It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog and while my first year at college was crazy, I had some good things going on. I started dating one of the most beautiful girls in this world, managed to maintain a very high GPA and found amazing friends. In the end, my first year of college was alright.
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I decided to spend my first summer of college in Walla Walla doing an internship with Whitman College’s Office of Admission. Despite the dry heat of Walla Walla County, I can’t help but love the freedom that comes with the summer. Even though this is the first summer in over 3 years that I haven’t spent with my family, things aren’t as bad as I expected. Work is going well and I am increasingly getting my head wrapped around what college admission processes look like. Who knows, maybe a new career path?
A part of my job requires me to give tours around Whitman’s campus to prospective students and their families. Being a tour guide, I get to boast about Whitman and share the amazing resources that they have. One of which, at least for me, happens to be Greek Life.
I can recall countless times during tours when I mention Greek Life and my involvement in a Fraternity, the faces of some parents will turn sour and I’ll have to make an extra effort to talk about the many benefits of the Greek System at Whitman. While I do understand the place they are coming from (a few months ago, I was in that place myself), Greek Life at Whitman, or at least in my fraternity, has somewhat debunked many stereotypes and notions of the Greek system.
This summer, I decided to live in my fraternity house. Admittedly, this decision was, by far, not an easy one. With my mild OCD and excessive weirdness, the thought of living in a frat house scared me. Let’s just say, fraternities aren’t known for their “cleanliness.” But despite my fears, the benefits of such a living arrangement were far greater. Not only would living in the house in the summer help to alleviate the hassle of the fall, but the cost of living would be significantly less. So, without second-guessing, I moved in.
The first few weeks were the most difficult. The seniors were graduating, my girl was leaving and my friends were all gone. Everyone had left and it was lonely. I always have trouble sleeping in an unfamiliar space, so sleeping was difficult. But as time went by, things started to pick up. A few other Sigs were spending the summer in Walla Walla and some were even living in the house (!) which really helped.
One of the undeniable benefits of the Greek system is the community of support and friendship that is derived from it. Yes, one could argue that such a community could be found elsewhere and to that, I would disagree. While there are things that I dislike about the Greek system, the bond that it creates is unique to it. In my time of disorientation as an international student, my fraternity, regardless of their initial intentions – if any, helped me to feel at home on campus. The intellectual talks, the late McDonalds runs, the jamming to music to procrastinate studying, among others, have helped me find my place here at Whitman, in more ways than I thought it would a few months ago.
Living in Sigma Chi this summer has been one of the highlights of the break thus far. Being able to cook and eat whatever and whenever I want, to blast music since I am the only one on my floor, to play my viola without having to walk all the way to the music hall of fear of disturbing my neighbor, and to talk to my Sig brothers about life and, honestly, anything that crosses my mind, has been very fulfilling.
Being a frat boy doesn’t always have to be bad. We have the choice to make it something good!