An Out Of House Experience
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Student Life

An Out Of House Experience

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Living out of house: to some fraternities, this is a common occurrence. For smaller chapters, this can be quite the different story.

Four years ago, I moved into Delta Theta Sigma Fraternity. After the dorm life, this was a most welcome change. I had practically lived at the house Spring quarter of my freshman year (I know quarters, right? Gosh, I’m getting old). I was so excited to be a full-fledged member that I slept on my soon-to-be-roommate’s couch nearly every night. I wanted to constantly be around my brothers and never miss any of the most ridiculous shenanigans that would inevitably occur at random times throughout the day.

Being an out of house member as a freshman was nothing short of ignorant bliss. I didn’t see any of the clicks, the politics, or any of the bad blood caused by undone chores or shenanigans that went a little too far. I still had all my dorm buddies back in ol’ Stradley Hall (again, I’m showing my age), and I was able to go one place or the other based on the activities planned by either party, or if I (God forbid) was annoyed by either one. It was perfect because I was constantly surrounded by family.

Being an out of house member as a 23 year old, fifth year, way off campus guy, things are much different. First, all of the random crazy stuff is practically impossible to keep up on, as well as the changes going on in the house, and inside jokes fade from memory as new ones replace them. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in our chapter room with no shirt on, chugging a Mountain Dew two liter and making memories. Now, I sit in the confines of my apartment working on stuff approximately 14 minutes away from what used to be my life.

I didn’t think things would change that much. I would still be on campus, and I could always swing by the house. But it’s different when you don’t live there anymore. It’s different because you obviously want to stay updated on all the happenings, but some of the 3 am Twitter posts just don’t make sense to you as it’s inevitably becomes a “You had to be there” kind of topic. You lose the closeness you have with the chapter as a whole, and with some of the less outgoing members. Your closest friends will come over every once in a while, but no one wants to drive 7 miles on 71, drink a few beers, and then have to worry about how to get home when walking distance is too great for a stumble back.

Not only that, but people subconsciously treat you different. I noticed it a little bit when some of my older friends would come back to the house. I, of course, was happy to see them and catch up, but they were kind of interrupting my binge watching of Breaking Bad, or homework (lol jk it was Netflix). I secretly wanted them to leave because it didn’t feel as natural as the guy in the room over coming in to sit around and BS. I’m on the other end of that now. I love my brothers, and I can never get enough time in with my best friends in the house. I know they’ll always be there for me for however long I walk (or ride around a Hover round) this Earth. Yet, it’s not the same as it was, and the worst part is, they don’t intend it at all. It just kind of happens.

So what’s the point of all this? Admittedly, like 94.5% of my articles, it’s a bit of personal ranting. But it also serves to expose a point that may not ever make it out of the subconscious without an article to get people thinking about it. Brotherhood (or sisterhood) is more than chapter meetings and weekend (or weekday) parties and social gatherings. It’s about the connections and the true feeling of brotherhood in the fraternity. That’s what it’s always been about. That becomes increasingly difficult to achieve when so many members are out of house and only come by to drink or discuss chapter politics.

If you’re an out of house member, do your best to make it over to the house as much as possible. You don’t need a reason, you’re a brother of the fraternity. If you’ve got time to kill, that’s the place to do it. You never know what kind of tennis ball wars, random YouTube video marathons, or brotherly horsing around you’ll be able to be a part of. And if you make it over enough, the feeling that something is amiss while you’re there / it’s not natural will go away. Trust me.

If you’re an in house member, it’s important to strive to achieve the same level of brotherhood with the out of house guys as it is with the in house members. A brotherly bond is only as strong as the weakest link. Make an effort to reach out to them. Sometimes they feel like they may need that extra push by way of an invite to get them over. Don’t lose sight of what’s important – always maintain and strengthen your relationships while you still can.

As I’m sure most of you have realized, brotherhood and friendship knows no distance. You all have alumni all over the world, and yet they will still be there for you at the very mention of need. If someone from Texas will fly back to Ohio for a Founder’s Day celebration, then why can’t friendship still exist when it’s just down the road?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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