I am spending a few days in Minneapolis at the National Association for Campus Activities board meeting and national convention.  Just being a part of this event makes me nostalgic and brings back many fond memories of my original time on the board “back in the day” when I was directly involved instead of a guest.

From the time I started my career in student activities and met the then chair of the board*, I wanted to lead the organization. Easier said than done!  I was very involved on the regional level, but when I ran for a seat on the board, I was not elected. I was heartbroken.

Not too long after that, the new chair called me and asked if I wanted to run the national convention.  Choosing to do so would have precluded my opportunity to run for the board the next year.  Oh, the dilemma!  Take a great position now or hold out for something with no guarantee — what to do?!

I waited.  And eventually was elected, and did serve as chair of the board. The whole experience remains one of the highlights of my career, and without a doubt directly led to other professional positions and influenced my entire future path.

I can be a rare thing to really know what you want, but if you do, hold out for it.  I know if I had done the convention instead, I would have always second guessed my decision.  Wonder-ing is a far cry from wonder-ful.  Wait for the latter.

— beth triplett

*the incomparable Sara Boatman

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