Column: Why I like living in a frat house
When I joined Pi Kappa Phi last year I did not want to live in the house. I thought, as I’m sure many of you think, that a frat house would be dirty, I’d never get my mail correctly and I would be sleepless due to Travis Scott playing downstairs at all hours of the day.
But, as time went on, and the members of my pledge class (the group of guys that you join with) decided to live in the house, I thought to myself, “Why not?” Rent is affordable, living in the house reduces the dues you owe by $100/semester, and the location, as with most fraternity houses, is great.
I am so glad I made that decision.
These are my friends, and it is a freaking blast living with them. I almost can’t imagine living anywhere else.
If you live in a dorm and you’re anything like I was my freshman year, you have a few friends on your floor, and maybe a few more spread out around your neighborhood. There were lot of the people you barely know, or only met at those awkward floor meetings organized by resident assistants who don’t want to be there either.
In an apartment complex or small house, you’re really only going to know the people you split rent with, which is probably two to four people.
In a fraternity (or sorority) house, you’re going to know and be friends with almost everybody in the house. For my house, that’s about 25 kids. For some other houses, it’s a much larger number.
To be able to walk into any room in my house and sit down and play FIFA, or watch a ballgame or listen to music is such a unique experience. Sometimes I’ll walk by a suite and see someone sitting in there who doesn’t even live on that floor, but they’re chilling and waiting for their friend to get back so they can play Fortnite or study with them.
Yes, it can get loud. Yes, there are parties. Yes, there’s trash in the parking lot sometimes after a tailgate gets rowdy. But if you’ve ever hosted a party of any size, you know trash comes with the territory.
I can honestly say that I’ve never had an issue with sleeping. Part of that is the fact that I live on the top floor of my house, but it’s also because people are reasonable. Music gets turned down or off when it needs to be, and cleaning is shared by members of the suite, sort of the way that the dorms were.
The one thing I want to emphasize is how much easier it is to get a group of people together to do things. Yes, sometimes that’s partying, but sometimes it’s an impromptu group trip to Panda Express, or it’s everyone crowding around the TV to watch the end of an NFC North NFL game on a Sunday afternoon. (My house is split pretty much evenly between Bears and Lions fans). We can watch Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky throw a hilarious game-ending interception, or when he throws six touchdowns and looks like he’s the second coming of Joe Montana, we experience the swing of emotions together.
In high school, people lived too far from one another to consistently get together and do fun activities. After college, people start doing terrifying things like moving away for their careers (yikes!), getting married (double yikes!) and having children (triple yikes!). College is our best opportunity to have a community, even if it’s for a short time.
Being part of a big organization, Greek or not, helps foster that community. But even if you’re part of that group, living in traditional housing means that you’re only going to see a few of your friends every day in the living room. Rather than making this column a lecture on Greek life as a whole, let me address the people who are new members of Greek life or hope to be soon: live in the house.
You’ll always have a place to sleep after a party.