The summer between sophomore and junior year I lived in a frat house. This was less personal choice and more because I was working a full-time, unpaid internship and rent at the frat house was only $300 a month. I soon learned why. Originally, my friend and I had planned to stay in the room together which was much less daunting than being the only girl in a frat house of guys. But then she started dating her TA and they moved in together that summer and I was left alone with a giant room in a house full of bros. I desperately wanted these backwards-hat-wearing-tank-top-adorned-alcoholics to defy the stereotypes of west coast frats, mainly because I had this dream where over the course of the summer they befriended me, a non-sorority bumpkin, in some sort of twisted Breakfast Club fantasy. Alas, it was not meant to be.
My first encounter with a Frat Bro™ occurred when I struggled to move my mattress up the two flights of stairs and into my room. With no one to help me move, I resorted to asking one of the Frat Bros milling about for some assistance. Grinning with that self-assured confidence that his muscles were needed, he hefted my mattress onto his shoulders and began singing, “It’s a Man’s World” as he moved the mattress into my room. I don’t even think that’s a real song. I think he made it up just for that occasion. (And goddammnit, it was a catchy tune. I found myself humming it in the shower one morning). The next three months consisted of: a Frat Bro’s dog pooping in the kitchen and no one cleaning it up; me making the mistake of not wearing shoes and discovering the floor is sticky for a million mysterious and yet probably obvious reasons; the Frat Bro in the room next to mine offering to vacuum my room. Shirtless. And you know what, I let him, because he had nice abs and it was clearly of his own free will and my carpet needed cleaning.
I eventually realized I had to move out when my room was broken into not once, but twice. The first time was fairly innocent. It was the one night I forgot to lock my bedroom door, and at three in the morning a Frat Bro burst in exclaimed, “Can I borrow your couch?!” as if he were MacGyver and the couch was the only thing between him and de-activating a bomb. It was hard to make such an executive decision of my personal belonging at three in the morning, but after a quick pros/cons list consisting of ‘Frat Bro will owe me a favor/couch will be ruined forever’, I decided against it. So he left and I locked the door. The next weekend I went home to visit my mom, and when I returned my door was smashed off its hinges, a wooden mattress frame was in the middle of my room, the carpet was covered in glass, and a broken printer rested in my underwear drawer. Apparently, awesome parties at the frat house involved breaking down doors and throwing shit into random rooms. Terrified that this would happen while I was in the room and I would accidentally get a mouth full of printer, I moved out. I ended up never paying, but no one said anything about it. Someday in the future, I may repay my deb and Kappa Phi Whatever will receive a check in the mail for the $300 with the memo: Never again.