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 Associate Executive Director Donald Beeson, Sigma ’82.
It’s interesting, but sometimes disappointing to play the “if I only knew then what I know now” game. No one likes to reminisce about the missed opportunities, but reflecting on how we might have approached opportunities differently does help us avoid repeating those mistakes.
The common stereotype of a fraternity man is someone who goes to college, then joins a fraternity filled with men that are carbon copies of one another. My approach was quite different. When I found Chi Psi, the only commonality among the Brothers was the absence of commonality. I found this refreshing, intriguing, and ultimately an enormous growth experience. While I embraced the varying cultures, opinions, and collegiate activities of my Brothers, I don’t believe I fully appreciated the individuals within the collection that formed the Alpha.
My advice to my younger self would be this: Embrace the individual quirkiness of the men in the Alpha. Reach out, and build a relationship with those for whom you assume you would find no common ground. Learn from the idiosyncrasies that make each man unique. Value the spontaneous conversations late at night, during meals, or walking to class. Enjoy the individuality of Chi Psi’s collection of individuals.