Nick Dokich, Sigma ’12
I have felt that the majority of my education comes from the tacit knowledge that is passed down from others. It is that knowledge that will create a greater understanding of life and allow me to live successfully. I have always had friends who were older than I was. Chi Psi was the first time I have ever looked up to people younger than myself. Each man has taught me a life lesson that has had such an effect on me that others could not begin to fathom.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Influence upon the private character late in life is only a weak influence. It is in youth that we plant our chief habits and prejudices, it is in youth that we choose a job, what to pursue, and who to pursue it with. In youth therefore the turn is give, in youth the education even of the next generation is give, in youth the private and public character is determined. And the term of life extending but from our youth to age, life ought to begin well from youth and more especially life ought to be enjoyed in our youth before we take on our principle responsibilities.”
This quote could not be truer. Chi Psi is where I started laying the foundation to begin to grow as an individual. Who you are and where you come from are unnecessary to your happiness, virtue and greatness. Chi Psi gave me the skills to become a leader, hopefully successful, and above all, allowed me to love my fellow man, love life, and experience all that I can in the time I was given.
No one can learn for you. No one can make you take advantage of your opportunities.
In high school I was always told that I would be a perfect “frat boy.” I did not want to be associated with the organizations that we have all seen on TV. However, what I found is that Chi Psi is so much more. I have learned more within the Lodge than I ever could in class.
Sometimes I feel that the meaning of the preamble is lost. The beginning quote “forsake the throng and seek retirement for its proper use”- William Cooper knew what he was talking about. This is the first and only quote of the preamble. Why? Because Chi Psi was founded on brotherhood, and I enjoyed that brotherhood. I have no regrets in college because I sought retirement in the doings of Brothers and created opportunities to foster brotherhood.
Life is about the relationships, the impact you have on others. Chi Psi impacted my life and my relationships. Chi Psi let me live my life while developing my morals and virtues. I have no idea where I would be without Chi Psi. Most importantly, I do not think that I would have as enriching life experiences as I do without it.
It has been wonderful to talk with Brothers from different parts of the country, to be able to gain a more worldly view. This experience has given me the resources to form my own opinions on life. To learn from others while hopefully they learn from me. I will never be able to fully experience the abundance of this world but if I died today, I would have experienced more than the average man.
The relationships that I have cultivated through Chi Psi have given me an outlook on life that few possess. Chi Psi allowed me to traverse this great nation and teach young men while teaching me more than words will allow me to represent. I get to surround myself with gentlemen who hold themselves to a higher standard. Standards that I continue to strive towards.
I cannot begin to explain the incredible impact this fraternity has had on me. I do not think that I am 100% ready for the trials and successes of life, but being a Chi Psi I am more prepared than someone who was not fortunate enough to call himself a Brother of Chi Psi. It is the young advisors and teachers that you ascertain from the most. I learned more from the gentlemen in Chi Psi than I did from anywhere else. More about life, what it means to be a man, how to (attempt to) be humble, and love. I have never been surrounded my so many like-minded men from such diverse backgrounds. It has truly been a blessing in my life.
So what does Chi Psi mean to me? It’s simple and cheesy: Everything. Chi Psi continues to be my principal educator, the Brothers and the lessons I have learned will stay with me as I continue to grow into the man I am supposed to be.