One of the best experiences of my life was being in a fraternity during college. There are a lot of preconceived notions about what it’s like being a part of a fraternity. Some are misconceptions, but most of them are probably true. I gained so much more from my experience than just the “Animal House” antics people think about. Not only did I make friends that I will know for the rest of my life, but I was given opportunities to lead my chapter and practice skills that couldn’t have been taught in a class.
As it turns out, Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) continues to give me chances to learn and grow. For over a year now I have been a member of the Board of Advisers, which basically acts as an oversight committee for different functions of the fraternity’s business. We provide consistent leadership and oversee the finances and housing for the undergraduate chapter. We aren’t running a billion dollar business, but it’s still good experience for a 29 year old.
During our most recent meeting the Board’s Chairman resigned. I was nominated, accepted and was voted as the new Chairman. This position comes with a pretty big burden of responsibility, but it is also a big opportunity for me, not only because it will give me practice in things I wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to, but it is a chance to help turn around my struggling chapter and actually make a difference in those kids’ lives. It’s also kind of awesome on a resume.
I’m never afraid of a new challenge. I’ve always known I’m capable of doing most anything I want out of life. I do these things to push myself and gain exposure to people and situations. I have no doubt that the skills I learned from being in these leadership roles have helped me in the real world. Whether it’s running a meeting, speaking in front of people or mediating a disagreement in my office, TKE has made me better at it. And, one day, when I’m a board member for another organization, TKE will have helped me there too.
There are several of my friends from high school who don’t understand why I’m so invested. In fact there are several of my college friends that ask me why I care so much. The best reason I can give is that the opportunities that I was given through this organization have made me a better person today, and if I can help give that to someone else, then it’s worth the time I’ve invested.
The way I look at it is this is a great opportunity for a 29 year old, I just hope I don’t let anyone down. I told the group at the meeting that I had a lot to learn, but my toughest critic will always be myself. I’m always so critical of myself and such a perfectionist that if anyone ends up disappointed, it will be me most of all