Life in Neverland: A Guide to Frat Castles

This weekend is better than Christmas Day for first-years (and maybe more like Black Friday for the rest of us). You’re finally allowed on Greek property and have an ‘in’ at all registered parties for the semester. We welcome you to the royalty of DePauw’s campus!

Now, whether you’ve followed the rules or snuck around these magnificent palaces already, I have some precautions as you venture into the frat kingdom. This is not like your private, protected quarters of Humbert and Longden. You’ll meet some princes, some villains, and maybe even an “evil stepsister” or two. Follow the ways of some of our favorite heroines, and you’ll have a great time in these new palaces beyond South Quad.

Rule #1: Don’t overdo it on the hair, makeup and outfit

Check out Mary Ellen Williams article on being Sassy but Classy at the frats for outfit dos and don’ts. But know that as you venture into the fraternity basement abyss, you will without a doubt emerge feeling gross, sweaty and sticky. You’ll likely look like this at the end of the night no matter what, and that’s normal.

I suggest that you bring hair ties, bobby pins and blot with toilet paper if needed. 

Rule #2: You won’t need a frying pan, but bring your sidekick

Stick with your girls from your floor or a friend you know you can trust. Keep your phone on loud and make sure you all get home. This is a time to enjoy with one another and nothing ruins a night like losing your wingwomen!

Rule #3: Don’t try to keep up or go shot-for-shot with the boys

Boys pregame too. They live in these fraternities you will be storming, so imagine the training they have! And even though we are warriors in many ways like Mulan, we may not be able to keep up with the guys when it comes to how much alcohol they can hold. 

Don’t be afraid to pass the handle right along if you’ve had one too many. Upperclassmen will understand and would rather you not overdo it or get sick.

Rule #4: Be THEIR Guest

Remember that you are entering someone’s home, and you’ve been invited as a guest. Treat the houses, the men and their belongings with respect. You may think it’s funny to steal paddles, a guy’s favorite snapback or general chapter memorabilia, but it’s things that are important to them.

And no wandering through rooms and quiet basements alone. While I am forever on a quest to stumble upon that magical chapter room, we all know what happened when Belle wandered into the West Wing. It got ugly…

Rule #5: It’s okay to kiss a few frogs, but don’t expect he’ll be your prince

Have fun! It’s your freshman year. But keep it PG-rated like these princesses do. Because no matter how many smooches, sometimes they just don’t turn into a prince.

Rule #6: GO HOME

It’s 2 a.m. The registered event is over, and nothing good happens that late (Cinderella was LONG gone by then!). There are stragglers in the common area dancing alone, crushed beer cans and questionable boulder runs. While the castle sleeping chambers sound appealing, the other residents will not be when you awake. Wouldn’t it be slightly terrifying to wake up to curious dwarves—err—fraternity brothers in the morning when you just want to sneak off palace grounds?