This summer I attended my fraternity's 175th general convention in the place it was founded; Miami University of Oxford, Ohio. It was truly a great experience and something I will never forget. I'm blessed with the opportunity to be able to meet the people I did and to see where it all started. When I was told that all travel expenses were going to be covered by the fraternity and that I would have the chance to travel to the mid west/east coast for the first time, I knew this opportunity was something I couldn't pass up. This four day experience consisted mostly of meetings and seminars, which felt pretty repetitive at times but I have to say I really learned a lot.
As part of the general convention experience, I was able to attend the Peter F. Greiner Leadership College which aims to provide undergraduates of Beta Theta Pi with leadership and personal development training. The curriculum also provided participants with time-tested concepts and skills that can be used in college and beyond. Though most of my time in Oxford, Ohio consisted of meetings and seminars we were also given leisure time in the evening to relax and meet other Betas in the town of Oxford. This is where I met most of my connections and received some of the best insight I have ever received and will use in the future. Some of the greatest highlights of my trip were meeting Erik Stolhanski from the movie Super Troopers and receiving a business card from the general president of the entire Beta Theta Pi organization after having a good talk with him at a bar. Though I've had my doubts about if you can really make future connections or not with a fraternity organization, I was completely blown away this weekend with how many people really genuilly cared for others of the Beta Theta Pi organization. On the way back home, I met another older gentlemen at the airport who was a Beta and we literally talked for a whole two hours about each others lives. We exchanged information and I know he will be a connection I will always have and I'm sure he'll be calling me in the near future to check up on me and see how I'm doing. Meeting all kinds of people from all over the U.S. and even parts of Canada was quite a culture shock for me and I'm glad I was able to become acquainted with all these different people. I was pretty shocked to hear people from the South tell me I had an accent, which is something I've definitely never heard before. Anyways, I have to say that this was one of the best experiences I have ever had I'm sure I will be attending next year's convention in Orlando, Florida!