Breaking The Stigma Of Not Drinking When In A Frat

Breaking The Stigma Of Not Drinking When In A Frat

Remember, you don't have to drink to be a brother.


Joining a fraternity was one of the best things that I ever did when I came to college. Being an only child and growing up with your dad as your best friend made me pretty much sheltered, but college was the fresh start I needed. However, with the stigma of frat life being what I saw in the movie Animal House with John Belushi (I am really throwing it back lol) I wasn't sure at the beginning of joining a frat. But I got over it and joined one, and it was the best thing I ever did.

However, I started drinking, something that I never really did until I came to college, and started drinking regularly when I joined the frat. This got me into a mindset of not so nice things and it was a chain reaction disaster in my personal life. My grades slipped, I became not as involved with my extracurriculars as I should have and it was not going well.

Last semester I decided it was time for a change, the first week I came to reality with my mental situation and told myself and my brothers that instead of drinking every weekend with them, I would be sober, or I would drink when it was a good week or I was celebrating something. This was something that I thought no brother would agree with me on and that I would be the outcast of the entire organization, well that was their complete opposite reaction.

The outpouring of support from my fellow brothers was incredible, they understood that I made a big decision in my life to quit drinking for the time being. This was something that I found difficult to cope with in the beginning, however, my coping mechanism allowed me to have more fun than when I was drinking. I became the permanent designated driver for the fraternity and other organizations on campus.

Being the DD you would think would be a crappy job, well I am here to tell you it's not. Being a DD broke the stigma because it showed that a brother would be willing to give up their party behavior so that other brothers in the organization could have a safe ride home. When I first started driving it sucked because I didn't know where every single place was and I was relying on information from people who weren't exactly all together. But I got used to it after a while.

The way this broke the stigma was because I was the first person to stay in the fraternity who said they weren't going to drink, brothers supported me and were there for me when I said I was not doing good with my mental health. It made me realize that they accepted me more like a brother when I wasn't drinking.

Also being a designated driver allows you to meet people in different organizations and have conversations with people that make their nights even more fun. It is always more fun blasting music while everyone is in the car sober because everyone is in a good mood, and ready to go out and have a good time. Everyone says "thanks bro!" or "you're awesome" which means a lot because I am still keeping my obligations not only as a brother but as a person who cares about everyone even if I don't know you personally.

Just to wrap things up in my rant here, not drinking does not make you a bad brother, or member of your organization. If there is a stigma with drinking, bring it up. Your mental health and physical health is more important than simply having a good time. If you don't get the respect that you deserve because you don't want to drink then you aren't at home. You don't have to be a DD like myself, but it is always good to have a healthy alternative so that you don't sacrifice a good time.

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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Shoutout To My Parents For Giving Me My Best Friend In The Form Of A Younger Brother

He's not as bad as I first anticipated.


This is a story about my best friend.

I was lucky enough to have a built-in bestie from the day he came home with my parents and I immediately questioned who they stole the "creature" from.

My brother's name is Andrew and he and I have always had a catty but close relationship, which has developed into something I wouldn't trade for the world.

When we were younger we were the most jocular kids you could find and spent our days running around with our school friends shooting each other with nerf guns, hiding in every corner to leap out and give the other a heart attack.

We would hang out for hours until someone antagonized the other (Andrew was always the trouble maker) and yelled for our mom to intervene, or took out our ager by practicing our yellow belt karate skills on each other until our fake punches got to be too much and we would die laughing.

I never realized how special my relationship with my brother was until I heard how my friends talked out their siblings. My friends would endlessly complain about how much they hated their brother or sister and wished they were never born; and me, being who I am, would be shocked that they used the h-word, and tell them that they must still love them which they would relentlessly deny.

Seeing these failing relationships taught me to cherish what my brother and I have, and that is honestly the most important responsibility, and gift, I could've ever been given.

Looking back, the best childhood memories I have include him, and I wouldn't have it any other way. From founding the science club (his closet that we would do experiments in, and give our friends golf balls with their name on it as a key), to sledding down a three-foot hill in our neighbor's backyard for hours, to surfing and boogie boarding until we turned to prunes, to the endless games of HORSE we played (I don't understand how I'm still terrible at basketball), he's been with me.

Since then, our relationship has blossomed into much more than snow wrestling and movie binging; now as an adult, coming home from college is the most stress relieving and exciting time, because I know I get to hang out with my brother and talk about the most obscure things until he makes me get out of his room (because teenage angst, you know!!).

Thankfully, the required familial love has turned into a never-ending love for my best friend and little brother, and I can't wait to keep growing up side by side and to see what the world has in store for us.

ANDDDD HE'S 17 (as of the 15th)

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