Greek Life-Is It The Thing For You?


“Brotherhood is not letting petty differences get in the way of anything. It is about being true to yourself. It is about experiencing new adventures by entering the realm of others.”
-Unknown
Greek LifeSource: Alivecampus.com

Today, I am going to discuss a topic that may spark some sort of discussion: Greek Life. We all know it’s there and that it exists in one form of another, but what are the true pros and cons of joining Greek Life? Well, as a Social Chair of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at Capital University, I am here to let you know the facts!

When I came to my university, I originally had no plans of Greek Life. I had heard stories about how “they are bad for you”, “there’s nothing good that comes from them,” or “all they do is party, only join one if you plan on scraping by in college.” Well, I can tell you that this is only true if you let it become true. Today, I am going to talk about my experience in Greek Life and how it has helped me. I will also discuss some drawbacks that may hold you back.

Part 1: My Experiences

Me with a Kappa sigma sweetheart and brothers (SOURCE: fACEBOOK)

When I came to Capital, I was among the other freshmen walking through the gate. It is a really awkward phase in life because you have left most, if not all, of your high school friends and you truly are starting over. You have to build new relationships with people, get ready for classes, and move into your dorm all in one week. It’s a stressful time, but also a time when you are truly giving everyone a first impression of you.

Anyways, I came to Capital with no friends and was wondering what I was going to do with my life. I had a job for the University, was ready for classes, and just wanted a group to hang out with. That’s when I found my future brothers. They were so welcoming and fun to be around. My first night I hung around with them, I simply played some Nintendo 64 and learned about the fraternity. I opened up to them quicker than I have opened up to anybody before in my life, and after a 2 hour talk, I was pretty much ready to join. I had to wait until my bid was sent out, but after that I was proud to call myself a brother.

In the Bible, there are a few verses that come to mind when I think of fraternities and how we should build a relationship with brothers. One is Hebrews 13:1 which states “Let brotherly love continue.” Other than my other friends I have outside of my fraternity, I find no better way than to share my brotherly love than with my brothers. I can talk to them about anything, and I know they can do the same for me. Additionally, Romans 12:10 says “[Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;.” Again, this topic of brotherly love pops up. I can honestly say that I love my brothers and I am happy that I have them impacting my life.

Before I go on, I want to bring up a serious topic that is usually equated to Greek Life: hazing. It’s a topic that scares many people away from Greek Life, but I can proudly say that, when I was a pledge of my fraternity, there was no hazing whatsoever. My school enforces a strict anti-hazing policy, and I don’t know this for sure, but I feel like other colleges have the same policy. I also know for a fact that hazing is frowned upon on a national level too. If you ever feel uncomfortable in your fraternity, you can always talk to a higher power and it will get investigated.

So, the brotherhood is great in a fraternity, but when you come to college, your main goal is to get a degree in your field of study. Luckily for me, my fraternity has my back when it comes to academics. According to umkc.edu, nationally, 71% of all fratenity and sorority member graduate, while only 50% of non-members graduate. My fraternity has study tables twice a week. Also, Capital requires Greek members to have a 3.2 GPA in order to remain a part of the fraternity. I also have brothers that are in the same majors as me and I can run to them if I am confused or need help in a class. They truly look out for my best interests.

The next thing I am going to talk about is the connections I have made. I have a big in my fraternity, who is sort of like my mentor. A big is basically someone that I share a lot in common with and that I can build a good relationship with. I mean, I’m close to pretty much all of my brothers, but I share a special connection with my big.

The final thing I am going to discuss through my experience is how Greek Life isn’t just something you experience while in college, it is a lifelong commitment. Sure, the dues stop, but you can still contribute money to help out the fraternity. I have also heard of occasions where alumni of some organizations have gotten jobs in certain businesses through Greek Life connections. Plus, you are still invited to certain events and have the same connection with your brothers that you had while you were on campus. Your brothers love you forever, and I know that I can run to mine when I need to talk about something.

