Brother Where Art Thou

Summer vacation means free time, good fun, and a well deserved break from school. When you’re in a fraternity, it might (and maybe should) mean something different. One of the biggest occurrences in the fraternity movement is the phenomenon of the “disappearing brother.” We all pack up from school and head home to our family and friends, or jobs and internships. When we’re done with our school year sometimes it seems like we’re done “being in a fraternity.” Our letters get packed away, and with it all contact with the rest of the brothers we vowed to be forever linked to. The search for our brothers ends now, oh brother where art thou.

It’s totally understandable that your contact with your brothers can easily take a hit since you aren’t seeing them everyday, attending chapter meetings, and going to events when you’ve all gone your separate ways, but there are so many things you can do to stay active and keep that camaraderie going. Fraternity brothers are just not friends from school, they’re friends for life, and communication is a two-way street. The flow needs to come from both sides. Do your part and reach out to your brothers when you can.

Tips to Stay Connected with your Brothers:

1) Text/Call – Texting is our livelihood for communication nowadays, use it. It takes a few seconds to send out a mass text message to your brothers just to check in (make sure they’re alive), and see how they’re doing. I send one out weekly and bi-weekly. Your brothers will appreciate it, and it’s always good to hear from a brother. Reaching out is never a bad thing in a fraternity. Take it upon yourself to be the brother who texts/calls and keeps in semi-regular contact with your brothers. Some are and will be more responsive than others.

2) Facebook – Almost every fraternity has a Facebook group … yet again, use it! What are you waiting for, post, like and update your brothers on what’s going in your life. They want to know, and there’s nothing to be afraid of. Engage and communicate. Post your pictures, share your statuses and all the rest. Check Facebook every once in a while to stay in the know about what’s going on. The closer you inch towards back to school, necessary info will be shared – don’t be left out!

3) Skype – Video calling is definitely one of the coolest inventions of this century. Hop on Skype (you can do it right from Facebook) or start a google hangout with a brother or two. Watch a sports game together or your favorite show. Just talk and catch up. One of my brothers was abroad all year and I can’t tell you how important it was for us to Skype and communicate with him, it gets lonely away from your friends. Dial them up and say hey.

4) Day Trips & Meet Ups – If you haven’t gone to far away from school or one another, create plans for daytrips and meetups to do the stuff you never actually get to do during the school year. Roadtrip to amusement parks, head down to the beach for a barbecue or hit up a movie marathon. Choose an activity like paintball, go-karting, or a 3D trampoline arena, and let your brothers know when you’re free. When you’re back with your brothers, everything seems to just fall back into place.

Summer has a way of not only bringing people together but tearing them apart. Don’t be the brother that goes missing or falls the face of the Earth for 3 months. Brothers are supposed to be there for one another, year round. Do your part as a brother and communicate, summer or not!

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