Finding Your Voice
When I was in high school, I prided myself as the academic, the student who did well in class and was generally considered introverted. Don’t get me wrong, I had a decent number of friends, but I certainly wasn’t the “popular” kid or someone who enjoyed interacting with others. During my senior year of high school, one of my cousins approached me and encouraged me to move away from home for college to become my own person, outside of my family and the town I had known as home for my entire life. I took her words of advice and moved over 500 miles from Michigan to Drury University in southwest Missouri.
My first week away from home was a massive adjustment period, but I thrived on the independence. I could stay up as late as I wanted, do what I chose to do, and truly experience freedom in a way many college students can relate. Many positive changes occurred that semester, I developed a solid group of friends, I finally gained an understanding of what I wanted to do with my life, and I finally felt comfortable in my surroundings.
The next semester, I attended a dinner held for students who achieved the Dean’s List, hosted by the Greek chapter that had the highest GPA on campus, Sigma Pi. After talking to the men there (several of whom I had known from my classes and extracurriculars), I decided to learn a little bit more about that fraternity,and I eventually ended up joining. My life has not been the same after I joined. I finally felt that I was a part of something larger than myself, apart of a movement that was bettering the world around me. More than that, I finally felt comfortable with myself, comfortable enough to begin shaping myself into an individual that I felt proud of and that my family could be proud of as well.
As a member of Sigma Pi, I have learned the importance of having values outside of myself, values that encourage selflessness, modesty, and compassion. This year, I completed my term as Vice President of my chapter, and I learned what it truly means to be a leader, especially the importance of leading by example. To me that is the difference that my fraternity has made on me; I truly see myself as a leader now. I can see evidence of what I have done to better my chapter, my university, and myself.
It certainly hasn’t been an easy path; being responsible for and in charge of others is not something for the faint of heart. As a leader, you are held to a much higher level of personal accountability and must maintain genuine hope,confidence, and optimism. My chapter has faced many struggles, and still hasmany ahead, but my experiences have left me optimistic not only of the future of fraternity/sorority life, but the future of all of America’s youth.