I’ve noticed a disturbing trend on this website, and the high dosage of Adderall currently in my bloodstream necessitates that I respond to this trend.
Pledging is treated as merely a sadistic process; something fun to do to impressionable freshmen who will keep your cigarrettes lit and your drinks full. Indeed, there is an aspect to pledging which is fun for the actives who are entitled to reap the benefits of having completed the pledge process themselves. However, pledging is much more than that and I think we do an injustice to ourselves, to our pledges, and to the Greek community as a whole if we fail to understand what the process is really about. One must understand that there is a reason behind what we do, that there is a reason why we haze. This is my message to the confused pledge, for the Greek world to hear.
We haze first and foremost because, believe it or not, we were once pledges ourselves. Trust me, we did everything that you did, and when we did it it was ten times worse (or so we claim). We bring shame to every one of our alumni if we fail to give you the same experience that we received. The trials that we faced shaped us into who we are, and it would only be to your detriment if you failed to achieve what every past brother already has. Tradition is central to Greek life. Without tradition, we are nothing more than a group of friends who like to drink together. Tradition brings meaning and purpose to the process.
We also haze because it turned us into men. I know that sounds cliche, but it’s true. If I knew what I was getting myself into when I signed that bid card, I might not have signed it at all. I might have pussied out. But I’m glad that I didn’t because everything that was done to me made me stronger. Every time an active screamed in my face and I took it, it didn’t make me a little bitch. It didn’t make me a pushover. It served for me to prove to myself that I cared enough about the fraternity and that I was tough enough that I could handle whatever was thrown my way. There were times when I wanted to quit and there will be times when you want to quit. But know that you are being shaped into someone stronger than you were before, and that the golden years of your life lie ahead. It’s fucking worth it, so suck it up.
Finally, we haze because it shapes you and your pledge brothers into the best fucking friends in the world. I remember when I came home from college after my freshman year and introduced my mother to a few of my pledge brothers who were visiting. She was amazed because she saw that I was already as close with these guys as the kids from my hometown whom I had known my entire life. Let GDIs say what they will. Let them say that “true friendships are not formed through abuse.” That’s bullshit. Anyone who has been through this process knows that those on the outside will NEVER understand the bond between fraternity men. Shared experience leads to bonding and cohesion.
One day this whole process will make sense to you. You will look back with a strange fondness on pledging and finally understand what it means when someone says it is the “best time you never want to have again.”
For now though, I could use a drink. You have thirty seconds to get me a beer, you fucking worthless piece of shit.