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Stage 1: Rushee
You’re a spry, lanyard-twirling beanpole who still thinks Kenny Chesney is acceptable music to blast from the subwoofer in the back of your Honda Civic. You just kicked the only woman that’s touched your piece to the curb and are shamelessly friend requesting any remotely attractive chick in your school’s “Class of” Facebook group. Who you associate yourself with is solely based on their proximity to your elevated twin bed and prized “Heroes are made one cup at a time” beer pong poster that really ties your glorified jail cell of a dorm room together.
Everything you wear has either a horse logo on the chest or is the retro jersey of a guy you never saw play for a team you couldn’t locate on a map. Your days are spent running fives on the outdoor basketball courts carefully tip-toeing the line between competitive gamesmanship and overtly questioning the manhood of others with homophobic remarks, bouncing around the dining hall buffet looking for something slightly appetizing or just edible in general, and chatting up every honey you pass on your resident hall floor. You’ve racked up a few fraternity bids, been routinely getting blowies from the girl that bummed a cig off you during orientation, and officially think your shit don’t stink. Bask it in while you can. It won’t last long.
Stage 2: Pledge
This is you going through metamorphosis, but rather than transforming inside a cocoon and developing at a safe and comfortable pace, you remain a vulnerable caterpillar that gets his legs ripped from underneath him before being tossed into a nest full of starving falcons with a pile full of larva. You keep your head down, blend in, and survive.
Stage 3: Newly initiated
You’re the brash, walking-talking billboard of your fraternity around campus. You purchase everything with your letters on it from windshield stickers to quarter-zip pullovers. You make up for what you didn’t say pledging during fraternity meetings and are the reason chapter goes two hours longer than it rightfully should. Despite technically being a brother, you’re still the low man on the totem pole and your excessive voice means virtually nothing. “Go fold out chairs for ritual, JI.” So you take it out on the new pledge class and become the sadistic son of a bitch to the new guys that you once loathed, forgetting all of what you just went through last semester.
The unwavering bravado you possessed as a PNM is now back and better than ever, and you’re starting to get some routine action with middle-tier talent after putting on some slightly noticeable gains at the gym. You’ve hit up the outlet mall, stocked up on aggressively short inseams, boat shoes, and pastels, and are ready to finally make your mark on this school.
Stage 4: Active brother
Greek life is the only thing that matters in your tunnel-visioned view of the world. Homecoming pairings, Greek Cup standings, and recruit landings play a significant role in your overall happiness. You’re actively trash talking the competition both on the intramural fields and on the inter-webs. Mostly the latter.
You’ve discovered creatine and have since put on about twenty pounds of water weight muscle and finally hit the gold standard of reppin’ 225 flat bench. Tank tops have become your go-to attire for any situation including your place of employment — checking IDs at the door of the local college bar. This is peak you.
Stage 5: Seasoned brother
Women your age are old news, and frankly, are disgusted with the reputation and beer gut you’ve built up over the last few years. But you’re unfazed, as those sorority girls aren’t quite “19 enough” anyways. You know how to work the system to your advantage, not get fined for missing pointless “mandatory” events, and have recruitment small talk down to a science.
Stage 6: Apathetic asshole
“Motion to close.”.
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