Thereâ€™s really nothing like the terrified expression of an 18-year-old frat pledge being dragged toward a beer bong for the first time, to put things into perspective.
The entire frat pledge ordeal reminds me of the New Yearâ€™s Eve celebration held in Andrews, North Carolina. During which a possum in a cage, instead of a glittery ball, is dropped at the local gas station. Precisely at midnight, the possum is released, and 300 of Andrewsâ€™ finest open fire.
God bless the South.
In this story, the possum is the pledge, and the gunmen are the frat brothers. The only difference is, in real life, sometimes the possum gets away.
Coming from a Scottish university, the whole idea of Greek organizations is a foreign one to me. The only â€œfraternityâ€ we had was an off-campus group called the Kate Kennedys. To join, you had to have a title (Lord, Baron, Duke), a trust fund and your parents had to make at least two million pounds a year.
We normal students spent most of our time A) hating them B) rolling our eyes at their identical outfits and C) running into their secret parties naked in order to appall them with our commonness (and steal their alcohol).
Donâ€™t get me wrong. I do understand the Greek ideals of networking, service, friendship and having a girls/boys-only tree house with a secret handshake â€” I never did get to do that as an eight year old.
But in a world where we already get told what to do every single day, you would think most people would avoid an organization that tells you how to dress, act and who to hang out with.
I mean, I joined a sorority one time, and it went great for a while. We all wore the same tennis shoes and drank Kool-Aid together. But then one day, the feds busted in when everyone was taking a long nap and told me thatâ€™s actually what they refer to as a â€œcultâ€. Go figure.
You can blame the whole thing on the herd mentality â€” kind of like how some male horses refuse to mate with a female horse because sheâ€™s got a spotted coat. You know the stallion in the next stall is saying: â€œDude, what are you doing? Donâ€™t even go there, brah. Sheâ€™s a Delta Nu.â€
Just keep in mind that the herd can turn on you, too. Itâ€™s like watching Animal Planet where the antelope herd kills the baby that takes a little too long to start walking. If you donâ€™t wear your pearls on the right day or forget the bruskis, that antelope baby could be you.
And the worst part of the Greek system has to be the dues. I have friends that pay up to $1,500 a year to get a â€œsecretâ€ Facebook message about who is throwing the next awesome kegger.
Thatâ€™s the cost of one horse, six snowboards or 10,000 PokÃ©mon cards.
So make the wise choice, and use your parentâ€™s money for some good clean anime fun. Avoid those underage drinking tickets and midnight rides to the police station.
Still, many people argue that Greek life is a great way to meet people at university. Even though recently, a friend of mine made the comment, â€œI pay $1,000 a year to be friends with the girls in this sorority, and I donâ€™t even like most of them.â€
I think I would get turned away from a sorority just on the basis of apathy. The peppy girl handing out rush fliers at 8 a.m. is enough to terrify me into the arms of the giant Subway sandwich that periodically dances around campus.
In the long run, it may take more time to make your own group of friends. But I think most people find itâ€™s generally worth it. The friends you just so happen to meet while skinny-dipping in the North Sea are ones that tend to stick around.
Theyâ€™re the ones that will sneak into bars with you just to stalk your high school English teacher.
Or, do a walk of shame at noon when you both are wearing nothing but garbage bags. And then thereâ€™s always that exciting day when search and rescue picks you up after your tandem kayak flips over, and you both get chased by wild dogs for three miles in the woods.
The point is good friends are like herpes. No matter how much you do or donâ€™t pay, theyâ€™re with you for life.
Awkward times are ahead my friends. But until we meet againâ€¦
Morgan Mayo is a junior natural resources major. Her column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editors Note: Look here to see a response from a member of the greek community published in the Collegian on Thursday.