Big Brother Experience

Published by admin on February 13, 2017

By Nick Anderson

Mitch Dumais and I, my freshman year. Credit: Grey Larson

As a prospective member, you are thrown into bizarre ceremonies, new terms, and new people. You don’t entirely know what to expect as a new member, but you’re told you’ll find brotherhood, service, and music. A surprise for most is getting assigned a big brother, a mentor to help you through the KKY process and a friend when you need it. My big brother happened to be someone I had seen almost every day – the current head drum major of the Husky Marching Band. We were matched on the basis of our career plans to be doctors, and I hoped to bond over the first year of my journey to medical school. Our relationship faded to obscurity as I became a full member of the chapter, his role satisfied. We got coffee for a few times as I went through the year, and he seemed so very mellow despite his many leadership roles in his frat and Husky Band. He was really nice and encouraging, letting me know about his journey through the years. I was impressed at how much time he made for me – I was swamped with my work, and I could hardly make time for him – how could he?

Over the next quarter, our career aspirations diverged a bit. My interests started to change, and I started studying engineering instead of some version of pre-med. We couldn’t really bond over my chemistry classes, but it didn’t seem to matter. He was really supportive of my new plans. I asked him about joining Greek life, balancing studying and a social life, and about working out in the void of common interests. We both groaned at long chapter meetings, enjoyed the same band drama, and didn’t really stop catching up periodically as the quarter drew to an end. He eventually graduated, and we still caught up as he joined a lab, applied to medical school, had his house burn down. He helped me through some breakups, some big professional decisions, and dealing with the stress of school.

His role didn’t end when his time as a Gamma Active stopped. He’s moved onto adult life entirely; he’s since gotten into medical school. I’ve been assigned two little brothers since, but he’s still a huge role model and mentor for me. For me, a big brother should be that long term friend and mentor past the end of prospective membership that Mitch was to me. Beginning KKPsi you don’t entirely know what to expect, but it would have been hard to predict how formative the KKPsi experience would be.