Column: Taking finals in a fraternity makes for good memories

By Scott Green

If you want to lift your self-esteem at final exam time, I recommend joining a fraternity. “I may not be a great student,” you will say to yourself, “but at least I didn’t miss a final because our social chair said I wasn’t man enough to do a four-hour kegstand.”

Yes, being in a fraternity was excellent for my academic achievement. Not because I got good grades compared to the rest of the school, but because, compared to some of the degenerates I lived with, I had an intellect on par with the guy who invented twist-off bottle caps. I probably could have charged $10 a head for my fraternity brothers to take a look at my report card so they could see that the University did sometimes give grades higher than a C-plus.

(To protect the identities of the other members of my fraternity, I’m not going to name my house; however, as a clue, it is the one whose name consists entirely of Greek letters.)

I lived in the fraternity house for two years, and at the end of each semester I studied for finals in our chapter room. Those times are a blur, largely because I pulled so many Red Bull-infused all-nighters my brain was chemically incapable of forming new memories. I do distinctly remember sitting on a couch from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m before a final while just a few feet away, other members of the house engaged in the highly academic task of taking apart and reassembling our Rampage arcade machine for no apparent reason. I believe these young men now operate a highly successful Tilt-a-Whirl.

The guys in my house were actually pretty bright, and they were up to date on all the major scientific studies about efficiency in preparing for finals. They knew, for instance, that you have better success when you take an exam under the same conditions as you studied. This is why so many of them got drunk right before tests.

I’m exaggerating, of course. Most of the guys in my house did just fine on their final exams, and some were even sober. I’ve lost touch with many of them, but from what I’ve gathered, the percentage who successfully completed college is even in the double digits. So things worked out fine.