12 Courageous Things Every Person Should Do Before Turning 30

If you think your time is running out and life is moving faster than you can keep up with, you’re not delusional, you’re perceptive.


Time is moving faster and you are starting to lose the race. Before you realize it, you will wake up and be 30, looking back on things you wish you had accomplished, or at least attempted, in your twenties, when the world seemed a little less serious, you had much less to lose and many more excuses.

Since we have no evidentiary proof of exactly what happens after we turn cold and blue, we can only assume that we’re only here once and there are no refunds. The world is what you make it and those who take risks are usually the ones who make it worthwhile.

They understand that now is not the time to be taking precautions. Your youth, unscathed looks and energy will not be around forever and time will just be laughing at you at the end, making sure you know that it won.

Because we don’t look back on our lives, especially our early youth, thinking about all the things we didn’t attempt or the rules we didn’t break.

We think back to the time we surprised ourselves, our best moments of courage and spontaneity. We think back to the happy accidents and the moments of fate that only presented themselves when we were being bold. We think back to the risks we took and the cautions we threw to the wind.

So do yourself a favor and stop being afraid. Be the bold adventurer you always saw for yourself in your twenties and make sure you accomplish these simple courageous acts by the time you hit 30 and your life will be full of more insight and a lot fewer regrets.

Travel Alone

You haven’t truly lived until you’ve melted into another country and forgotten your own name. Only in traveling alone can you find the fear and exhilaration that will make for a trip you will never forget.

Only when you’re completely unattached to anything around you, reminding you of home or your previous life, can you lose that sense of being foreign and adapt to your surroundings as a true explorer.

Dinner For One

Just once you need to be that lone soul sitting at a restaurant with a book or blank stare. Try it once so you can know exactly how that person feels next time you see him or her — it’s usually contentment and peace. Who knows, you may find out it’s not as sad and depressing as you always assumed.

Make Friends With An Enemy

The best friends you make are usually the people you’ve hated first. There’s something about knowing people for all their flaws and evil sides before knowing them for their good.

Once you’ve seen them as the enemy, there’s really nowhere else to go except friendship. So give up your feud with someone, if for only a few minutes, and see if you can turn that hatred into love.

Tell Someone “No” Without Giving A Reason

Saying “no” is a very liberating moment. Once you’ve learned to say “no” to someone without giving an apology or long list of reasons, but because you don’t want to and this is your life, there will be a sense of liberation that will follow you the rest of your life. It will also demand respect as people learn you don’t give in because you can’t think of a good excuse.

Get Lost Without Your Phone

Leaving for unknown land without an iPhone is daunting. It doesn’t feel right and you know you’re gonna have to chat up a lot of strangers.

However, it’s never good to become attached to something and knowing you can do without your phone will bring you a tremendous sense of independence. So take an adventure and leave the phone behind. Maybe you’ll stumble across a new place or meet a handsome stranger while asking for directions.

Go On A Date With Someone Who’s Not Your Type

It’s important to be open and try new people as much as you try new foods. You may think you don’t like their glasses, their haircut or their name, but give them a chance.

The worst that happens is you spent a night out when you could have been watching “Game Of Thrones” and you will enter into your 30s knowing that much more about people and blind dates.

Make Something Then Try To Sell It

There is nothing more worthwhile in this world than creating something that will last past your death. Adding something to the world that is uniquely yours, no matter how important or well done, is something that will bring comfort and joy to your sometimes trivial existence.

Selling that something is a feat of its own, but sold or not, it’s important to never lose your ability to be creative.

Visit Relatives You’ve Never Met

We all have those relatives we’ve never seen. Maybe it’s those third cousins in Florence or the half sister no one talks to anymore.

Now is the time to reconnect with family. Open up closed doors, start connecting some branches and create the large family you always wanted.

Ask Someone Out Who’s ‘Out Of Your League’

Ask someone out and he or she may just turn you down. Ask someone out and he or she may also say yes. You’ll never know until you try swallowing your pride — and accepting the outcome is something every young cocky 20-something must experience.

Give Your Lunch Money To Someone Else

Giving up $10 is hard, but giving it away is another thing. In that moment of losing $10, you will gain a hefty amount of gratitude that may just fill you up enough to last through lunch. Even if you never do it again, experience the rush of self-sacrifice for the benefit of another.

