Does This Make Me Look Frat? A Decoding Guide to Frat Boys

Although the foundation of most fraternities is “intellectual, social and moral development of its members,” fraternity members get a bad reputation from movies like Animal House and Neighbors. Sure, those movies are pretty far-fetched, but the whole “frat” culture is still quite entertaining. Don’t get me wrong — most proud fraternity members are wonderful guys, but they truly are their own species. Here’s the ultimate decoding guide of the cliché fraternity gentleman.

How they dressWith fraternity rush ending, I have never seen so many khaki shorts, pastel Polo shirts and Sperry’s before in my life. The style is nice, but come on guys... Does anyone have a sense of individuality? It seems like frat guys single-handedly keep Ralph Lauren Polo, Vineyard Vines, Chubbies and Southern Tide in business. When it comes to shorts, the less pockets the better.Although I’m glad this trend faded in the '90s, jorts are still sometimes worn for socials or gamedays, and they're usually worn with a Hawaiian shirt or some sort of American flag memorabilia. If they’re not wearing collared Polo shirts or button-downs, they’re probably representing their letters across their chest. If they’re not wearing Sperry’s, they’re most likely in tennis shoes, but I guess two pairs of shoes makes life a lot easier, considering I brought 26 pairs to college with me.

What they sayThe amount of frat lingo floating around is so large that they could create their own dictionary. These guys often use the letters “TFM” to describe anything remotely frat-like in sight, and they address every fellow fraternity member by the title “bro.” At parties, they are quick to ask girls what sorority they’re in, and if they’re not in one, it’s followed up with “Are you gonna rush?”But the No. 1 question asked at parties is the famous “Who do you know here?” If you ever overhear two frat guys conversing, it’s usually to make plans to go to the gym later to get “swole” and “yolked,” or to discuss something funny one of their brothers did over the weekend. Their way of inviting you to parties is by sending a text saying to “come through” Saturday night. But when it comes to talking to authority, they really can be true gentlemen. After a few “no sirs,” “yes ma’ams” and a firm handshake, they have you won over.

How they actI give them much credit for the amount of confidence they have. Even the way they walk around campus exerts a sense of certainty. Seeing two frat guys double-scooting down University Boulevard is completely normal. Fraternity men tend to be extremely patriotic and blast country music by day and house music by night. When put into larger groups, they don’t often make the brightest of decisions (such as jumping off the roof into a homemade kiddie pool), yet they raise tens of thousands of dollars for philanthropy events every year and are some of the most involved students on campus.

Keep in mind that these descriptions definitely don't apply to every single fraternity member on campus. They're simply general stereotypes that we've noticed here at UF. What can we say? Can’t live with them, and we can’t live without them.