How to frat post-college?
March 20, 2010 12:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm a little sheepish about this, but I feel like I missed out by not joining a good frat in college -- on the group camaraderie, bonding, and drunken partying. Also, I like the idea of a large group of guys who just get along and enjoy hanging out rather than having to share some hobby. I'm probably romanticizing it, I know, but how can I experience something similar now, in my late 20s? I live in NYC, and going back for any kind of new degree is not an option. The workplace is not too helpful, unfortunately.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Do you play any team sports? I play baseball in the summer and our group of teammates is like an extended fraternity...we have beers together after almost every game. If you can find a league for whatever team sport you like that's the kind of group you need. Don't think of it like sharing a hobby, just think of it as finding a group that has at least one commonality that involves some passion (like competition does for most people).
posted by vito90 at 12:26 PM on March 20, 2010

There are lots of cultural fraternities around. I have a couple of Estonian friends in Toronto and they all belong to an Estonian fraternity. And they definitely get into all sorts of typical frat-like stuff.
posted by smitt at 12:39 PM on March 20, 2010

Odd Fellows and the Masons come to mind as fraternal organizations for men. Being a female, I have no way of knowing if there is drunken partying -- I kinda doubt it, but there may be group camaraderie, bonding, and hanging out.

Other similar organizations are the Elks (who lost a court battle in 2005 and so now admit women) and Rotary Club (which started admitting women in the 1980s).
posted by Houstonian at 12:54 PM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

You've got to try hashing: the drinking club with a running problem. Camaraderie, drunken partying, and bonding a-plenty, without any of the I-want-you-to-commit issues you get with sports leagues. There's always a 'virgin' or ten at every hash, so it's a low-threat, no-strings-attached kind of deal.
posted by Dimpy at 1:22 PM on March 20, 2010 [4 favorites]

I'd say your sheepish instinct is right: I was a frat member in college, and quickly outgrew it. After 3 years, I felt that the networking/friends circle was not worth it and now I feel that it was a low self esteem choice to join in the first place. Not that it was a terrible experience, but I am not friends with anyone from the frat now.

So I'd say find and do things you love (go to yoga classes if you like yoga, and meet yoga people, etc) and learn some social skills/how to be outgoing. Plenty of ebooks out there on the subject.
posted by Merlin144 at 1:30 PM on March 20, 2010

Roommates. Move into a big house with cool people.
posted by fshgrl at 3:43 PM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Read Urban Tribes.
posted by djb at 4:38 PM on March 20, 2010

Though you mentioned not wanting to take up a hobby, joining a local rugby team may offer the camaraderie you are looking for.

It's a very tough sport, broken up by bouts of drinking. Many opportunities for bonding.

There are a bunch of little rituals involved in being on a rugby squad. There is the acquisition of your nickname, the naked 'zulu' run you must do when you've scored your first try, drinking beer out of a boot, and learning all of the drinking songs for the 'third half' party that takes place after every game with the opposing team.

My university's team was made up mostly of graduate students in their mid to late 20s. There were also non-students from the surrounding city on the team, as well as undergraduates. They not only practiced together, but there were frequent meetings at the pub, cookouts, banquets, watching rugby games together, and so on. It was like a big family.
posted by Seppaku at 6:09 PM on March 20, 2010

If you went to an ivy league college, you might consider joining that college's club in NYC. I gather that some of them have quite lively bars full of young graduates. I used to belong to one of them, and didn't experience a lot of that, but that's because I rarely went; I know others who quite regularly drank with friends at their club.
posted by sueinnyc at 6:46 PM on March 20, 2010

Dunno about New York, but here in DC softball and kickball leagues seem to take the place of Greek life for a lot of 20-30somethings. The games themselves are pretty low-key, and as far as I can tell the real purpose is the socializing and drinking more than the sport itself. Even if you're not much of an athlete you'll be fine (compared to something like rugby that, while also very social/boozy, also seems to involve a little more intensity and skill).
posted by naoko at 11:36 PM on March 20, 2010

"compared to something like rugby that, while also very social/boozy, also seems to involve a little more intensity and skill"

Yeah, to secondwhat naoko said, rugby is very intense. None of the players on our team were very skilled though. ;) I went to a top-tier research institution; our basketball team is famous for its losing streak. That is to say, the rugby team was made up mostly of nerds, some of them studly nerds to be sure.

But yes, intense. You would have to like to run, and have to be OK with being mauled physically. Injuries happen.

Not for everyone, but as others have said, you may be able to find a similar atmosphere with a less intense game. I would love to join a kickball league - it sounds like a lot of fun!
posted by Seppaku at 9:40 AM on March 21, 2010

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