Monday, May 13, 2013

Experience Of a Lifetime

By Hassaan Chaudhary

As a Community College student, I feel privileged and honored to attend 2013 PTK International Convention where I got the opportunity to represent my college along with my other five members. The event was held at San Jose, California from April 3-7, 2013. Phi Theta Kappa organizes such beautiful occasions to honor students’ hard work and dedication they have displayed throughout the year on their campuses. This particular conference was on a large-scale as compared to the other two PTK events (Leadership and Regional). Our odyssey to the convention was a hectic one as we had to travel several miles from New York City to San Jose via plane. But the journey went smoothly and serenely and we reached to our destination point without any hassle.

On the very first day of the event, I met with a lot of people and talked to them about PTK and other things. I also attended numerous educational sessions where I got this golden and rare opportunity to learn about different topics (starting from tolerance, civility to team-building). I was quite ebullient when I heard about these sessions. I always wanted to participate in such candid discussions and conversations. On the other hand, I received a big surprise when I entered into the main hall to attend our first General Session of the event. I was just flabbergasted to see the size of the crowd and the magnitude of the event. That’s where I like PTK the most. It provides you with those moments you have never experienced in your whole life. It provides you with those networking and leadership opportunities one can hardly get in a four-year institution. Anyway, without wasting any time, I started to chat with different PTK members. I wanted to know about their perspective on this event. Almost everyone was excited and elated. The same cycle repeats for two days. In the morning, I used to attend the educational forums while in the evening, we all (as a group) had to participate in General Sessions. More than 1,300 Phi Theta Kappa Chapters and 4,000 members have participated in the event.

The most satisfying moment was when our fellow Laguardia members Svetlana and Moreen won the awards of ‘Most Distinguished Member’ and ‘Most Distinguished Officer’ respectively. They really deserved each accolade. Both these shining PTK members were nominated for the awards and achieved them during the Hallmark Ceremony. Unlike in Regional Conference, we did not receive more awards. However, it was expected as the competition was tough. Towards the end, a dance party was organized for all of the participants to enjoy the moment. Many students decided to take part in it. I could hardly dance. So, I humbly declined the request (of my friends) to dance with them. We were scheduled to leave from San Jose on April 7th. We were exhausted and it was visible from our faces. However, it was an experience I could never forget. The convention definitely outnumbered our expectations. We thoroughly enjoyed it. I really would like to thank Phi Theta Kappa for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I strongly urge all my PTK members to actively participate in our meetings and get a unique chance to visit to the PTK International Convention. 

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