously and often declined to show up at pledging commitments.
A lot of the older guys took up for me and let me slide while my pledge brothers did all the work.
One of the most respected guys told me that I just needed to say, "NO." when I didn't want to do something. I took him up on his advice and decided to not do anything I didn't want - ever.
Eventually the officers became tired of my lack of commitment and completely selfish attitude. They gave me warnings (which I ignored) and ultimately had to kick me out.
I was still welcome at their parties, still lived with 3 of the guys and remained cordial with some of the guys until I transferred.
As an aside, my younger pledge brothers (Freshmen) were scared of the "paddling" night and were considering quitting altogether.
I told them that it was nothing to worry about and it's just a mindfuck. They felt better about it and decided to not quit.
Ultimately, however, they ended up telling the officers that I "gave away the paddling secret" (TKE's biggest secret) when they got mad at me for not showing up to pledging commitments.
They threw me under the bus, the officers got furious - and I was kicked out shortly after that.
It was no biggie though, I was going leave the school anyway.
Some guys take this "frat stuff" quite seriously. It's silly but you shouldn't laugh in their face.
I wish I didn't disrespect everyone so much and played along a little more. Wouldn't have mattered though - I was headed to Florida.
In a different story, my friend Martin got kicked out of TKE as well.
He fucked his frat brother's girlfriend and the brothers made it so hard on him that he had to resign.
Although "all is fair in love and war", you should probably tell/ask your frat brothers if you are going to hook up with one of their ex's - some guys are really insecure.
It's not something I would do but there are definitely social consequences if you fuck the ex-girlfriend of an insecure guy with high frat status. Also, don't fuck a guy's current girlfriend and expect it to be okay.
What Are 4 Pieces of Advice You Have for Incoming Freshman that are Interested in Rushing a Frat?
Here's my advice -
- Rush a cool fraternity after feeling them out and seeing which girls they party with. Ideally, you should be on a first name basis with at least 3-4 of the guys.
- Understand that the pledging process can't have a perfect balance with academics. Just do your best with the school work, try to take fewer credits, it will all be over after the semester finishes.
- Don't be scared of the hazing. It's not half as bad as you might have heard. Be a good sport and act like you are enjoying stuff, your pledge class will look to you for leadership and emotional support. Stick up for yourself by simply saying "No." or "Sorry, that's messed up, I won't be doing that." But pick your spots and don't refuse to do stuff all the time.
- Once you get in - you're in. Become good friends with 3-4 guys and roll with them. Invite every girl you are interested in (and her friends) to your parties. Your brothers will see you as the guy "who gets other girls to the parties" (something that most of them can't really do) and that alone can propel you to frat star when combined with some gym dedication. It's so fucking easy - it's pathetic.
Our series on "Misconceptions About College" continues here-