Last week, I woke up sporting the nastiest hangover I’d seen in awhile. I threw on my grungiest outfit to date and grabbed my keys, determined to soothe my headache with Chipotle and a large aqua. Walking towards my car, I spotted a yellow envelope on the windshield. At first I thought, “Fuck, I got a ticket. Can this morning get any worse?” But when I opened the letter, it was an apology note that read: “Hey, sorry I broke your mirror. I’ll pay for it,” signed with a guy’s name and a phone number.
Maybe it was because the previous night’s shots were still in my system, but for some reason, the letter made me really happy. Sure, my mirror was busted, but the kid who did it was honest enough to admit that it was him, and sincere enough to include his phone number so that I could contact him to fix it. I knew right away it was a frat boy, and not because when you hear “frat boy,” the go-to image in most people’s mind is a good-looking “bro” tossing a frisbee and chugging a natty, but because your average male college student wouldn’t have the decency to leave a note.
It got me thinking about frat guys in general, and how they’re honestly good people at heart. For a long time, Greeks describe our community with the old adage: “From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.” I think this definitely pertains to the unfair stereotypes given to frat guys, and anyone who has had a meaningful, one-on-one conversation with an affiliated guy would probably agree.
People generally hate frat boys. It sucks, but it’s true. Everyone thinks they’re nothing more than conceited rapists who feel entitled to whatever they want (or rather, whatever they can buy with daddy’s money). We all want to rid the world of this harsh stereotype, but it’s hard when your fraternal friends spend an obscene amount of time sporting frat tanks and downing pitchers of beer at your local college town bar, all while singing along to “Wagon Wheel” far too loudly for a public establishment to tolerate. It’s almost as if they want to encourage their negative stereotypes. Honestly, it’s not that they want to perpetuate any stigmas. They just don’t feel the need to prove themselves to people who judge them, because they worked for what they have, and knowing this is all they need to be happy.
The reason we love them is that fraternity men have a deeply-rooted sense of integrity that is hard to find elsewhere. The world thinks they have everything handed to them on a platter, and this couldn’t be farther from the truth. They worked to join the house to which they belong. They endured rush, rounds of hazing, and endless coveted rituals drilled into their heads. They went through hell and back, all to belong to an organization that is bigger than anything they could do on their own. They emerged bonded with a group of guys that were willing to work equally hard, and made friendships that will probably last longer than most.
And their hard work didn’t stop after initiation. They keep working to make a GPA that is consistently higher than that of the average student, not only to better themselves, but to support the value of their house. They dedicate hours to not only their own philanthropy, but those of other Greek houses as well. They work to build a community, and this serves as amazing preparation for real-world experience. They do all of this, all while enduring judgement and persecution from people who don’t even have the decency to try to understand their real values and morals.
Sure, they party. They get hammered and do stupid shit like literally every other college student. They just get more flack because their parties are bigger, and honestly, how is this surprising? Can you honestly expect that a house filled with large numbers of hard-working men who consider themselves brothers to not go hard? They’ve got shit to celebrate, for fuck’s sake.
The world can think what they want. Let them question why we girls associate ourselves with frat guys, because honestly, people outside of Greek like don’t have a clue what these guys are like when you peel away the initial layer that most don’t take the time to look past. They’re the rowdiest bunch of gentlemen we’ll ever know, and we know that integrity and ambition are admirable traits that shouldn’t be overlooked or diminished by bogus stereotypes..