I have mixed emotions writing my last ever blog post from inside the ZBT fraternity house at Syracuse University. I’ve “lived in” for the last three semesters, and can honestly say it’s been the time of my life. While posting up in this house with thirty plus friends (brothers does sound a little corny), I’ve never had a dull moment. With all of the male (and female) bonding that’s taken place within the walls of my favorite decrepit slum, I’ve come to truly appreciate everything about fraternity life and the collegiate experience as a whole.
With no R.A, no parents, and virtually no rules, some may think it’s crazy for me to give up another potential semester of living in the house. In the spring I’ll be studying abroad in Florence, and while I’m appreciative of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I do consider leaving Syracuse a big sacrifice. Giving up four months of college hooliganism and the lifestyle I’ve come to love isn’t easy. No matter how many grand cities and sights I visit in Europe, I can’t imagine that any will be quite like the place I’ve called home for the majority of my time at SU.
Some may call my departure bittersweet, and it is. I, however, prefer to look at it as the very definition of a tradeoff. I’m giving up something I love, even though I’m getting something rewarding in return. It’s like the time I got a new car after selling my first one (a white, two-door, 1994 BMW 325). While the saying “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?” didn’t really apply in this situation (my Beamer’s engine pretty much blew up six hours before the car was scheduled to be inspected…tear, tear) it certainly does today. Life couldn’t be better for yours truly right now, but I’m gambling that my Italian adventure will be equally unique and memorable as the time I’ve spent in my animal house.
I have full confidence that I will do the abroad experience the right way. I’ll meet new people, learn a new language, and eat the world’s finest cuisine. Still, I’m sure I’ll always be thinking about my ZBT boys, our fraternity vernacular, and our beloved chef Fred (I’ll miss his morning ritual of howling”eggs up” after tending to the grill).
I guess the end of this semester marks a pivotal turning point before another major turning point in my life. After my abroad experience, I’ll come back to Syracuse as a senior. Then, even more nostalgia will kick in (with a side serving of anxiety). As my fear of aging is well-documented (check out an earlier post fittingly entitled “On Aging”), it feels good to be self-reflective. Hell, I’m starting to become more and more like the Wonder Years narrator every day (the show’s grown-up protagonist was voiced by none other than Daniel Stern, AKA… Home Alone “Wet Bandit” Marv). I doubt Kevin Arnold went on to do the whole fraternity thing (thankfully the writers spared us from a Saved By The Bell- like “College Years” spin-off), but if he did, I’m sure he would have eventually shared my sentiment. After all, this whole wild chapter in my life wouldn’t have been half as fun without “a little help from my friends.”
As I finish typing this at my fraternity room desk, I’m a little bummed that my time living here is over. Simultaneously, I’m psyched to share some of my upcoming, worldly experiences with y’all. Doing so will both help me document my travels, and allow me to maintain a routine I’ve enjoyed here on the fraternity homefront.