With graduation about eight weeks away, seniors (if they already haven’t started) are beginning to feel that overwhelming sensation called senioritis. This rare condition affects the victim by decreasing their interest and increasing their levels of procrastination. For some, they get the opposite, feeling a lingering sense of near-impending doom. Their reality may appear to be closing in on them and the thought of “adulthood” is a dark, luminous cloud hovering over their head. When it comes to the Senior Brother, they might begin to disengage from the actions of the fraternity. These brothers are living between worlds, half in college and half inching out. They attend the occasional event or make an appearance at a chapter meeting. Be it senioritis, or stress, how does the rest of the fraternity keep them involved before they walk across that stage? Senior brothers, this one’s for you.
Input: Senior brothers usually (not necessarily) have the most experience in the fraternity realm. They’ve done and experienced a lot specifically in the context of keeping your chapter alive. Let them that you value their thoughts, opinions and still need their advice. Making them feel included will keep that buy in strong.
Gratitude: Just like sports team might do, showcase the work of the senior brothers in a special night, dedicated to them. Be it during the school year or before graduation, when families might be present, have a Senior Night, inviting family and friends to honor the brothers that will be physically leaving, but never leaving in spirit. Have their little create a little slideshow or make a poster. If brave, have a Senior Roast (in lighthearted fun). Whatever you do, admonish people speak from the heart. Have your departing brothers share their fondest moments or lend some advice to future brothers.
The last point is knowledge. Senior brothers might remember events that the fraternity did, or ideas that never worked that can be passed on to the next generation of brothers. At camp, it’s the duty of a past director to help guide a new director on the right path. The Senior Brother is in a way similar, helping steer new members towards an idea of what the fraternity is all about and setting themselves as an example to look up to. So though their time at the University might be over, the part that they played in the fraternity will always be there. So let them know, show that once a brother, always a brother.
Senior brothers, finish strong. Give your fraternity all you’ve got. You owe it to yourself to go out with bang instead of fizzling out or fading to gray. It’s so easy to get caught up in the details of your life, graduate schools, moving to new places, staying on parents’ healthcare plans, and everything in between. Not to say that your future isn’t important but it’s worth living in the moment as you complete your college experience. Experience where you are while you there. Be fully present, engage, listen, and value what’s going on around you and the people you’re with before moving on. Make a point to connect with people you’ve always wanted to do so with (it’s not that awkward actually) and solidify your connections that you want to keep post graduation. You joined for life and for life you will be a member. Remember that!
Don’t Forget to Stay Awesome, Brother Lemos