Part 2: Potential Drawbacks

Source: nerdwallet.com

Now on to the potential cons of being in Greek Life. One of my biggest pet peeves about the media is how they take Greek Life and put it in a negative light. For example in Neighbors, a 2014 comedy starring Zac Efron and Seth Rogen, fraternities are shown as having parties all the time and hindering the community. Rogen’s character moves into a new house with his wife and baby. They are expecting peaceful living, but the fraternity antagonizes them after they call the cops for a noise complaint. The movie is basically both households playing the revenge game with each other. It shows the fraternity life as being inappropriate and makes it seem like we are an annoyance. In actuality, many provide services for the community and even are required to volunteer for a said amount of hours every semester. I love watching these movies because they are hilarious, but they sadly leave bad stereotypes for Greek Life.

One of the biggest cons I hear is how fraternities/sororities can be expensive and how dues shouldn’t be necessary. First off, dues sometimes can be a little pricey, but you can always talk to the treasurer to work something out if you are going to have issues paying. Also, if you are having a rough semester, you can always take a semester off in order to regain financial/academic straits. Dues are essential due to the fact that they are what fund the different events/retreats the organization plans. We are basically funding and supporting our fraternity to do fun things.

The next con I’ve heard is that fraternities/sororities can influence you too much. They also have “too many parties.” There are fraternities out there that may not be the best fit, but that is why you investigate them before you decide to pledge them. Additionally, the pledging process is where you get to learn more about the fraternity. You can technically leave before you are initiated, but there’s some things you have to go through in order to do that. Personally, I can say that my fraternity supports me in any decision I have made thus far. Earlier in the year, I decided to renew my faith and decided to change my life around. They have supported me ever since and have even told me how proud they are of me

Conclusion

So, today I have talked about my many experiences in my fraternity and how they have helped me grow to become a better man. Also, I talked about the potential drawbacks to joining Greek Life, but how those can be solved. If you give it a chance, Greek Life truly is an amazing experience to join while in college. I am excited to be a social chair for my fraternity next year. I have a ton of exciting events planned already. Plus, it can benefit you in the long run post-graduation.

So now, the choice is up to you. If you are currently in college, or are going to be in the future, would you consider joining Greek Life?

~The JEJ

Friendship – An Analysis


“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Source: blog.clarity.fm

Oxford dictionary defines a friend as being “a person with whom one has developed a close and informal relationship of mutual trust and intimacy; (more generally) a close acquaintance. Often with adjective indicating the closeness of the relationship, as best, good, close, etc.”  When I was raised as a child, my family taught me the basics of what it meant to be a good family member. They would say that you should love your family, be there for them, and help out when needed. I believe the same should be said when dealing with friendships. I consider my friendships an extension of my family.

Until recently, I never really understood how special the term “friend” could be. I considered everyone I met a friend. Then, I met some true friends at college. In my opinion, other than God, one of the biggest things a person should value is their friends. They are the people that choose to be with you through thick-and-thin, through laughter and through tears. They are not required to put up with you, but they volunteer their time to help you grow as a person while you do the same. Today, I am going to discuss what I think the most important aspects of friendship are through scripture, media examples, and personal examples.

Part 1: The Bible

David and Jonathan (Source: newchurchvineyard.org)

When looking at the Bible, there are many examples of friendships and how they are carried out. I will be bringing up a few of my favorite lessons that I have learned about friendship through scripture. One of my favorite friendships in the Bible is the friendship of Job with his friends. When his friends noticed all of the troubles that Job was going through, they came to his side and listened to what he had to say. They truly were able to be there for Job in his time of need and were able to support him through any problems that they have had. Job 2:11-13 (NIV) says  “When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.” In my opinion, this shows the ultimate friendship because Job was able to depend on his friends for comfort. I believe this is really important because friends should be able to be there to make you smile when you are in your darkest times. They can be the light in the dark and can help you through many situations if you just let them in.

Another interesting I learned about friendship in the Bible is how friendships can spark spontaneously. In 1 Samuel, this is shown between the relationship of David and Jonathan, son of Saul. When David and Jonathan first met, David had just defeated the Goliath. They immediately knew that they were going to be friends. It was sort of the friend version of “love at first sight.” I believe this shows the true meaning of brotherhood because they were able to embrace and love each other pretty much right after they met. 1 Samuel 18:1-4 says “After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family.  And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.” I believe this shows the ultimate friendship because Jonathan embraced David into his life and even gave him some of his prized possessions.  I believe some of my best friendships have arisen through spontaneous situations, and I am very happy for them.

