My fraternity’s national governing council is comprised of twelve alumni brothers and one undergraduate brother. The undergraduate brother is elected at convention every year. I was fortunate enough to be elected as an undergraduate, and that was a huge break for me.
How I got elected though was in doubt until the morning of the election. It appeared to me that it was a two man race – myself and another popular brother. My best guess had my chances of 50/50.
However, the morning of the election, the other brother never showed up. Turns out, he partied too hard the night before, got drunk and was hung over. I ended up winning essentially by default.
This was a huge break for me. Because of that experience, I was able to meet fantastic alumni brothers who broadened my understanding of the fraternity. I was elected to become IFC president at my school on the strength of having this experience on my resume.
From there, I won my University’s Greek Man of the Year award and my Fraternity’s National Most Outstanding Undergraduate award – in large part due to the opportunities that were afforded me by winning the council election.
There is a big lesson here. You never know when your big break will happen. When you sense that you might have that opportunity, don’t blow it!
For the longest time, I thought it was dumb luck that I was in the right place at the right time. Looking back though, it was more than that. I made sure that I gave myself a chance of something special happening, because I realized I had a great opportunity. And that made a world of difference in my life.