Graduating college is a wonderful experience. Regardless of whether you find yourself “ready” to enter the real world or not, to gain a college degree is a remarkable achievement. Think about it. Though this may seem simple or routine, you willingly chose to continue your education for four more years after completing a mandatory high school education. Four years. That’s the length of medical school. It’s one more year than law school. Further still, you didn’t just attend college and become a regular student like most of your peers. You challenged yourself, you decided to rush a fraternity, and you affected your campus through social engagement, service, and leadership.
You were the man.
Unfortunately, despite all its responsibilities and sacrifices, college can be pretty darn fun. And when something’s fun, whether it’s jet-skiing in the Pacific or nursing a gambling addiction, it can be hard to let go. Yet, whether you want to or not, unless you drop out, from the moment you enter college you’re heading for those exit gates.
So, what happens when you love college and Greek life more than the real world? When you want minute-by-minute details of everything that’s going on in your chapter?
Answer: You become “that guy.”
Dear readers, we hate to have misled you, but in truth this is an intervention. And today we here at OmegaFi are here to deliver an urgent message; Don’t Be That Guy: 6 Rules of Etiquette as an Alumni Brother.
Don’t Be the Alumni Brother…
6. Who Still Comes to Every Party
In short, this brother is a party animal. He’s out working in the real world but still manages to sniff out EVERY party. Regardless of how old or how far removed he is from the chapter and campus, he still manages to show up for the free entry into the undergrad parties. Your female guests are beginning to get creeped out by him, and it’s becoming a problem. He’s always drinking too much and has a tendency to get rowdy at your events.
When you experience this brother, take him by the hand, lead him out of the party and say these simple words:
That’ll be enough.
5. Who Treats Their Younger Brothers like Servants
During undergrad, there’s a certain deference that is afforded to older brothers within the chapter. They’ve been there longer and have earned a degree of seniority. However, that deference tends to evolve into mutual respect once they walk across that stage. For some brothers, though, that sense of superiority never stops. And that’s a problem. In dealing with brothers like these, you can either choose to ignore their requests and assertions or deal with it directly with a single word:
4. Who’s Never Satisfied
This brother loves to complain about everything going-on within the chapter. If the chapter isn’t doing enough service, they’ll be on the front-lines talking about how these “new guys” are just all-around bad. If the make-up of the chapter or its culture is even slightly different from how they remember it during their undergrad years, they’ll be screaming to the moon. For brothers like these, save your breath. You can either invite them in (which is what they want) and allow them to give their input and be heard, or you can ignore them and run your offense. It’s your choice.
3. Who Disappears and Forgets Where They Came From
These brothers are one of the worst examples of bad brothers on this list. And the biggest reason is because they come and go without even thinking on how they can give back to their younger brothers. The problem with this type of brother stems from the fact that a fraternity is a social organization created to mold and develop young men into better versions of themselves. In this sense, wisdom must be passed from the top for the benefit of the organization as a whole. For brothers who get their letters, graduate and leave, they are fundamentally doing a disservice to the spirit of fraternity and are robbing their younger brothers of the development they themselves once enjoyed.
For brothers like these, the best words to reach them are to remind them of their values and why they chose to enter the fraternity.
2. Who Doesn’t Come Back
Similar to the brother previously mentioned, this brother is a bit more specific in their apathy: They never make a trip back to your campus to check in on the chapter. Although returning back to your alma mater can be an unappealing proposition depending on your current lifestyle and removal from college life, it’s important for younger brothers to see their older prophytes return and engage in brotherhood. Even if it’s just coming back for a weekend during homecoming, giving advice in hindsight and sharing stories from your time in undergrad, the act of coming back home is critical for the closeness of your chapter and for the development of your members.
To reach brothers like this, use a soft-touch grounded in nostalgia and admiration. You want to hear their stories and share experiences in brotherhood. They’ll get the message loud and clear.
1. Who Can’t Let Go
Perhaps one of the most difficult brothers to reach, this is the type of brother that has been in a state of arrested development since graduation. Their best memories always return to their college days and they just can’t seem to move on from it. Often times the reason these types of brothers exist is because they haven’t found a life outside of college that they truly enjoy and respect. In dealing with brothers like these, the best tactics are to simply be there for them. This doesn’t mean to enable them by talking about trips as a chapter, etc., but just checking in and seeing how they’re doing as a brother and as a friend as asking what’s going on within their life--their real one.
Do you know any alumni brothers who fit the descriptions mentioned on this list? If so, let us know in the comments below!