Move To A New City

Everyone needs to be the new guy at least once. Even if it’s only for six months, a year or just a semester, get out of town to discover another one. Establish yourself somewhere that isn’t home and learn to become a citizen of another city.

Learn new city streets and find new coffee shops. Discover short cuts, local spots and hidden alcoves in a city that’s now just yours for the moment.

Fall In Love

Fall in love with as many things as possible. Have affairs all over town and romanticize as much as you can. Become obsessed with dead poets and dying trees.

Kiss the grass you’re lying in and fall madly in love with the buildings with the copper roofs. Fall in love with people, let them know you love them and expect nothing in return. Fall in love with life and you will never be alone again.

Lauren Martin, Author

Elite Daily

Photo Courtesy: Max Rive/ 500 PX

Batter Up: The Fraternity Man Apologizes


In the spring, like clockwork, baseball shows up to welcome us back to “The American Game.” People of all ages, no matter the background, will find the time to reconnect with ball clubs facing 162 possible “W’s” on a schedule. Nothing is off the table. Trades and rosters reintroduce us to veterans, help us size up our rookies. The bad calls, the cursed teams, the endless errors are all in the past. For a few bright and sunny days, anything is possible.

Baseball is a sport of repetition and mathematics. The rituals and pacing, the distance between bases and statistical data is comforting. Baseball is a safe sport, a predictable experience, made for calculated risk and hard-working risk-takers. The rules might change, but the objective doesn’t.

Baseball is life’s great metaphor. Don’t believe me? Watch this movie. In baseball, you can always come home again. You can always, even if you get caught stealing, trace your steps right back to the plate, where everything is safe.

When the pressure is on, you will make a mistake. You are going to throw a wild pitch. The odds are good that if you have any meaningful relationships in your life, you are going to do or say something that warrants an apology. A big apology. Your credibility will hang in the balance. We all have the capacity to hurt people, to change lives, to damage others, to disappoint, to take the trajectory of a relationship and turn it upside down.

Sometimes, your mistakes will happen in public. Sometimes, they will involve intimate and personal issues, and sometimes, you’ll be asked to deal with the mistakes of others. Rest assured, as a fraternity man, you’ll be asked to confront your personal mistake, and the mistakes of Pi Kappa Phi.

You’ve got to know how to make amends with people you have wronged.

Last year, I received a great letter from an IFC president, where he apologized for a small misunderstanding, and thanked me for coming to speak to the 29 fraternity presidents on his campus. When I opened Ben’s letter, he was honest, succinct, and authentic. He made a small, simple, yet meaningful apology. It is difficult to do, but he did it well.

A friend sent me a link to a public apology from another fraternity man. He has been confronted with the severe consequences of his actions, and trying to make amends. He had to craft a statement to a lot of people who would never meet him, who would never get to confront him directly, but who still demanded an apology. Even though his mistake was embarrassing and vulgar on many levels, he still, in the face of some serious credibility issues, has tried to articulate his sincere remorse. His chapter has since been suspended. Proof positive that there are many widespread consequences to mistakes that impact others.

People who don’t know when or how to apologize are emotionally handicapped. They often seem insincere and insensitive, selfish and obtuse. While the intent might not be malicious, when they hurt other people, they are often subject to serious consequences because of their inability to do one simple thing. Sometimes, loving and generous men are held back from experiencing trusting relationships because they cannot, or will not, genuinely apologize for personal wrongdoing.

Knowing how to say you are sorry and REALLY make amends is the mark of a gentleman.

A gentleman knows how to say some version of the following:

“I believe that I hurt you. I’m willing to listen to you, if you think it would help to talk.

I’m sorry, and I want to try to make amends.”

As a fraternity man, you need to know how to apologize, earnestly and with vulnerability.

Get humble, get proactive to fix the situation, get real, and quickly. Do not get defensive. Do not debate the minor issues at stake. Get personally invested in making things right.

