Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013 - (Page 42)

one step ahead going greek by Charles Ecker develop my leadership potential. Last fall, i served as my fraternity’s alumni relations chair; this semester, i was elected to serve as corresponding secretary, an officer of the fraternity. along the way, i’ve learned parliamentary procedure, business ethics, and how to organize a group. this has inspired me to take on other leadership positions, including president of the ski & snowboard Club, and house adviser for first-years in Ware College house. of course, i have also enjoyed the social benefits of greek life. it’s great to be able to go anywhere on campus and see one of my brothers and know that i can talk to them about anything. i love going to the fun events we host, including brotherhood dinners, outings to movies and sports games, and social functions that bring in students from all over campus. as a fraternity member, i am connected to a large network of both current students and alumni who can help with anything from course suggestions to career advice and possibly even jobs. i’ve learned through experience that the preconceived notions i brought to college were inaccurate. that’s why i encourage you to approach greek life with an open mind. greek life varies from organization to organization and campus to campus—and that’s all the more reason to check out what your college has to offer. i’m glad i did. i’ve made some of the best friends of my life, grown as a leader, met people i might not have known otherwise, and enriched my college experience in ways i didn’t know were possible. tHInkStoCk in the summer after my junior year in high school, the crunch period of visiting colleges commenced. i looked forward to these visits for the most part—but i dreaded hearing the greek life statistics at each school. every time the word “fraternity” was mentioned, i pictured scenes from the tV show Greek: loud frat houses overflowing with trouble. With that stereotype in mind, i arrived at franklin & marshall College in fall 2011 confident that i would never go greek. although fraternities are quite prevalent at f&m—approximately 35 percent of men join one—i remained uninterested. But over the course of my freshman year, i began to notice that some of the people wearing greek letters were among the strongest students in my classes. the stereotype i held in my mind started to fade as i realized that going greek didn’t mean going to college just to have fun and skate by. i decided to explore fraternities during rush Week in the spring of my freshman year. i saw students from my classes as well as students who were involved in a wide range of extracurriculars, and i realized that i had a lot in common with members of one fraternity in particular: Phi Kappa Psi. the guys who wore these letters were involved all around campus, playing varsity athletics, participating in music ensembles, and holding student leadership positions. after meeting many members of this diverse fraternity, i started to envision myself as one of them. now that i have been a brother for about a year, i can say that joining this fraternity was the right decision for me, and it has already benefited me in many ways. first, pledging a fraternity gave me a strong work ethic. i won’t deny that pledging entailed a lot of really fun activities that brought me and my 18 pledge brothers closer. We had a lot of great times and a lot of laughs together, but that was all balanced by another major component of pledging: study halls. We were always reminded that we were at franklin & marshall to receive an education and that everything else must come second. Being part of a fraternity has also presented opportunities to Charles Ecker is a sophomore at Franklin & Marshall College, where he is double majoring in business and government. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with friends as well as preparing for the upcoming sailing, wakeboarding, and waterskiing seasons. For another perspective on this topic, see 42 imagine mar/apr 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013
Big Picture
In My Own Words
Music to My Ears
Together as One
Circle of Inspiration
Six Strings and a Dream
In Pursuit of Joy
Jazz Studies, Improvised
Music in College
From the Great Wall to the Golden Gate
Sines and Wonders
Selected Opportunities & Resources
My Journey Through the College Admissions Process
How It Feels to Run
Off the Shelf
Word Wise
Exploring Career Options
One Step Ahead
Planning Ahead for College
Students Review
Mark Your Calendar
Knossos Games

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013