Leaving Your Mark

Lance Allen

These last few weeks, I’ve been working my way towards what has turned out to be one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made—whether or not to go alumni. While this situation may seem simple since I’m getting a Bachelor’s Degree in May, it has turned out to be quite a bit more complicated. Sure, I’ll be “graduating,” but I’ve still got a year of graduate school ahead of me and I want to stay undergrad to earn a minor in mathematics. If I choose to skip over the minor, I’d have to go alumni; if I go for the minor, I could very well be in school for another two years.

Over the course of my late-night discussions with myself, one thought crept into my head and it hasn’t left since. For the last two weeks, most of my thoughts have been focused on how the people in my chapter will remember me. More specifically, how will I be known by the men who have come through my chapter five years from now? Will I just be another face on a few composites, or will the things I’ve done and tried to accomplish be remembered?

As I write this message, I’m hoping that it’s read by more than seniors in the same position I’m in. I’m hoping that by reading this article, a few freshmen and sophomores are motivated to leave a lasting impact on their chapter. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t do as much as I could have, and that I didn’t do what I did as well as I could have. I know that it’s a cliché, and everyone is sick of hearing it, but you only get as much out of your chapter as you put into it. Today, I’m telling you to not settle for what you think you want, because you will almost certainly wish that you had gotten more when you’re done.

You don’t have to have an elected position in your chapter to make a difference; you don’t even need to have an appointed one. All you need to leave an impact in your chapter is a goal. Does you chapter need better speakers at meetings? Go out and find them. Do you wish your chapter had more brotherhood or sisterhood events? Take it upon yourself to plan them. No matter what your chapter needs, or what you want your chapter to have, all you need to do to make it possible is to make arrangements for it.

Everyone is capable of writing down a goal and following through with it. The only difference between goals that are met, and goals that are forgotten, is a person who is willing to write them down and follow through on it. I challenge you to be that person for one of your chapter’s goals.

I’ve noticed that there are three kinds of people on old chapter composites: the trouble-makers, the ones who improved the chapter, and the ones nobody remembers. Which one do you want to be?

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