Why? Most mistakes are because you made a selfish choice. The choice was probably about what would make you happy. But making amends? That’s always about the other person. It involves trying to provide to another person what they require to get back to a positive place. You may not receive forgiveness. As we age, our mistakes get bigger and have more significant consequences. But as a man, you MUST earnestly try to remedy the mistakes you have made.

That process, that pattern of apologizing, of offering to make amends, is always available to you. The apology from an earnest man is a sign that man is human, that he has feelings, and that he cares about other people. Apologies empower others to see the best in you, even when you have hurt someone deeply. You can absolutely count on it, the same way you can count the 216 double stitches on every baseball, the feeling on opening day, the wide expanse of green lawn that serves as a backdrop for magic.

Get right with people you might have hurt, or people you have wronged. Learn how to apologize. Try, every day, to get some damaged relationships back to good. Trace your steps back home. Then take a deep breath, try again, and swing for the fences. 

Cori Gilbert Wallace 

Vice President of Communications for Delta Gamma Fraternity 

The March Student Spotlight goes to Heath Thompson, Theta (Cincinnati)! Congrats Heath. To nominate an outstanding Pi Kapp for next month’s spotlight, email communication@pikapp.org ‪#‎WWLweds‬

The March Student Spotlight goes to Heath Thompson, Theta (Cincinnati)! Congrats Heath. To nominate an outstanding Pi Kapp for next month’s spotlight, email communication@pikapp.org ‪#‎WWLweds‬

The Importance of Brotherhood: How My Fraternity Changed My Life

When I started at San Diego State University in the fall of 2007, life was great! I had my independence and I was ready to “live it up” in college. I joined a fraternity that first semester, and it seemed like a great opportunity to meet new people and enjoy the college scene.

In the fall of 2008, something drastic happened. As a 19-year-old sophomore I suddenly became legally blind in just two months due to a rare genetic disorder called Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON). I suddenly was no longer able to read, drive, or distinguish faces, and learned that LHON has no treatment and no cure. To put my vision in perspective, put your hands together, directly in front of your face, and look around the room – I have complete peripheral vision, but no central vision. This was, by far, the toughest obstacle I’ve ever faced.

Dropping out of college seemed like the easiest and best option for me. Instead, Josh, my best friend in the fraternity, told me to come back to school and take two easy classes and in his five-class schedule he would take those two classes with me. That’s exactly what he did - I came back to school for the spring semester and took Intro to Music and Intro to Movies (tough class for a blind guy!). Josh took those classes with me, he helped me walk to and from class, he helped me tell the professors that I was legally blind and needed accommodations, and he helped me study for the exams, all of which helped me pass the classes. What Josh did for me was life changing. Eventually I graduated from SDSU with a degree in Business and I know this would not have been possible had it not been for what Josh did for me.

I can honestly say that if I was not a member of a fraternity I would not have gone back to school. I knew that I had 130 brothers who had my back, and would support me no matter what I was going through.

Do you take the time to look around at your brothers and think, “I wonder how he’s doing?” “What is he going through?” “Is there anything I can do to help him?” Ask your brothers how they’re doing and offer to help them… you never know, it could change their life.

-Jeremy Poincenot 

Jeremy Poincenot is a 24-year-old professional inspirational speaker with CAMPUSPEAK. He shares his story with audiences around the country and teaches them to be more resilient when facing life’s obstacles. Jeremy is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and is a brother Fellow, for putting on a 500-hour service learning bike ride where he and fraternity brothers raise money and awareness to help find a cure for LHON.

At age 20, Jeremy won the World Blind Golf Championship in England. Jeremy has been featured on MTV’s hit series True Life, in an episode titled True Life: I’m Losing My Sight. 

Take a look at Jeremy’s speaker profile here: http://www.campuspeak.com/speakers/poincenot

And his website here:


We are very pleased to announce that an NIC Gold Medal has been posthumously awarded to past National President and Mr. Pi Kappa Phi Dr. Phillip Summers, Alpha Psi (Indiana). And an NIC Silver Medal has been awarded to Director of Prevention Education Dr. Lori Hart! Thank you North-American Interfraternity Conference.Read more: http://bit.ly/1faVC6h

We are very pleased to announce that an NIC Gold Medal has been posthumously awarded to past National President and Mr. Pi Kappa Phi Dr. Phillip Summers, Alpha Psi (Indiana). And an NIC Silver Medal has been awarded to Director of Prevention Education Dr. Lori Hart! Thank you North-American Interfraternity Conference.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1faVC6h

7 Reasons Caring Is A Strength

In today’s society, it often seems as though being cold towards others is seen as being “strong,” and showing feelings and emotions is equivalent to being “weak,” especially for men.