The final friendship from the Bible that I am going to mention is perhaps one of the most widely known, Ruth and Naomi. Now perhaps it’s because my grandma Ruth’s best friend’s name was Naomi, but this was the friendship I was taught the most about from the Bible. The lesson I learned most from this friendship is that you can expect friends in some of the most unexpected places. Naomi was Ruth’s mother-in-law and they ended up becoming best friends throughout their lives. This shows that sometimes you can expect to find friends in the strangest places.

Part 2: Media

Lucy and Ethel (source: geeksofdoom.com)

The next type of friendship I am going to analyze is the substantial one’s I have noticed in television. Perhaps one of the greatest friendships that I can think of is Ethel and Lucy from CBS’s I Love Lucy. They were the types of friends that would go on adventures together and would always be there to support the other in whatever trouble they were getting into in that week’s episode. One of my favorites is Season 6, Episode 11 titled “Lucy and the Loving Cup.” In this episode, Lucy accidentally gets her head stuck in a trophy that Ricky has to give out in a couple of hours. Ethel helps Lucy by getting Lucy onto the subway to get her to the silversmith. Unfortunately, they end up getting separated and hilarity ensues. It goes to show how two middle-aged women are able to get into situations with each other and enjoy life as if they were young again. Your true friends are the ones that can make you feel young even in your oldest of days.

Another friendship in the media that I would like to note is Anna and Elsa in Disney’s film Frozen. Now sure, I know what you’re saying. ‘They’re sisters!’ Well, I never said that family couldn’t be friends. In Frozen, Anna’s heart is accidentally frozen by Elsa and she is slowly dying. In order to unfreeze, she must show an act of true love. She thinks this requires a kiss, but she later learns that when she sacrificed herself for her sister, that that was the true love she required. This shows that true friendships require sacrifice. To show your friends you love them, you sometimes have to do things you wouldn’t want to. This could be going to see a movie with them you may not necessarily want to see or even giving up your free time to help them through a situation.

The final friendship I am going to bring up is Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling. This trio is one of the first things I think of when I think of friendship. They have been there for each other through many tribulations and triumphs. When loved ones were lost, they were all there to support each other. I believe this can be a template to use in friendships in the real world. Sure, we’re not wizards, but there are still things to learn. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone in the States), Ron risks his life in the chess tournament in order to let Harry and Hermione continue on with the quest to prevent the stone from being stolen. He risked his life for his friends. I’m not saying to kill yourself for your friends, but being able to put them above you at times is a very important trait to have. If they love you as much as you love them, they should be able to do the same thing for you, no questions asked.

Part 3: Personal Experience


Me with some of my friends

So, to the final part: my personal experiences when it comes to friendships. Well, I’m nowhere near the perfect friend, but I have a lot of things that I have learned from my friends and from being a friend. One thing that has been important for me is accepting and letting my friends in. It’s not easy to tell some of your friends your deepest, darkest secrets, but sometimes that is something to do to build trust. You should only do it when you’re comfortable though. I have quite a few secrets that I have shared with my friends, and it has helped me through a lot. It is never a good idea to bottle too much of yourself up.

Another important thing to learn is your friends love languages. It is important to note these because everyone cares for each other in different ways. The 5 love languages are:

  1. Physical Touch – Hugs, Pats on the back, etc.
  2. Quality Time – Hanging out with one another
  3. Acts of Service – Doing things for one another
  4. Gifts – Buying things for the ones you care for
  5. Words of Affirmation – Words of care, compliments, etc.

Something important to note about love languages is that some people have several while others may have only one. Personally, I am pretty much all of them except for acts of service. You must be flexible with your love languages however in order to function properly with your other friends. For example, I have some friends that don’t like hugs and ones that would prefer for to not buy them things. This is okay! I just need to respect their accommodations.

One final thing that I have learned about friendships is that you should surround yourself with people that support you for the person that you are. For example, I am a Christian. I have plenty of friends that are not Christians, but my closest circle of friends are. I run to them when I have questions about my faith and know that I can trust them with any issues I may have. I also am trying to lead a substance-free lifestyle and I am able to keep that up through prayer and the support of my friends. It’s a support system, we are all here for each other and can run to each other when any of us need help.

