Pre-Rush 2 began the moment I crossed the threshold that separated the chilling cold of the autumn air from the lively ambience that seemed to permeate from the Phi Delta Chi house. The atmosphere inside was an intense contrast from where I stood only mere seconds ago where conversations seemed to be going off like fireworks between brothers and potentials who needed a ride to the bowling alley where the event will take place. There were so many people I remembered thinking, and I felt a strong surge of pride well up in my chest every time I introduced myself to a new face. “Hello, I’m Lanni, a brother of Phi Delta Chi. Yes I’m the photographer tonight!” The words rolled off my tongue easily as though they had been rehearsed prior to the event, and I was beyond satisfied at my practiced delivery.
The transition from the house to Pacific Avenue Bowl progressed smoothly as batches of potentials piled into the cars and shipped off to the venue. I cradled my camera in my lap while asking the fellow freshmen in my car questions about their hometown, hobbies, and made promises to hang out after the rush event was over to develop a stronger bond. We walked through the automatic doors guarding the entrance and were greeted with multitudes of brothers whose faces were painted with expressions of enthusiasm and interest. Snap. The flash went off and I reviewed the photo through the preview screen before excusing myself from the group I came with. I saw a different world through the lenses of my camera as I shuffled around the crowd of faces in the bowling alley. Every now and then, the sound of the shutter would go off, and the newest photo was lined up along with many others taken throughout the night, stored in the memory disk for future use. There were people making bets as to who would get the highest score, there were people sitting on the benches chatting while waiting for their turn to bowl, there were people in the back who came not for the bowling, but to forge a connection with the brothers, and the stern lines imprinted onto their foreheads indicated the depth of the conversation they were having. Everywhere was a photo opportunity, and I made sure to initiate conversation after every picture taken. This time, it’s our rush, our turn to shine, and I wanted to relish in that moment. The event ended sooner than I had expected, and we invited everyone to In-N-Out afterwards to hang out with us just for a bit more before the night ended. The lively atmosphere in the beginning began to settle down as everyone munched on their food, content with the comfortable silence and the occasional comment every now and then, and pre-rush 2 slowly came to an end.