Here it is November, and soon it will be the conclusion of the semester. I have anxiously awaited the conclusion of the fall 2001 semester with great excitement, because as some of you may know, the conclusion of the fall means the beginning of the spring semester, my last semester here at good old BSU.
I got to thinking over the weekend about the mark that I have left at Ball State, and inevitably, as your own career in cardinal and white draws to a close, you too will begin to think about the contributions you have made and the lessons you will take with you.
Throughout my thinking, one thing kept coming to the forefront, and that was my involvement in my fraternity. I have often wondered what my life would be like had I not joined my house, how my BSU career would have been different, how my friends I hang out with would be different, and how the choices that I make would have a completely different set of consequences and benefits.
For those of you who choose to read my column that are not greek, thank you, and this column applies to you as well. Think to yourself how your life would have been different if you had joined a greek letter organization. You may think that not much would change, but I assure you, that your life would be completely altered. You would have a union of friends through thick and thin to support you in your time of greatest need, and congratulate you in your time of greatest accomplishment.
Granted, this can be achieved through other organizations and memberships, but it is hard to form a bond as strong as that formed in a fraternity or sorority. For those of you who have joined a house, ask yourself if it was the right decision to make. Would your life have been better had you not rushed? If so, then reconsider your membership. Leave your brotherhood to the men who thrive within it.
For those of you who have sat on the fence of recruitment, telling yourself all the reasons that you shouldn't join, maybe it's time you opened up to an experience that will forever change your life. It is not about beer or parties. The administration has simply formed a stronger greek unit with the new rules and regulations. What it is about, my friends, is a group of men who are committed to bettering themselves and those around them by living and practicing a ritual which has virtually never changed for well over 100 years.
There are choices we will make that will make us better. There are choices we will make that we will pay for throughout our lives. It is a fact of life that the choices we make will have ramifications and outcomes that we may never know the extent of. But joining my fraternity is one decision I have made that has forever changed my life. It has made me better, stronger and a part of something that was here long before me and will be here long after me.
So when I leave, I will miss the football Saturdays. I will miss Watermelon Bust and Bike-A-Thon. I will miss the freshmen on move-in Thursdays, but the things that I will miss the most are the brothers that I have shared my life with for the last four years. I will miss them all, even Spotty, and I can only hope that I have given them a small portion of what each and every one of them have given to me.
Write to Alan at firstname.lastname@example.org