I remember the night we gathered around the Delta Sigma Phi Chapter Room in House S, eyes glued to the television. When No. 1 was chosen, the phone rang and a sad mother apologized to her unlucky son. As the night progressed, sighs could be heard, not only in the room, but all over campus.
My number came up as 25, and I knew that there was no room for failure while at Duke. It certainly made me focus on my studies more than I had, and also changed the way I thought about my future…much the same way one feels upon hearing a life-threatening diagnosis from a physician. So, I suppose the lottery took some of the joy out of my college experience, but channeled me in a direction which has had a wonderful outcome. I decided to pursue dentistry as a career and have no regrets at all.
Incidentally, I did serve two years in the Army after graduation from Dental School and remember it as two of the best years of my life.