Part of any visit weekend, both prospective students and families come in with different expectations on what it will look like.
Some have seen this cycle play through before, but for most, this will be a complete 180 from what you have seen before.
This starts with where you stay, as many of the prospective students will be housed at one of the ten fraternities on campus.
Although not everyone will want to admit it, staying away from your house for the first time is not an easy experience and one that all of us have had to power through.
Those who are introverted or not the best at being dropped into an unfamiliar environment do not shy away from reaching out to the brothers of each house. On that, I would recommend seeking out the underclassmen of each house. These students are only a year or two older and can offer the best advice on their own visit weekend and how to approach the weekend based on your interests and goals.
The weekend will introduce the many aspects of the Wabash experience, and each one of you will leave this weekend with either more concern or excitement for the year ahead. Both reactions are acceptable. That is why we are here to help.
Fraternities will host students, but by no means does that mean you are obliged to that house for the entire weekend. A common mistake guys make is having one decent conversation and then becoming glued to the house. That is great, but not the right way to approach this weekend. Other houses offer something different than the other, and it would be a consequential mistake to not take advantage of what each house and its members can offer.
If you get into the situation where a house offers you a bid – think about it. Joining a house is nothing to take lightly and takes more than two days to decide on, as it will heavily influence your college career.
Whether this weekend or in the future, an accepted bid means that you agree to join this house for pledgeship/associateship and, upon your enrollment for the 2022-2023 year, will stay and move into that house.
A hold means that you accept their offer but do not agree to join the house at that moment. Down the road, hopefully, after considering other options, you can come back and either deny or accept your bid. You are allowed to hold bids from multiple houses, which means nothing more than there are houses interested in you joining. As a senior, I will say it is a red flag if a house offers you a bid after one conversation or one night of you staying on-campus. I am sure some of you are fantastic, but as I said, these decisions are too crucial and require further introspection and knowledge of other options.
Lastly, you can deny a bid. Whether you do not have an excellent first impression or are not interested in joining a fraternity, do not feel obligated to accept a bid.
Holding a bid is usually the best bet I can give someone for this weekend and any future visit that you attend next semester. It allows you the chance to learn more about that house with a security blanket while also being able to see other places and weigh your options.
Take charge and be an active listener for the weekend.
I hope you can see a glimpse into what makes Wabash the place it is to the thousands of individuals in the community.