Question: I am a freshman and will be a sophomore in the fall 2016. I recently got initiated into a fraternity. When I rushed we had a very limited amount of time to look at the fraternities. Since I knew nothing about any of the fraternities I visited their tables at our student union building and eventually narrowed my choices down. Later on I actually visited the fraternities but could not get a good feel for them since time was limited.
Anyway I really started liking this one; they were a smaller group, about 38 actives, and I really liked a few of the brothers fairly well, conversations were also easy. I decided to go this group because a few of the brothers and since the active number was low I thought the brotherhood would be tight and that it was all about quality over quantity.
One thing I knew was they did not have a house, which did not bother me at all initially. I later accepted a bid and was put into the IFC system. But at my bid day ceremony and days after, I felt very regretful and was not confident in my decision. One of the main reasons was that I had only 4 pledge brothers and was expecting around 15 (as stated by an active upon conversation while rushing). I also had regrets because I felt there was no way I would ever associate with my pledge brothers.
I gave it a shot thinking it would get better and that this whole situation is just me going through something new. Skipping ahead, my pledge class received 7 new members informally and pledge education began soon after. Throughout pledgeship I really gave my brothers thought and consideration (I wanted us to be real brothers) but off and on I had doubts about them and my future fraternity. There was also some beef in my pledge class, there’s not really any brotherhood.
I got into a routine of school, rigorous self-physical training, and pledgeship, and I was not able to slow down and take a step back to evaluate my situation. Later on I was initiated and felt decently good about it. Foreword a few weeks and I feel extremely depressed about joining the fraternity. I suddenly had time to evaluate my situation and I feel that I made a bad choice and really am considering dropping but yet in the hopes of moving on to a better fraternity, which I hear is almost impossible if one is initiated.
I feel for your situation, but really hate this mindset.
YOU were the one who selected the fraternity. YOU were the one who accepted your bid. YOU were the one who went through pledging for months on end. YOU were the one who decided to be initiated.
Simply put, at this stage of the game YOU are the one with the problem – not the fraternity you joined.
If you really don’t like them – then quit.
Remember though that you took an oath to not join another fraternity when you were initiated. You can decide if you choose to be a man of your word or not.
Of course you can take the chance to see if another fraternity will accept you if you desire. I would sincerely hope that mine wouldn’t. A man that doesn’t keep his word isn’t much of a man.
My suggestion is to be a man of honor and make the best out of your situation. If you aren’t wild about the quality of the brotherhood, then recruit your tail off and find higher caliber men. Also, choose to lead by example by helping your brothers become better academically, socially and athletically. After all, that is what it is all about right?
I promise you this – if you put your heart into improving your fraternity, you will see results and it will be the most rewarding experience you have in college. Someday you will be able to look back and be proud of what you accomplished and proud that you turned a bad hand into a winner.
Don’t know where to start? Read my book on how to make your fraternity the best on campus. Then work your tail off to make your vision become a reality.
Or just quit. Your call.
This question was submitted by one of our readers. If you have a question you want me to answer go here to submit it: Fraternity Advice.
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