This I Believe

Brian - Portsmouth, Virginia
Entered on November 16, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in opportunity out of defeat. This statement has always defined the way that I look at life, but a recent event helped me to see just how true it is to me. At the beginning of this semester, I started pledging with a fraternity. I wasn’t quite sure whether I would like the whole frat thing at first, but I decided that I wouldn’t let the stereotypes keep me from trying something new. As the semester rolled on, I became closer with the other guys that were pledging with me, and I realized that this was really something I wanted to be a part of. However, after all of the good times, all the late night trips to taco bell, and all the friends that I had grown close to, I was voted out of the pledge class. Apparently, three of the Brothers did not feel that some of us were worthy of belonging to something they had to work to become a part of. I felt let down; as if I had just lost everything that I had been striving towards and all the friends I had made. I wasn’t really mad, just very disappointed. After I found out the bad news, I walked out of the room with my head hung low, feeling alone and let down. I walked over to the guys that had made it to congratulate them. Instead of thanks and sympathy, I heard things like, “This doesn’t change anything between us,” and, “We still consider you our brother.” I knew that we were close, but I didn’t expect the amount of support that I received from them. It was then that I realized what had just happened. I may not have made it into the fraternity, but I still had my brothers, my real brothers. I didn’t need Greek letters or a national charter to see that. Instead, it was the experiences that I had with my pledge brothers that brought us together. I was glad that I was given the opportunity to see that I had real friends. I was told that I could pledge again in the spring, and a lot of people told me that they hoped that I would. I’m still not sure if I will or not, it is something that I will decide later. I am sure what other opportunities will come out of my situation, but at least I know that my experience was not a waste of time. It reminded me that when I am faced with a loss, I know that there is always an opportunity to learn something that will help me in life.