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Taking Advantage Of Rush

Pledge. After rush everyone else will go back to classes and their dorms and maybe within the next year talk about that awesome dinner or that really cool jaunt. They will talk about Physics and Math and 6.XXX. They will live as individuals at a great school and in twenty years will remember that they survived MIT. But life is not about surviving so you will pledge. You will go to the pledge party next week and meet all the brothers. You will meet your pledge brothers and enter the pledge program. Your pledge class will become friends, go out on the weekends, and tell each other crazy stories. You will make crazier stories on Orange Tours and pledge projects and nights in town and at Wellesley. You will do things that will make you smile and laugh. You will do stupid stuff that your fellow pledges will rag you about for weeks, and then they will hook up with her. You will choose your big brother because he is your friend.

Then you will become a brother. You will go through initiation and be shown why you memorized your pledge book. The secrets you will be shown you will pledge to hold secret forever. You will begin to fit into the house. You will become friends with the upperclassmen and look to them. And for them. When you pass them in the halls you will say more than “Hi” or “3.14159.” You will talk to them about life and about their weekend and about all the things that keep you from jumping off the Green building.

Then you will become an upperclassman. You will become an officer of your house and take on some responsibility. You will work for the house because it is your home. The more you do, the more you will want to do. You will learn so much leading your peers, and you will expand the way you see the world. Life isn’t about just you, more will matter. You will get more stuff and a single. You always will leave your door open so your brothers can come in. You will paint your room the color you want it. You will punch a hole in your wall, just to see what it feels like. It will hurt. You might fix the hole ... eventually.

You will be a senior. You will miss the house even before you leave. Everyone will look up to you because you just look like someone to look up to. You will give all your letters away because you want to leave a legacy. You will graduate. MIT will be the greatest time of your life because you will have friends, brothers, real friends, the kind that talk about their family and mean you.

MIT is hard. It demands too much sometimes, but the difference between surviving and excelling lies in the friends you make and the stories you can’t tell to your parents. Pledge, and the fraternity will provide the stories.

Jack Williard ’04