When I was in the 8th grade, I played the trombone in the school band. When I was in the 8th grade, I was horrible at the trombone, but my friends were in the band, so I stuck with it. I remember in class one day, we were practicing for our annual trip to St. Louis to play a concert at Six Flags, and our conductor made us play the same section repeatedly because the trombone section could not get it right. Finally, I decided to test a theory I had, and when we repeated the section for the fifteenth time, I just decided not to play. Immediately the conductor said, “Finally, that’s how it’s supposed to sound,” and we continued. Sometimes, less is more and I was the trombonist that needed to be subtracted from the equation. I realized well before that point that I was not going to make my living playing the trombone, but it was at that moment that I realized that I may be wasting my time.
In Junior High, I was playing football, basketball, baseball, and wrestling, and I was in the band and obviously a full-time student. At this time, my grades were slightly below average, but I was having fun with my friends, so it really didn’t matter all that much to me. However, when I got to high school, I realized that if I wanted to go to college, I needed to buckle down. The first thing I did was quit the band (no one in the department threw up any roadblocks on my way out of there). I made the greatest academic discovery of my life during my senior year of high school, and it even helped me through my four years in college. I made a time budget. I created a list of everything I needed to do during the week and I how much time it would take me to get it done. I included everything from classes and intramurals to the television shows I wanted to watch. I then put everything I needed to do that week on a post-it note and marked it off when it was done. I did this so I could get everything I needed to get done during the week and have the weekends to do whatever I wanted. I was able to enjoy college a lot more since I was getting good grades and having fun. The only way I was able to do that was because I organized my time well.
Time management skills are an important part of growing up. To be successful in college and ultimately in life, you have to be able to buckle down and get things done. One of our three cardinal principles is sound learning, and part of teaching our Phikeias about sound learning is how to put themselves in a situation to succeed academically. There are people out there who can play five hours of Call of Duty or watch TV all night and still get good grades. Some freshmen believe they are that person, but only after a semester of hardship do they realize they are not in high school anymore. Every chapter should take advantage of their Phikeia program to teach their Phikeia the necessary skills to succeed academically. Then, when they are brothers, they won’t have to try to recover from the bad semester they had their freshman year. There are many different ways to help your Phikeias get better grades, but I just wanted to share the one thing that worked best for me.
Ben is a second-year leadership consultant who will be traveling the Northeast region. He is a Re-founding Father of Indiana Alpha, graduating from Indiana University in 2008 with a degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice. Ben was raised near Indianapolis and has been a loyal Colts and Indiana Hoosiers fan his entire life and also enjoys watching baseball and playing golf. He is looking forward to continuing his work with the chapters in the Northeast this upcoming school year.