What does college Greek Life have in common with Rush, the legendary Canadian rock band? Admittedly, not a whole lot. One is an age-old social tradition, while the other is a three piece rock band from Ontario commonly referred to as the Holy Triumvirate. One is the gathering place of the campus’s social elite, while the other is self described as “terminally unhip.”
Of the few similarities, Greek Life participants regularly swear the experience positively impacted their lives, while Rush’s die-hard fans insist it’s the band that changed their life by proving popularity isn’t the only way to be cool, as members Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart have done.
Fraternities and sororities are currently closing out rush week, so here’s a Rush playlist to honor the week and raise awareness for “YYZ” over SAE. Prepare to get some Neil Peart all up in you.
Anthem: In order to make it through rush week, you’re going to need an Anthem.
Finding My Way: The transition from high school to college can be an intimidating voyage. Gone is the comfort of home, your family to assist with cooking, cleaning and laundry, but also gone are the friends who’ve been by your side your whole life. While rushing for a fraternity or sorority can provide you with an instant group of friends, it’s still reassuring to know you aren’t the only person struggling to find your way in the world.
YYZ: Welcome to Upsilon Upsilon Zeta, the unofficial Rush house. There will always be ample space to “slap a little bass.”
Need Some Love: This song captures the hormonally driven need for love – which is a major factor for many Greek Life participants.
Cygnus X-1 Book II: The rival Rush house. Imagine Cygnus X-1 as the fraternity from Revenge of the Nerds.
Subdivisions: While fraternity and sororities often pitch the kinship and bonding that will occur in any given house to potential new members, remember the unattractive truth: rushing is a competitive audition process where the theme is, “Be cool or be cast out.” Greek life becomes the family you choose based on which house is the most appealing (acceptance instantly grants you a new “big” brother or sister), so be yourself, but more importantly, appeal to everyone else in the house. “Conform or be cast out.”
Limelight: “Living in the limelight / The universal dream / For those who wish to seem / Those who wish to be / Must put aside the alienation / Get on with the fascination / The real relation / The underlying theme.” Rushing will thrust you into the limelight of your peers. This is where you prove you’re worthy to be one of the bros, and disprove the notion that “A stranger is [not] a long awaited friend.”
A Passage To Bangkok: Now that marijuana is legal, at least a few houses will similarly be “wreathed in smoke,” as Rush was in Lebanon.
Fly By Night: “Clear head, new life ahead / It’s time I was king now, not just one more pawn.”
Follow Craig on Twitter: @wgwcraig