In Praise of My Frat, ROTC, Engineering Major Roommate

Whenever I asked friends and family about the key to college success, they all had the same answer: time management. The general definition of time management is spending your time wisely or in a productive manner. The unofficial college definition of time management is being able to find time to study, exercise, eat, go Greek, meet girls, and anything else that other people do that takes up a solid amount of time. Now that I’m in college, I have seen for myself that the time management struggle is most definitely real. While I’ve got a lot on my plate, my situation pales in comparison to one of my roommate’s curricular and extracurricular situation.

My roommate is rushing a fraternity, serving as an ROTC cadet, and studying engineering. Since I live with him, I observe his daily grind. But for those who don’t, let me just paint a picture of everything he does at school. I guarantee you’ll be shaking your head in amazement at the end of this article.

The Frat Involvement

Pledging a fraternity is no easy task no matter what fraternity it is. However, my roommate is pledging the fraternity that has the campus-high in GPA year in and year out with a 3.56 GPA. This fraternity requires their pledges to maintain a 3.0 GPA, have 10 community service hours, memorize 22 archaic fraternity songs (they’re the only fraternity on campus in the IFC that has that element to their pledgeship), and maintain an 80 average on pledgeship quizzes among other things. While every fraternity has these pledgeship quizzes, his fraternity takes them to another level. For each pledgeship quiz, they need to have two songs memorized and sung, in addition to knowing the typical history dates and information about the fraternity. Oh, and if you don’t maintain these lofty standards throughout the year, they straight up drop you. If you’re a freshman pledge and you get dropped by them, they’ll most likely let you pledge them again as a sophomore. If you don’t uphold these high standards, kiss the Greek life goodbye. Everything about that organization is strict and intense, and that’s just one of his many commitments.


The ROTC Grind

BEEP BEEP BEEP. That’s the sound my roommate hears at 5 a.m. every Monday, Tuesday,Wednesday, and Thursday. From there, he runs three or four miles, marches with a 50 lb. backpack, performs an upper-body workout, and then he and the ROTC company analyze their morning workout. He is also required to attend an hour-long class every week that counts toward his GPA, in addition to the classes required for his major. After this class, he attends a two or three hour lab where they learn and practice tactical movement, first aid, land navigation, survival techniques, team building, and military communication. Just imagine the daily haul of attending academic classes and then add the additional ROTC class and obligations to your schedule. One word to describe his life: hectic.



Majoring in Engineering

They started the advanced programming on Day 1. Lots of programming. Brand new programming. Everything must be precise. It involves tons of math and physics. For one engineering class, he has four textbooks. Four books, one class. Let’s just say he comes back to the room mentally fatigued after his two hour engineering lab.



Oh, I almost forgot! He is also dating a girl he met back in high school who also attends our university. They’ve been dating for three years. THREE YEARS. The longest relationship I’ve ever had lasted a couple months. He’s an amazing boyfriend. He makes sure to go to lunch with his girlfriend two or three times a week. Then on the weekends, he’ll take her to dinner, concerts, or just watch some Netflix. You know, typical relationship stuff.


The fact that he can still be an amazing boyfriend, while being a pledge, a ROTC cadet, and engineering major is mind-blowing. My roommate definitely takes home the unofficial “You Da Man” award because I’ve never heard of anyone else succeeding at college life while being so deeply involved in such time-consuming extracurriculars and a relationship. He’s truly “Da Man”.


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