My first two years at the University of North Florida weren’t exactly what I saw as the ideal “college life.” I was simply going through the motions, meeting acquaintances in the dorms, going to general education classes, and studying in the library for hours on end trying to make good grades. A part of me needed something more, something real and genuine. After some pushing from a Sigma Chi brother and friend, I found myself on Thursday night of Rush week at the Sigma Chi Smoker. Very hesitant and nervous, I listened to speakers and met some of the great brothers that were present. When the night came to an end and I was on my way back home, I got the phone call offering me my bid into the Kappa Beta Chapter of Sigma Chi. I accepted immediately and had no idea that at that very moment my entire life had changed.
Going into pledgeship, I had no idea what to expect. Me and a group of college students were supposed to grow together and learn about ourselves. I didn’t know what else I could possibly learn about myself at the age of 21 that I didn’t already know, especially with a bunch of guys fresh out of high school. Boy, was I wrong. Pledgeship was an extraordinary time to reflect on my past, learn about the organization, and find ways for a better future. So many things took place that Fall semester and it all led up to, so far, the greatest day of my life: My Initiation into the brotherhood of The Sigma Chi Fraternity.
As a brother, I wanted to take as much as I could from this incredible experience because I knew that I only had a limited amount of time left in my college career. The sand in the hourglass was definitely running low. I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in socials with beautiful sorority women, help with multiple philanthropic events, hold a position within the Chapter, and take a lifelong little brother the following Fall semester after my own Initiation. When it was time for my graduation in the Spring of 2012, it was hard to let this part of my life go because it had given me so much.
Reflecting on my pledgeship days, I remembered something very important I learned: Sigma Chi is a lifelong bond that I would never lose. The brotherhood I joined will always be there for me as I am for each one of them. Live to the fullest. Live without regret and become a leader among men. Rush Sigma Chi.
Truly and sincerely,
Michael B. Bridge
NORTH FLORIDA ‘12
F2010 (Alpha Omicron) #398