People say if you don’t care then you’ll never get hurt, and if you hold no expectations for people, you’ll never be disappointed. While, in theory, these statements are true – they don’t take into account one very important piece of the puzzle:

We are all human, and we all have wants, needs, and emotions. Ignoring our very most inner core is, I would argue: A weakness.

Here are seven reasons why caring is actually  strength: http://bit.ly/1kFv9m2 

Re-blog from James Micheal Sama 


9 Things Great Leaders Say Every Day

Your words are among your greatest tools. They’re a window into your vision, your values and your abilities. So, whether you’re running a giant organization or just trying to herd a group toward a certain outcome, there are messages you need to communicate constantly in order to lead effectively.

Start every day planning to say each of these things to at least one person, and watch the results: http://bit.ly/1e4Is9u

Today is National Spread the Word to End the Word Awareness Day. We encourage everyone to help stamp out the use of the R-word: “retard” or “retarded,” by taking the pledge at www.r-word.org. Help make “Respect” the new R-word. Take a look at what Pi Kapps are doing to support this cause:http://bit.ly/1hLb6SG

Today is National Spread the Word to End the Word Awareness Day. We encourage everyone to help stamp out the use of the R-word: “retard” or “retarded,” by taking the pledge at www.r-word.org. Help make “Respect” the new R-word. Take a look at what Pi Kapps are doing to support this cause:http://bit.ly/1hLb6SG

The “Why” of Pi Kappa Phi

With National Ritual Celebration Week underway, I think it’s important to take a moment to celebrate the uniqueness of our own Ritual.  In his now famous TED Talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” Simon Sinek challenges us to explore our “Why” — our core purpose and beliefs.


So often we get caught up in “What” we do and “How” we do it that we fail to remember our “Why” — we fail to remember WHY we exist and WHY we’re proud to be brothers of Pi Kappa Phi.

So, what is it that sets Pi Kappa Phi apart from other fraternities? Everyone offers brotherhood, however we have something truly unique.

We all know the story of our Founders’ desire to lead the Chrestomathic Literary Society.  Nu Phi formed in an effort to seize the leadership of the Society; however, the attempt was thwarted when some of the original 15 — men they believed to be their friends — proved to be disloyal. Devastated by this betrayal, the seven loyal Nu Phis created a new group — to be known as Pi Kappa Phi — founded on the principles of true friendship seen throughout the Classics.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the curriculum at the College of Charleston focused heavily on Greek and Latin, as well as classical literature, philosophy, and ethics. Students read and pondered the works of Socrates and Aristotle, in particular Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.  In this foundational work, Aristotle examines extensively the ideals of friendship.

Although Aristotle describes three forms of friendship, he concludes that friendships of virtue — those “between people who are good and alike in virtue” — are the highest good a person can achieve. They are the ultimate form of love.

This level of friendship happens between few people, is long lasting, and can only be shared with those of a certain moral character. People involved in virtuous friendships must be able to value selflessness over self-interest, and as such, their relationships are based on treating others as they want to be treated. Their friendships are based on wanting what is best for the other person. Their friendships are based on a love, authenticity, and ethic of care that cannot be matched.

I believe this is our “Why” — the fundamental belief upon which our Founders created Pi Kappa Phi — and that our virtuous friendship — between all members — must continue to define our Brotherhood, today, tomorrow, and always. 

Dick Baker, Delta Beta (North Georgia)

Dick Baker is the chairman of the Volunteer Standing Committee and also serves on the Ritual and Insignia Committee as dean of the Certified Ritualist Program.  In 2010, he was named the Volunteer of the Year and in 2012 was awarded the Merit Citation, the fraternity’s second highest honor.  His wife Katie is currently on the national headquarters staff and their son Trey is an alumnus of Tau Chapter at NC State