How to get into a fraternity party as a high schooler

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Dear incoming freshman,

Greek life parties are known far and wide across the country as the sole fun thing a college student can look forward to — so here are the most essential tips on how to get in to these invigorating celebrations of life before you are even a student here.

First things first, wear lots of layers. That walk up the hill to Greek row is always surprisingly cold thanks to the persistent Berkeley winds. The frat brothers aren’t going to think highly of a kid showing up to their house shivering.

Timing is also crucial. Don’t show up before midnight. Everyone has to know that you’re the man, and showing up on time just looks really desperate. One of the biggest freshman mistakes is showing up on time to a party. After all, you don’t want to be there for more than half an hour before the police shut it down.

Once you arrive, you have to understand that fraternities are extremely proud of their parties, so you have to stroke egos for a bit. You have to make the brothers know that you think of them as God’s gift to mankind for allowing you into their party.

Be careful not to have that “freshman look,” because brothers will make sure to single you out if you do. Your best chance is to show no excitement whatsoever; exude the vibe that you would rather be doing something else with your night. Being singled out might be inevitable though, so make sure you have a rag on you — you will be expected to shine some shoes, or you’ll be sent home without a second thought.

Music will be loud and words won’t get very far, but actions will. Nonverbal cues are key to helping you show that you are frat party material. Don’t be afraid to drop down and bust out some push-ups. It’s also good to note that taking off your shirt is always a bonus — it’s a gesture that the brothers will surely understand.

Here comes the tricky part. You need to prove your identity, because frats ask to see UC Berkeley IDs — so you will need to make sure to get your hands on a fake. If you’re spending more than $200, you’re doing it wrong, so don’t get tricked by some upperclassmen looking to exploit visitors.

Most crucial is the frat phrase — think Harry Potter common room password, but for a frat party. The thing is, it changes each night, so make sure to keep your ears open for phrases like “SAE it ain’t so” or “ TKE me out to the ball game.”

Again, it’s actually important to take everything screamed at you by a brother seriously. It may not be your favorite part of the night, but hey, you are getting into a college frat party — the Holy Grail of the college experience. Being part of a frat event automatically puts you ahead of all the other students who will be wishing they were you.

Once you squeeze through the crummy doorway, it’s all worth it. Get excited for those first few steps into the party when you forget about the whole trouble of getting in. Wafting towards you will be the scent of sweat mingled with other trademark frat fragrances. There’s nothing like the DJ pumping those tunes to get everyone’s hands in the air and their feet moving and to drown out the sound of your shoes sticking to the floor.


A seasoned UC Berkeley partier

Contact Armen Aprahamian at [email protected].