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.
For a while now I have been getting thoughts about leaving the fraternity. It isn’t what I joined. The brothers are forming cliques. Drug use is really getting bad. Brothers publicly humiliate brothers on Facebook and in public. They try to make you feel like complete shit because you couldn’t attend a function. Brothers are constantly backstabbing each other and this has become the most stressful time in my life. What should I do?
It is hard to give you really solid advice on your fraternity membership based on a few paragraphs. There has to be something to it that is keeping you around, because what you describe sounds pretty terrible and on the surface it seems like a no-brainer to quit.
My gut tells me that you know you want to quit, but you just need reassurance that it is the right thing to do. You are afraid that you are a going to lose all your friends if you quit, and it will be very stressful. I just can’t do that without knowing more.
Let me give you this advice though. In my life, whenever I have ever been faced with a difficult decision, I have known what I was going to do almost immediately. Prolonging the situation only prolonged the agony, so I made a pact to myself to make change swiftly when it needed to be made.
If you know you are going to quit – quit and don’t look back. However, if you know you are going to stick around, then do that and give it your all. Regardless of the decision you make, make it with 100% confidence and don’t look back.
Realize though that there is a lot more to fraternity than just a bad stretch with your brothers. All groups go through ups and downs. The good brothers, the real brothers, help the fraternity get back on the right track.
Don’t be afraid to go to your chapter advisor or a leadership consultant of your fraternity for assistance. You should be able to have these candid conversations in confidence, and these guys are here to help you. My guess is you are probably not the one who needs to be removed from the fraternity. There are years of alumni and future brothers that are counting on guys like you to make the tough decisions to protect your charter during tough times.
Will it be painful to start the effort to fix your chapter? Probably… But you took an oath at initiation that you would be a brother for life and you will remain true to your values. This is one of those times where those words need to come to life.
The only question I have is do you have the courage and conviction to stay true to your word? I hope you do, but this is an experience that will be very valuable to you for the rest of your life….
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