How My Fraternity Prepared Me for D.C.

How My Fraternity Prepared Me for D.C.

Google the word “fraternity.” Regardless of where you’re reading this from, your age, or even if you are not a part of Greek Life, I don’t think you’ll be surprised by the amount of negative headlines you run across. Now, I’m certainly not immune to the fact that not all fraternities are perfect organizations. However, having had the chance to reflect on my own experience as a Sigma Chi at Samford, I’m reminded of the invaluable lessons it taught me and how I translated those skills directly to TWC and my internship.


1. Uncomfortable Environments Lead to Unexpected Growth

Take a second and reflect on the times where you have grown the most. I think you’ll find a commonality. I believe you’ll find that right before those moments of growth, you were placed in a situation that was uncomfortable. Like I’ve mentioned before, my decision to move to D.C. and leave my comfortable environment behind wasn’t easy. In fact, it was incredibly nerve-racking. In the back of my mind though, I knew what jumping into a new world would look like. I had experienced it when I chose to pledge Sigma Chi and surround myself with 38 guys who were each incredibly different. Over the course of the next few months, my pledge brothers and I broke down the barriers we once had between us, took on challenges as a team, and came to not only appreciate our differences, but grow from them. At TWC, I have been given the opportunity to be surrounded by more than 250 of the most driven and successful students from across the globe. As nervous as I was coming into TWC, I have found that, much like my experience in the fraternity, being placed in what seems like an uncomfortable environment at first can lead to unexpected amounts of growth in the end.


A few of my pledge brothers and I (Freshman year)

2. Powering Through the Hard Times is Rewarding

As a Sigma Chi pledge, skipping class was not an option, wearing a collared shirt was a must, and mandatory study hours were definitely a thing. Although on the surface these tasks may sound petty and pointless, I will always appreciate the emphasis Sigma Chi put on not being complacent. The skills and confidence I gained as a pledge have given me the boost I needed during my hard times at TWC. Although I will never compare TWC to my pledge experience, the tough schedule can sometimes give me reminders of the hard work and dedication it takes to have a successful experience. If you’re looking for a semester where you’ll be pushed to new limits, TWC might just be your answer. Although you’ll have tons of time to explore D.C. on the weekends, the work week is meant to stretch you, challenge you, and force you to keep pushing on. But don’t worry…you will have amazing support along the way! My LEAD instructor, professor, and new friends have been key in making these first few weeks a success.


3. Connections Really Do Make a Difference

As a freshman in college, I was already planning ahead for my future. One of the major reasons I chose to join Sigma Chi was because I wanted to be a part of the expansive 300,000+ member group. I never imagined I’d get to reap the benefits on my very first day on Capitol Hill. As I set my padfolio down on the table before my first meeting with my supervisor, he quickly looked up at me and asked, “’re a Sigma Chi, too?” The Greek letters on the leather cover revealed my affiliation and our conversation began with our experiences in Sigma Chi at different universities. The mutual bond helped us immediately grow close.

If I’ve taken one key lesson from TWC so far, it has to be the importance of networking and the power of making close connections. TWC's alumni base of more than 50,000 sets up events for current students to be able to learn and grow from the past experiences shared by former alumni. My favorite was being able to hear from an alumni who interned at the White House directly after TWC. Just as I learned skills and benefitted from being a member of Sigma Chi, I am equally excited to continue to grow as a student at TWC and look forward to reflecting on my journey at the end!


Alex, my "big" in Sigma Chi


Living the Dream,
Austin Ferrer

D.C. fact: Both Tennessee Senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, are Sigma Chi’s.

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