Snowstorm, Pea Coats & 2 a.m. Chaos: What is Your Character Defining Moment?

It was 10 years ago last weekend that I was College Royal President at the University of Guelph. Where did that time go. Seriously.

Among the many awesome things that took place that year, I think everyone will always remember 2008  as the year of the 'snow storm and coat fiasco.' It is a memory that while I cringe at first, it really was a character defining moment for me and my team of volunteers... and something I {now} laugh at when I look back.

It was early March and it had been beautiful weather until that Saturday when we were holding the annual ball. 2000+ students ascend on the University for a formal night known as the 'College Royal Ball.' That Saturday it started snowing. And it continued. All. Day. Long. To point that we had to meet late that afternoon and decide whether, for safety precautions, to cancel the ball after consulting with University administration. We decided to go on and hold the ball. If only had we known, that it would be our outsourced coat check that would be our dreaded nightmare, not the snow.

Because it was snowstorm of the century, everyone came in their formal suits and ball gowns in what felt like their snow suits. There were a lot more snow pants, boots and snow jackets that I ever remember seeing at any other ball. By the end of an epic night of dancing and drinking, 2000+ students (give or take) lined up all at once to get their myriad of clothing apparel. And what we realized quickly as an executive, was that the group we had outsourced coat check responsibilities too had not been as *organized* as we had thought - stuffing jackets here and there, not in numerical order.

It was a nightmare. Seriously, the worst nightmare of its kind.

What it turned out to be was a bonafide mess of huge piles of snow pants and jackets all unorganized - and of course, all the men's black pea coats looked all the same that year, making for an even tougher time to decipher whose jacket was whose when we were trying to rally and help.

It was a nightmare. Have I mentioned that already?

When I called my parents that morning at their chore time, 6:30 a.m. to explain what had happened, I think they could tell in my exhausted voice that I hadn't went to bed yet. 24 hours later.

To say I had to keep my composure as President; put on a brave face; role up my sleeves and go to work to help hand back jackets; all while {trying} to remain calm and stay positive for everyone around me was one of the hardest things I've done to date.

It truly was my first 'adult-like' experience where I had to put on my big girl pants and think and act like an adult. It really was a character defining moment for me as a person but also, a future glimpse into how to pull yourself together and how you have to act as a professional in the workplace when $*** hits the fan (in not so nice terms).

We all have our character defining moments. That moment that will forever be etched into your memory as the time you had to become an adult and act like one, whether you liked it or not, or whether you expected it or not. I'd love to hear your character defining moments, share below!

Happy Friday and happy College Royal weekend to those I may see back on campus this weekend! Oh and Happy St. Patty's day from your Irish friend :)

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