If you know me, you know that there’s a lot about American society that I don’t understand. On a daily basis I’m confronted with concepts, laws and ideas that just don’t compute in my head. Things like the Second Amendment, the size of a Route 44 drink at Sonic, why NFL referees dress like they work in Foot Locker and why softball is called softball when the ball in question is so hard… I’m confused 95% of the time here.

Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned fraternities and sororities yet. What a strange set of concepts they are.

Greek Life in London means people who were born in Greece. Honest. My knowledge of fraternities and sororities comes exclusively from American TV shows and films like “American Pie”, “Heroes” and “Neighbors”… Not exactly an accurate representation of what Greek Life is here at Trinity. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the amount of community service our groups do and the volume of good, fun public events to support important causes they put on. Concert For The Cure at Cowboy’s a couple weeks ago sticks in the mind, but there are many more besides that. The social benefits extend way beyond the purported “drinking clubs” that many would have you believe sororities and fraternities are. I think Greek Life adds to our campus in a wholly positive way.

HOWEVER, there is ONE thing that I can’t bare. The process by which new members are accepted into these groups, culminating in a 24 hour period that never fails to send shivers down my spine… Bid Day… It’s a day of happiness for those involved in the system, but if you’re like me, merely a politely interested observer, it can be a very stressful time. Here are my carefully crafted tips and tricks for surviving Bid Day 2016 and living to tell the tale.

1). STAY AWAY FROM THE FOUNTAIN. Like, do not go within 500 yards if you value your ear drums… If at all possible, get off campus altogether and do not return until at least 9 pm… There will be intense screaming and screeching as first year’s and upperclassmen run up cardiac hill before jumping around and getting showered in flowers and face paint. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful image of personal human interaction. It’s also INSANELY loud. I like my ability to hear. It’s one of my favourite senses. Avoiding the fountain enables me to maintain it.

2). Do not ask anyone about it. Bid Day is like fight club. You can’t talk about fight club. If you do bring it up in conversation, you will be attacked by either rampant excitement, nervous anxiety, tears or aggressive masculinity. As an RM this year, I will be locking myself away from my residents and not dealing with them (just kidding if any of my bosses are reading this). It’s an emotional rollercoaster and those involved need our care and support. But only when they ask for it. Don’t try involve yourself too quickly!

3). Do not — even jokingly — mock any part of the Greek life system… I made the mistake once of telling a girl that it was ‘weird’ that they referred to their littles as ‘babies.’ I was told in no uncertain terms to keep my opinions to myself. To me, calling someone who did not physically come from inside your body, as a result of a pregnancy, your “baby” is strange. But maybe I’m the weird one for not getting it.

4). Expect to see many a tutu being worn. Embrace this. Embrace your inner ballerina. Compliment people on their tutus. It will be appreciated and probably earn you some good karma. If you wear tutus on a regular basis, this is the day to choose a different outfit. Don’t confuse me more than I already am.

And that’s that. Bid Day 2016 successfully navigated. High fives all round. I do feel the need to emphasise that this is in no way meant to offend those in the Greek life system. I love you guys. Many of my dearest friends are in fraternities and sororities and I respect the social and community benefits they give us hugely. It’s just not for me. There is no disrespect on my part, but I do not and will never “get it.” However, I hope all those in fraternities and sororities have a wonderful Bid Day and everyone who wants a bid gets one and ends up where they want to be. And to all those who aren’t involved in the Bid Day festivities, I hope you survive and have a great weekend. The dorms are probably gonna be significantly quieter than usual… Take advantage of this. Get some sleep.