by Zeb Watkins, Chapter Field Representative, KKΨ |
I want you to stop for a second and think about yourself. Not your school, not your bands, not your chapter, but yourself. What are YOU getting out of the Kappa Kappa Psi experience?
If your only answer is “lots of friends,” “something to put on my resume,” or “I look awesome in letters,” you’re not getting the most that you could out of the fraternity. As a brother of Kappa Kappa Psi, you have a great opportunity to not only make an impact upon your college bands, but to develop yourself as a person, both in your professional and personal lives.
Finding opportunities can seem difficult, whether you’re newly initiated or on your way out of the fraternity. Anyone can get swept-up in the day-to-day operations of their chapter and forget about what they can take away from it. So then, how exactly can you go about getting the most out of your KKΨ experience?
Think about What You Want
Yes, this means setting goals! Just as your chapter should be regularly setting goals for itself, you too must figure out what you want to accomplish. Ask yourself the following questions: What are your professional aspirations? How could KKΨ help to prepare you for going into the real world? What can you give to the organization? How could your experience in KKΨ be more than just a line on a resume, and something of great substance?
Give to Your Organization
This doesn’t just mean financially (though paying dues and giving donations are a great way to ensure that all levels of the fraternity are functioning)! This means giving your time and energies to being an actively involved member, and not just a line on your chapter’s roster. You’re in this organization because you have a passion, so find ways to engage that passion and get a return on your membership. Have an area of expertise? Make sure you use it in the chapter! Your active involvement will contribute to your development as an individual.
Surround Yourself with a Strong Support Network
Realizing what you can and cannot do alone a key part of success. Building strong relationships with others helps you to strengthen your collaborations skills, and also gives you a safety net when you stumble. Many times, the relationships you build during college will turn into long-term friends and colleagues. Make sure to include those outside of your chapter: seek out district and national leaders within the fraternity, peer leaders on your and other campuses, and faculty and staff within the bands and your academic major.
Much of the college experience is about learning who you are as a person and molding yourself into who you want to be. Part of that process is looking at what you’ve done, what you understand, what you believe, and challenging yourself. Strive to do bigger and better things than you have done in the past. Analyze what you currently know and work on broadening your horizon of knowledge. Confront your preconceived notions on life, yourself as a person, and even the fraternity. See things for what they COULD be and not just for what they are.
Take Advantage of Outside Opportunities
Your chapter and its individual members will not have the answers for everything, so you need to utilize resources outside of your bubble. Go to District and National events. Participate in programs that your student affairs offices sponsor. Bring in outside speakers to your chapter. Do a group study on a leadership book. Take part in community ensembles – some of them pay! Take advantage of the things that are available to you outside your chapter.
Reflect and Share
Finally, take a moment to look back on what you’ve done. Assess and celebrate! Take notice as to how your accomplishments measure up to your goals and then think about how they will fit into your future plans (both in college and beyond). Share what you’ve learned with other brothers. Make sure that what did and didn’t work doesn’t get buried in the yearly transition of brothers going in and out.
Ultimately, what you get out of Kappa Kappa Psi is only as great as what you put into it. Make sure that you’re maximizing your return.