Hey, guys let's leave the attacks at the door, ok? The OP said he's already joined a frat, and is looking for info on what he can expect. Let's not make this a debate on the merits of the greek system.
That was comedic gold Jerry, GOLD!
I was in a fraternity at ISU late 90's. Depending on the house you might have to do dinner waitings, house cleanups etc. on top of the pledge program which can be anything from learning the history of the fraternity to doing philanthropic events. Overall I thought it was a great experience. Very time consuming but a great way to network.
Dude, have you ever seen Animal House? That's exactly what it will be like.
Expect at least 6 hours/week of time committed to yell like hell until homecoming. IIrc, practice is 8-10 p.m. or 9-11 pm Tues, Thurs, and Sun. All your time practicing yell like hell will be well worth it if you get to paint up for semis and finals (especially when helping to paint up the sorority girls you're paired with.) Chances are you'll also have at least an hour chapter meeting every week and at least an hour of new member/pledge education, as well as time for household chores (which could be more for new members than associate members.) Most houses also have required study hours, so that would probably qualify as fraternity time, but will also be time you are studying.
You can put a lot of time into Greek stuff if you want to, or you can spend the majority of your time playing halo in your room chowing on cheetos and slurping mountain dew, same as wanting to/not wanting to get involved with the majority of social groups/clubs at ISU.
It really depends on the house and what part of the year honestly. They are usually pretty flexible with academics and try to help anyway they can besides stuff you cant always get out of. Good luck.
I wasn't in a fraternity, but since I was a music major, I had plenty of friends who were. Music (despite what all the science geeks expect) is an incredibly demanding degree program, so it takes up a LOT of time. Most of my friends were able to balance that with a very solid level of involvement in their chapter, but only through very good time management.
Bottom line: if you are careful to manage your time well, and stay on top of your responsibilities (both academic and for your chapter), then you can certainly do both and still have time left over. If you let either one slide, you'll be in deep poop before you know it.
What I want to know if whether those cool SAE guys have a secret handshake. I was wearing an SAE shirt to an outdoor concert way back when (I got it during rush and wore it because I figured it'd get trashed that day) and some dude came up to me about it. I thought it was just easier to say, yeah, I'm in then explain why I wore the shirt otherwise. Went fine except for this odd handshake he had, like I was supposed to reciprocate this finger wiggle deal. Or was he just a perv and coming on to me? :biglaugh:
As most have said expect a significant time committment in the first semester and then a little less by second semester but still more than the older active memebers. When I was a new initiate we had to do Yell like Hell, and we had required study hours which are actually kinda nice. expect to have household duties (cleaning etc) during the week.
The time spent with other newbies is what forms the life long bonds, you learn about them and their families. You will think that the chores suck at the time but make it about getting to know the bothers more than doing some stupid chore.
Remember every one of the actives has already done what you are doing so dont act like its unfair or they will make it worse. Keep your head up do what the older guys say and get through the first semester and then its all good times after that!!