6 things every neo should avoid at all cost
so you’ve finally become a member of your fraternity/sorority and now you’re a neo. for those who are not aware, the term “neo” is short for “neophyte”. neo- means new, and -phyte is from the greek phuton "plant"––like a baby plant, a neophyte is someone who is new to an activity. the inverse of a neophyte would be a prophyte, or someone who precedes you in your organization.
while you may be overly excited right now, it’s important that you keep a level head and make calculated choices. “greekdom” is indeed a drug, and if not taken in the right dosage, you’ll end up getting yourself in a heap of trouble. here’s some things you should avoid as you go take on your newfound celeb status.
6) being ignorant of who is on your line.
if you became a member of your organization (and specific chapter) with other people at the same time, those are technically your line brothers/sisters. with that being said, you should probably know information about them, like who they are, their classification, what they are involved in on campus, their position on your line, and so forth. i mean after all, knowing this information is a form of comradeship. if you don’t know your own line how can you effectively teach a new line the fundamentals of your chapter and how to express brotherhood (or sisterhood) when the opportunity presents itself?
5). throwing shade at other organizations.
you just joined your organization. why would you waste time throwing shade at another organization or getting thrown off course because you feel like they disrespected you? focus less on trying to prove yourself and more on scholarship, programming efforts and uplifting your campus/community.
4). strolling without practicing.
i know, i know. you’ve seen greeks (maybe even some of your own prophytes) learn a stroll (synchronized movements) at a party, picnic or otherwise public place. you aren’t them, though. how you practice is how you perform. if you don’t practice, you won’t be in sync and if you aren’t in sync, the yard will pounce on you… i.e. clown you.
3). developing preconceived notions about your prophytes based on another prophyte's experiences.
as one of the newest members of your chapter, you are often presented with various opportunities to get to know your prophytes. while the talks you have with them may be therapeutic and enlightening as it pertains to your chapter’s history, you need to be mindful of knowing the difference between gossip and fact. have you ever had a friend who told you a movie was horrible but you actually really liked it? or, have you had a friend who swore a food item was disgusting but you thought it was pretty tasty? the same holds true within your organization. everyone has (and is entitled to) his or her own experiences. so, try not to engage in gossip and/or develop impressions of your prophytes that you don’t know based on something you were told by another prophyte who may be giving you a biased version of a story anyway. if you have a question, it’s best to go straight to the source if ever possible.
2). speaking with an interest before being taught how to effectively do so.
if someone comes to you and tells you they would like to be a member of your organization (commonly referred to as expressing interest), it is important that you answer them in a way that adequately reflects the sanctity and professionalism of your chapter and your organization at large. now is not the time to “wing it” or say whatever you want to them. you are no longer only representing yourself. rather, you are representing an entity bigger than yourself. if you do not know what to say, kindly end the conversation and move along until you’ve been enlightened. when in doubt, you can always fall back on the “have you checked out our national website? that’s a great place to start” approach.
1). wearing too much "naila".
‘nalia’ is short for paraphernalia, as in greek paraphernalia (greek clothing). depending on your region, the greeks may also refer to it as “pary”, pronounced “perry.” wherever you joined your organization, or whatever your local chapter may refer to it as, remember that less is more. excitement may consume you, but you best not (yes I said best not) wear a tank top with your greek letters on it with a tiki that has your line number and a bucket hat that reemphasizes your organization’s name. It’s just too much. a good rule of thumb, limit yourself to one piece at a time. i know, i know. it’s crazy, right? no, it’s actually not crazy and you really need to listen, ha! remember, less is more.