The transition period between Pledge and Brother creates an eloquent awkwardness. It’s truly difficult to explain. For months, a pledge rivals his position as the scum of the earth. The Brotherhood makes life miserable. It’s inevitable that each and every pledge should hold a grudge upon the very brothers they’re fighting so hard to join. It’s masochism at its best. Yet, the awkward transition from pledgeship to brotherhood is one of social bliss. Unless you’ve done it, you’ll never know just how weird it feels. I’ll do my best to put it into words…
Let’s take this a little deeper. Try and comprehend the amount of hazing that goes on from the last day of rush up until the final day of initiation. The moment of pledgeship’s end will be a topic for another time, but for the time being, just understand the moment we’re talking about. What moment? The moment when the brotherhood deems pledgeship to be done. Your shit-stain title of “Pledge” turns into that of “Brother”. Does the transition come with a medal? Fuck no. It’s internal happiness; no one should be patting yourself on the back more than yourself. You made it.
If any of you have a job out there, you’re bound to have a boss. You know him through work, and do all things possible to stay low and keep that paycheck coming. He barks up your ass for months, constantly pushing you to get your shit done. He has the best parking spot in the lot, and you don’t have one. He gets paid more, and makes you feel like shit. Its corporate hazing, gotta love it. Well… the day comes when he’ll shake your hand as an equal. Instead of bitching about your latest mistakes, he promotes you to co-manager. You’re his equal, his exact equal. Your pay-checks are now the same, and you both have glorious parking spots. So… how exactly does your friendship look now? Any payback for all the shit he put you through?
It’s fucked up. When pledgeship is over with, pledges have three choices. What type of brother one becomes is the direct affect of the first few choices right out of pledgeship:
The bitter brothers are those who never forgive those who hazed him. It’s mental, and sometimes physical. These guys won’t ever talk to the older guys. In due time, they won’t hesitate to take a swing at the brother he hated most. He’s bitter, no doubt about it. It’s human to hate those who f ucked with you. But in the case of fraternities and hazing, it’s just an awkward transition that needs to take place. These brothers are the ones who haze the following semester more than any other brother. They take out their anger on the following pledge class.
Some pledges grow into fraternal shit. He runs… plain and simple. If the pledge had a rough time during pledgeship, it is very possible that he’ll never come back once it’s over. It’s a bitter brother with a vagina on top. You can’t stop them from leaving, it’s their choice. A ghost brother will only show his face when he needs to. Other than that, he’s just as valuable as a GDI.
Brother hero’s know how the game is played. They understand that pledgeship is merely a process, and should not be taken personally. Hero brothers become active in the fraternity, and pass on the age-old process of pledgeship to those after them. God bless those who grow a pair during pledgeship. Hero brothers keep fraternities alive, and inspire those below them to join the brotherhood when their times comes.
When all is said and done, time usually heals all bitterness. The newly initiated brothers become one with the brotherhood, and everyone lives happily ever after. You have to understand that everyone went through the same process as you… and one day, you’ll be able to pass on the same amount of shit that was once given to you. It’s tradition.
So when that awkward transition comes your way, embrace it. You’ve made it. Drop your grievances, and move on. Accept the process, and pass it on.
It’s not hazing. It’s brotherhood.