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.

Popular Right Now

10 Struggles Girls Taller Than 5'7" Feel On A Spiritual Level

3. "Do you date guys that are shorter than you?"

Any girl who is at least 5'8" will understand these struggles and possibly identify with them on a spiritual level.

1. Dresses not being long enough

Finding dresses for any occasion that will be long enough is like searching for rain in a drought. And when you find one, it's bound to either cost $$$ or not fit another aspect of your body.

2. Heck, pants are never long enough either

You are constantly flooding, or else you rolled up your jeans to look like capris. Unless you special ordered some jeans online in the coveted size LONG or EXTRA LONG, this will forever be your fate.

3. "Do you date guys that are shorter than you?"

This is a personal preference people! Don't assume that a girl will or will not date someone just based on their height difference! Also, don't judge if they aren't interested in someone who is shorter than them!

4. Not wearing heels because you don't enjoy being the skyscraper of the friend group

Wearing heels can be fun buuuuuuuut sometimes towering over everyone else is not our idea of fun.

5. It's hard to find cute shoes that actually fit

You would love to have all those cute little shoes in the clearance section, but most of them barely cover your big toe.

6. Everyone thinks you walk too fast

Short-legged people just can't keep up with you, even though you aren't even walking fast. Like at all.

7. People want to jump on your back

Just because you're tall doesn't give them the license to make you into their personal camel.

8. Never being able to cross your legs underneath desks and tables

You. Can. Not. Get. Comfortable.

9. Awkward hugs

Some people will never understand.

10. Never knowing how to pose in pictures

Should you sorority squat? Pop the hip? Bend the leg? Contort your body to feel like a normal sized human? So hard to decide.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Willoughby

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.


Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

Related Content

Facebook Comments