Here you are, riding in the back seat of Beach House guru Michelle Monroe’s sporty sedan. You haven’t been this excited for anything since your first day of band camp at UCLA, and now you’re just a few miles away from the weekend of your life. You’ve spent the past half hour singing along to the Beach House Music Mystery playlist, boasting such favorites as Ke$ha’s “Die Young” and Avicii’s “Wake Me Up.” You break out of your rock-star fantasy just in time to spot it in the distance. Your destination.
With duffel bag in tow, you take the initial walk-through of the house, and quickly realize that it’s far, far better than you could have imagined. There, on the first floor, is Party Central. A plush couch beckons your weary soul; a sturdy, colorful foosball table craves your attention; an indoor hot tub and sauna foreshadow hours of relaxing socialization. You climb the stairs to the second floor and encounter another large open space for gatherings, well-stocked with furniture. You drop off your belongings in a bunk-bedded room before meeting more brothers in the kitchen. They sit beside stacks of board games, and as you look over buildings of Dominion boxes (courtesy of Cameron Lundy) and Uno decks (courtesy of many), your heart beats just a little faster in anticipation. The third and final floor includes more large bedrooms and a state of the art telescope! Even more impressive, however, is the spectacular view of the beach from the third-floor deck. You lean over the deck railing, looking all the way to the left and all the way to the right, seeing no end to the shoreline. You hear the gentle crashing of waves within running distance. You smell the salty perfume permeating the coastal atmosphere. This, you think to yourself, is paradise.
You wake up the next morning, after an incredible night of fun and games. A rich pancake breakfast fuels you for the upcoming Prisonball game. You travel with your comrades on the short trip across the beach to the volleyball net. Beach House veteran Derek Wun ceremonially explains the rules of the game. Soon enough, you and your brothers are divided into two teams; Beta Xi and Beta Rho vs. Beta Omicron and Beta Pi. Your heart drops in intimidation at the sight of the stacked team on the other side of the court, but your confidence in your own team reinvigorates you. After several rounds of catches and misses, your team is lacking in manpower. You see many of your friends imprisoned on the sideline. Before you know it, the ball is literally in your court, in your hands. Your brothers (well, half of them) are counting on you. Do you go for the systematic takedown of the other team, or bolster your own team by releasing prisoners? All at once, you feel the stars align in the vast reaches of space. You take advantage of this opportune moment as you inhale sharply, let out a savage “PRISON BREAK!!”, and toss the volleyball over the net. You watch it sail through the air for a brief second, skimming by the sweaty palms of your panic-stricken opponents. As it touches down on the well-trodden sand, your jubilant teammates rush from the sidelines, cheering and ready to prove themselves in sport once more. Before long, your team emerges victorious in the most unlikely Prisonball comeback ever.
The rest of the weekend is filled with games, adventures, home-cooked food, puns, and bonding. You revel in Psi chapter traditions as old as time itself. Your sense of kinship in the brotherhood grows.
At long last, the weekend is over. Where does the time go? The ride back to UCLA is traffic-free and you get there in record time. As much as you love being at school, you can’t shake that soft, yearning feeling. You want to go back to Beach House. Alas, that will have to wait until next year. For now, you have memories and inside jokes to last for a good while. But more importantly, you have a group of brothers with whom you can have fun, feel included, and trust completely. And that will last you the rest of your life.by