Joining A Buddhist Fraternity Changed My College Experience
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After 10 Weeks Of Pledging A Buddhist Fraternity, I'm A Radically New Person

Things like this are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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After 10 Weeks Of Pledging A Buddhist Fraternity, I'm A Radically New Person
Jeffrey Zlotnik

Anyone who reads my articles knows that I've written about Delta Beta Tau time and time again — and here I am once more, ready to share my love for this Buddhist fraternity for the last time.

Last Sunday, after ten long weeks of pledging, I was finally initiated into Delta Beta Tau, a co-ed Buddhist fraternity on my campus.

That ceremony was the happiest, most fulfilling night of my life, and I truly mean it. I love hyperbole just as much as the next person, but nothing about what I'm saying is an exaggeration. I have never felt so much love and adoration between a group of people before, and I would live forever in that moment if I could. It was the kind of happy where your cheeks begin to ache from smiling so hard, your heart feels light, and everything is adorned in a warm haze.

Words can never explain what it means to be part of Delta Beta Tau - it's something you have to go through personally to understand. All I can say is that pledging was the most rewarding experience in so many ways — spiritually, socially, mentally, and emotionally.

I am, without a doubt, infinitely more secure in who I am as a person thanks to this experience.

Delta Beta Tau's motto, "For the benefit of others" became something I vow to live by each day. I've grown away from the shy, reserved girl I used to be and flourished into someone who is rejuvenated by others. As someone who blindly accepted being introverted, this change in character is a significant step.

Delta Beta Tau gifted me with a place to be who I am: the girl who hugs and loves everyone or dances in place just because. It gave me a place to grow and be loved by people who, for the most part, value the little things about me.

Then there are the general life lessons pledging has taught us all.

One of my pledge brothers said he learned three things from Delta Beta Tau: happiness is only real when shared, the common denominator for unhappiness is yourself, and the energy you put out into the world is what you'll get back.

Of course, some may argue that you can be happy alone or that mental disorders can be the cause of our unhappiness. While I wholeheartedly agree with these statements and will always be an advocate for mental health, I also believe we play a large role in creating fulfilling lives. Just as my friend said, whatever energy we put out is what will come back around, so it's better to spread positivity than negativity. It's easy to get caught in a downward spiral of cynicism, but it ultimately gets you nowhere in life. Negativity is draining, but when you share positive energy with others, you can only feel happier.

In the end, this is the most important lesson I've learned: you have to be proactive if you want to bring more happiness to your life. Sometimes you have to be the first one to say "hello," or forcefully kick yourself out of your comfort zone to meet new people. You can't sit back and expect good things to come to you; you have to work for it.

One of my favorite sayings is "if it's meant to be, it's up to me" and I intentionally followed this advice lately. It's precisely what I did when I pledged Delta Beta Tau, and now I'm thriving. Eight months ago I was miserable but today I'm on top of the world.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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