You’ll see girls wearing shirts and hats made specifically for the one night. They’re all wearing fanny packs for some odd reason. Usually a lot of neon clothing. Sharpie tattoos fill their arms for every house they’ve visited during the night.
As for the guys, most will remember the beginning of the night and forget bits and pieces later on. Actually, they might forget the whole thing…I know I did. But they’re all so happy; some have never been more excited. They invite their friends out and meet new ones all night. They know they’re about to be part of something big, and this night is a celebration for them.
I’ve been through four Bid Nights. As a first year, I didn’t really know what to expect. But after three more times, I’ve got a few rules for how to survive bid night as a new pledge.
“Be at the house at 7. Wear shitty clothes. Bring a change of clothes you’d go to a party in,” said my soon-to-be-Big-Brother.
1st rule: definitely wear clothes you wouldn’t mind getting dirty to your Bid Night. No worries, nothing bad is going to happen, you just won’t want to wear those same clothes to the party later in the night.
I was worried that I’d be working the event, that pledging would start that night, and that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy myself. I was wrong.
2nd rule: Bid Night is all about you, so have fun.
Keep in mind that the Brothers of your fraternity were just up all night the night before determining who would and would not get a bid. They probably didn’t get much sleep, if any, between you seeing them last night at Final Hours and you seeing them this afternoon for your bid presentation. They’re tired, they want you to enjoy yourself, and they’re hanging back tonight and making the night run a little more smoothly so you can have fun.
3rd rule: Pace yourself as much as you can.
Yeah, there’s going to be drinking on Bid Night…and in most cases, a lot of it. More than you’re expecting right now. Watch how much you drink and watch out for your pledge brothers and friends too. Although the Brothers likely anticipate taking care of at least a few new guys during the night, you don’t want to be so drunk that they call up an ambulance. Space out your drinks, grab some food and water in between drinks, and get help if you need it.
4th rule: Yeah, it’s your party, but don’t invite every person you’ve ever met.
The Brothers will take notice of whom you invite and who says they know you. Don’t invite every guy on your hall, don’t send an email to your whole dorm, don’t invite your Chem Lab partner who you’ve never spoken to outside of class. Invite people who matter and people who you want to be with. The night still is all about you, and you should be surrounded by the people who care about you.
5th rule: Talk to everyone.
Talk to your pledge class. Talk to the Brothers. Talk to the Brother’s friends. Talk to your friends, new friends, and complete strangers. Get to know the group you’re about to pledge yourself into. You’re going to be with them for a while, and the closer you get now, the better off you’ll be later in the semester.
Congratulations on getting a bid this year. And if you didn’t get one this year, there’s always next year and a bunch of other social organizations at UVa. Still go out and enjoy Bid Night.