Each May as we celebrate another year of Chi Psi Brotherhood, we are reminded to look back to the founders and their vision of Chi Psi to carry us forward. In that spirit of looking back to those who have come before us, for this year’s Founders’ Day blog series, we asked each Central Office staff member to give some older and wiser pieces of advice to his freshman self.
Next up, we’ll hear from Alpha Visitor Graham Davis, Omega Delta ’13.
This Founders’ Day, we have been asked to look back on our experiences and offer advice to our former selves right as we were beginning our time as Chi Psis. For me, there isn’t a lot that I would change about that first year. I got involved early on and really enjoyed my time. That changed when half the Alpha graduated and we were left to pick up the pieces and attempt to rebuild (read: survive). We hunkered down and tried our damnedest to make things work. Looking back over that experience, it was really a lack of planning that led to the bad situation that we were in. With that being said, I have a couple pieces of advice that I wanted to share.
Make the most of it
Run for every position that sounds interesting to you; join clubs that interest you, try out for club sports, or start a club of your own. I gauged my success in college by looking at all the life experiences that I was having and I’d recommend doing the same to make sure you get the most out of your 4+ years as an undergrad. Most importantly, as you go out and try new things on campus remember that the Brothers have your back.
Live in the Lodge
If you have the option to, live in the Lodge or with Brothers. Living with your brothers will help you in ways that you can’t imagine unless you’ve been there. Even without a Lodge you can have that experience by renting a house with Brothers or living in University housing together.
Treat the Alpha Visitor well
As the man on the ground, the Visitor is the source of information for the rest of the Fraternity. Be brutally honest with him and let your Alpha get the help it needs. Additionally, the Visitor shouldn’t be viewed as someone that you need to hide things from. Odds are he’s been in the same place and can offer advice or coaching to you.
The biggest mistake I made as an undergrad was taking myself too seriously. In doing so I created a lot of undue stress on the Alpha and myself. Hindsight being 20/20 I can see how wrong I was to take that approach. We were founded as a social fraternity and if you’re not having fun then you’re doing something wrong.