There is something special about college. There is no other time in your life where you will have as much fun and create as many lasting memories as you will during these four short years.
These times will also help you create bonds with strangers and keep bonds with friends, just because of your similar experiences.
When I was deployed to Kuwait, I had my NC State banner hanging on my wall for all to see. Imagine my excitement when Thurl Bailey, one of the heroes of NC State’s 1983 NCAA championship basketball team came on a USO visit. I shook Thurl’s hand, and started talking about State hoops. We had an instant connection and he spent over an hour talking to me. It was a pretty awesome moment.
Another moment that shows the power of the college experience happened in Italy on my honeymoon. I was walking in Florence in front of the Duomo. I was actually recognized by a fraternity brother who was sitting on the steps of that magnificent church. He said he saw my NC State hat, then he noticed me. It is amazing how small this world really is.
It is the bonds we create, both new and old, that makes college so special. No other time in life is as celebrated, as noted by your diploma hanging in your office or the license plate on your car. Symbols of these treasured years are everywhere, and displayed with great pride.
And of course, the deepest bonds are the bonds created by joining a fraternity. There is no other organization in life that will invoke the passion that brothers have as undergraduates. You will cherish your memories forever, and the friends you make today will be your brothers for life.
Be sure you appreciate the time you have as an undergraduate brother, and be sure you are making the most of it.
Hopefully, someday you will look back and smile at all the crazy adventures you had, and not all the adventures you wish you had…