The exp of being and having a little…
It is really something different. It seems like such a strange idea when you initially hear about the idea of having a big, being a little or vice versa. But as it is explained to you, it becomes something different, something special.
Let me explain: A big is someone you have a special connection to. This person serves as your mentor in your chapter and a role model. They are more than a brother, they are family. It comes across even stranger to say that. I have a connection with my brothers that I would not trade for the world, but with my big and my little, it is different. I have a sense of pride and passion for what they do. Bigs not only mentor you, but they challenge you. They push you along the way to become more than you are.
In my case, I’ve known my big since 11th grade. We were high school friends and even spent time rooming together at a summer program. We graduated together and attended the same university. After my second year and several requests to join Greek Life, I became interested in one name that I had heard from a number of people I deeply respected. I began to do my research and ask questions. I went to events and really got to meet the men. I asked my friend about the chapter and he spoke with such passion and energy that I instantly knew I was interested. When I attended the event that made my mind up, he set the example that I still follow of how to recruit good men. We all went out and played Ultimate Frisbee, the brothers and a few interested men, and then went back to the house to discuss what justice was and what it meant to us. My friend walked with me all the way back to the house talking about the chapter and what being involved meant, time and financial responsibility, so forth and so on. When we arrived at the house, he gave me the full tour and introduced me to all the men there. He made sure I felt at home in a place that would become a home for me over the next few years. He was actively involved in me and showing me he cared about my interest in the chapter and that he cared about the chapter. He showed me that passion and thoroughness were essential to recruiting good men.
As I became a brother, first an associate member and then took my oath, he was my big. When I was initiated as a brother and received my badge, I became a part of a tradition. He passed his badge down to me. It is truly a deep connection when you share not only a family line but a badge and a friendship. I am honored and proud to call him my big to this day and am impressed and proud of him in his professional career.
Due to this, that, and the other which is neither here nor there, I did not get a little of my own until my final semester as a brother. I was serving as the VP of Membership Education when a man of merit who I had known since his First year on campus, now a junior, elected to pursue his membership as a brother of our fraternity. I was honored when he became an associate member and even more excited when I became his Big (though to be honest, he is about twice my size). And just as I am proud to watch the things my Big does, I am thrilled to see the achievements of my little, from serving as an Executive member of our RHA to his election as the president of the American Society of Civil Engineers this year.
I’ve been reading up on my fraternity history and I can tell you that it is one way to get yourself truly pumped about your letters. Look at all the achievements your alumni have reached, what the story of your founding is, all that your organization has overcome to be what it is now. But I can also tell you that the pride in your big or little can do much the same things. I cannot wait to see what major contributions my Big and my Little will have in this world. I am honored to be a part of their family line.