Fraternally Yours

Being a teenager is all about putting yourself out there. I can person say the absolute worst thing is to have someone turn you down when you've done your best to get to know them.  The truth of the matter outs not everyone is going to like you or been click with root instantly. Friendship, fraternal brotherhood or otherwise is not some magical instantaneous thing, like freaking accidentally Instagram stalking, and double tapping the heart and trying to quickly undo before anyone notices. It's definitely an ongoing learning process for everyone. But until I see you again, fraternally yours.
  
Fraternity has so many different meanings and contexts depending on who you ask. Well for me, my fraternity is about brotherhood, service and democracy. That means taking people at face value, knowing they're worth it, and trusting them. Service is giving back to the community, and showing compassion towards anyone you come into contact with. Democracy is justice and accountability without special treatment. My fraternity is Phi Mu Delta and I am my fraternity. I'm not some douchey date-raping disrespectful bro in a frat - I'm a conscious, involved and excellent member of society that happens to have a strong fraternal bond. I know what I wanted out of college other than a degree and some memories, friends that would last a lifetime - that's what I've got with my fraternal brothers. I know I'll be the godfather to their kids, the best man in a few wedding, and that special buddy that flies out for visits even when we're older and have graduated for this college life.  You can think whatever you want about fraternities, I'm not speaking for any others - all I know mine is about acceptance and the ability to get along with anyone you come into contact with. It's about being not apart of society, but taking an active leadership position in it as well. Fraternally yours means you're forever bound, tied, and connected to people. It means that no matter what happens, you're pledged to others, just as they are to you. It's a tether than can never be broken, destroyed or tampered with, as long as you stay fraternally yours.

Seeing people in a different context is always eye opening, that's for sure. Waking up  Friday morning was an absolute disaster to say the least. Let's just say, the whole four boys in one hotel room with one bathroom idea didn't work out to well. We're supposed to be downstairs in a few minutes, and we all wake up late. Damn, I didn't know people got that grumpy over their breakfast and coffee. Like hot freaking shat, it's like all functions are a no-go until the num-nums have been ingested. We make it downstairs, in our matching fraternal gear and attend our three programming sessions. I went to one on the job requirements for Phi Mu Delta's undergraduate representatives (who serve on our council) with the ever hilarious Leroy, and knowledgeable Chad. Then it was on to the relationship between alumni and undergrads with Joe. Definitely learned a lot there and will be putting our "forefathers" to work this year. VP of records/secretary powers activate. Lastly, it was on to brand reps and how to best market the fraternity. It's the absolute truth, that everything we do, say, and post online reflects back on us, and that includes our fraternity brothers. We've got to unify, and show a clean front that speaks to who we actually are. From there, it was back to our room so Philly, Robbie, Papa Dubois, Zachy and I could all change to get ready for our day out. We cross the street and get stopped by some college girls who are doing a survey for their class. After answering some classic tourism questions, we get the low-down on where all the fun things to do are. We stop at this Mexican specialty restaurant for lunch, and geek out telling awkward sex education stories the likes of which no one needs to know about. I get my verde salsa chicken quesadilla and we all quell our rumbling stomach monsters. From there, Phil heads to the public library, and the rest of us make our way to the waterfront. We stop at the federal reserve so our money buff, Zach, and can get his fix of monetary government lingo. We proceed to the Rock 'N' Roll where we're hit up for money (as always), and finally get to the end of the pier where we take pictures and purchase tickets for the Lake Erie cruise. We get there just in time to board and ride the front of the boat. It was literally blazing hot, like I could feel my skin cooking out in the sun, but the ride was definitely scenic. We got the historic tour, including all the various bridges of Cleveland, and braved the high seas waters of Lake Erie. It was more than epic. It was awesome just to be able to hang out, something we don't get to do very often. For now, and forever, I'm fraternally yours.
Phi Mu Delta 55th National Conclave

The boat lands, like Voyage of the Dawn Treader and it's land ho. We deboard, debunking or whatever term you use when you get off a boat (Andy Samberg montage begins here). We hike uphill and make a detour to the nearby Double Tree Hotel from some Starbucks refreshment. To say we were parched would be an understatement, I was desiccating like a freaking original Vampire Diaries blood sucker. Fruity drinks all around and we've cooled down as the sweat dried off our backs. We make a pit stop at CVS for some candy (because I'm a child, get over it) and head back to our hotel to drop off the goods. We meet back up with Phil and proceed across the street to the bowling alley/restaurant (classic Ohio) and get dinner. I get some fish and chips, and we see on the news that a Vermont man drove a tractor over seven police cars (turns out he's distantly related). Bathroom demolishing and burning rivers ensue before we're back with our fraternal buddies doing round table discussions. I get advice on how to get my youth out of the way (I may be young, but I'mma boss) and deal with some rowdy brothers bent on soiling our good fraternity name. We move on to the t-shirt auction which brings some tough, and awkward moments. That awkward moment when some makes a joke about white slavery and everyone except the minorities laugh - ooph. Never have I ever felt out of place in my fraternity until that moment right then and there. Money is raised and we're finally free to go. Back to our hotel room where we lay around telling stories of our childhoods, and laughing until the morning came.  We have an ironing party and steam every clothing item known to man, burning each other in the process. We're just dying laughing, making fun on anything and everything and just bro bonding. These is why I joined a fraternity. For people you can talk to - including all the talk of sweaty swamp ass, poop rockets, and every other bodily fluid. Yeah it goes there. I even got to watch "Suits" (the wittiest show on TV, they make pop culture references in every sentence just like me) before blogging up a storm and accidentally falling asleep on the ground. No matter what happens, I'll always be fraternally yours.

Being a teenager is all about making a worthwhile impression. Let's be real, you're either memorable or you're not. Everyone has something to offer, and deserves a chance to be known, but it's up to you to put your best self out there. If people never get the chance to experience you, then there's no way you'll get to forget to friendships. Take a chance, go out on a limb, and get out there. Make it known, that I'm fraternally yours.

My blog post question for the day is ... if you could befriend anyone in the world, who would it be and why? Well, first and foremost, Jay McGuiness, Siva Kaneswaran, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Shane Harper, and Brenton Thwaites - the ultimate bro-pack.

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