Hollywood has helped portray fraternity life as nothing but raucous parties and wild hookups. But pop culture has also portrayed pledges as having to undergo various stages of hazing to join (for a somewhat horrifying example of what we’re talking about, see 2003’s Old School).
So is it true? And what can you really expect if you’re pledging a fraternity? First know that all fraternities are different. And second, realize if the movie portrayals were true, nobody would ever join a fraternity.
In order to give you a bit of realistic insight to what you can expect if you’re pledging a fraternity, we put together a little study guide:
- Remember, the fraternity needs pledges, so the brothers are going to do what they can to make you feel comfortable. So, simply put, ask questions about the fraternity, its history and its policies so that the brothers know that you’re interested and to solidify your interest as well.
- Be sociable: Typically, there needs to be a majority “yes” vote among current fraternity brothers in order for you to be accepted. So it’s important that you make an effort to get to know all of them. Your future with the fraternity is in their hands, so it’s important to make a good impression.
- Dress Well: Remember that old saying “Don’t dress for the job you have, but for the job you want?” That sort of applies here, too. So ditch the ratty jeans and stained shirt and make sure you look nice and presentable when you’re around the fraternity house.
- Be prepared to be very, very busy as you’re pledging. Make sure you budget your time wisely and don’t forget to make going to class and staying up on your studies your number one priority. After all, getting a degree is why you went to college in the first place, right?
And arguably, the most important point we can make on this guide – don’t watch any fraternity movies as you’re pledging. The last thing you want is pop culture playing games with your head. So take a break from the Animal House‘s, Van Wilder‘s and Old School‘s of the world – at least for now.