Conclusion

In closing, today I talked about many types of friendships and lessons I have learned from them through the Bible, media, and personal experiences. You’ll learn that every friendship is different and that that’s okay. You just need to learn from your experiences and learn to adapt to the different friends you make throughout your life. Most importantly, don’t change to make friends. You are an awesome person the way you are and your friends should appreciate you for the person that you are!

Thanks for reading this post. Stay tuned to see what I have to say next!!

~The JEJ

Graduation Stress


This school year cannot end soon enough. School, home, work, and extracurriculars have kept my life basically a busy mess. I’m just so excited to take two of the things that plan my life out of the equation.

Let’s start with school. Let me just say one thing on senioritis: if it hasn’t happened to you, may I commend you with an applause. Looking at my ProgressBook, I’m noticing a lot of missing things. Now let me tell you, I’ve always been a procrastinator, but this quarter has whooped my butt. I’m actually working on making up things while I’m typing this up. In lab, I’ve had an issue of being able to concentrate to get things done. I’ve just been too busy working on my internship in the office. In English, I haven’t even started on a paper due next week and didn’t do the papers on Catching Fire due last night. That’s what I’m working on now.

I’ll talk about extra-curriculars next. Last week, I got to take a trip to Orlando Florida for 6 days. Sounds fun, right? Well, it actually was. The only thing was that I was so busy that I tuned out everything else. Hence all this missing work. Anyways, I made it there due to placing first at state in Integrated Office Applications in Business Professionals of America. I got first in regionals last year, but failed epically at state. This year was like my redemption year. Well, when the school said they’d pay for me to go to Florida, I decided that I would go. Needless to say, I got to play at amusement parks and tons of other stuff. I ended up placing somewhere in the top 10 at Nationals. On top of BPA, I’ve also had duties with National Honor Society, FOR Club, and the Student Ambassador program, so I’ve been pretty busy.

Finally, I’ll talk about work and home. In work, I’ve basically been working any day I have free. They’ve been calling me in a lot, which is good, but I’m realizing it’s hard to keep up the people-friendly personality of a cashier when I’m tired. The work is reflecting on my pay check however, and I’m not complaining about that. Finally, at home, I’ve just been doing work, sleeping, and trying to keep a family life, so that’s a little hard.

But yeah, what things are you guys up to at this time of the year? Post in the comments below!

~The JEJ
Jesse Evans-Jenkins

A Little Catch-Up


Dear Readers,

I know I haven’t been here in awhile, but I’m back now. I should probably update you guys on how my life has been. If you didn’t know, I came to Springfield-Clark Career Technical Center in Springfield, OH to work on my computer skills. I became certified in a TON of programs (Word 2007, Word 2010 Basic & Expert, PowerPoint 2007, PowerPoint 2010, Excel 2010 Basic & Expert, Outlook 2010, Access 2010, Photoshop CS5, Dreamweaver CS5, Flash CS5, and Premiere Pro CS5). From these certifications, I have became known as a Microsoft Office Specialist Master.

I have also gotten my first job at a Kroger where I get to provide excellent customer service to the Springfield area. if your around, stop by there sometime.

I got accepted to Capital University with a $21,500 renewable scholarship for Communication Studies. I’m hoping this will slowly help me make it into the world where everybody knows your name, but if not, well, then I’ll at least be doing something I love.

Well, yeah. That’s a quick check-in. How have you guys been? Post in the comments below!

Thanks,

Jesse Evans-Jenkins
The JEJ

JEJ Reviews: Katy Perry’s Part of Me Music Video


Katy Perry released her music video today, on Wednesday, March 21st, 2011. The video has a very Marines-type theme. The plot of the song is basically that she breaks up with her boyfriend due to him treating her badly in one way or another. While trying to recooperate, she sees an advertisement promoting women in the Marines. Then Katy,  having like 6 multiple personalities, transforms herself into a Marine to get over her husband and somewhat empower females around the world.

So basically, to me, this video was great. Unlike others, I didn’t believe that the song was particularly about Russell (mainly because it was leaked online a couple years ago. Although, the line about the diamond ring could be referring to him) and I believe this video quickly showed that there was a difference between her music world and her personal life by not showing any similarities between this mock relationship and her real life ex-flame. The video has tons of blows and I believe it shows that Katy is powerful and goes back to showing that she can get away from those flirty pop tracks to still make a hit. I highly recommend watching it below! Thanks.

All for love,
The JEJ

Watch the video: