“It’s All Greek To Me” tells the individual stories of MIT sorority girls. Check in every Tuesday to hear a new voice. Denzil Sikka ’13 is a senior in Course 6 at MIT and president of Panhel, the governing council of all six MIT sororities.
Being a senior, every day is sort of its own “last day.” Next Tuesday will be my “last” Reg Day at MIT. Next week will be my “last” first week of school at MIT. These final moments have me thinking about how my time here at this wonderful institution is coming to a close, and it has me anxiously fearing yet still eagerly waiting for more “lasts” to pass me by.
One of those “lasts” that I will be surprisingly sad to see go is my final Sorority Recruitment. My freshman year, I wrote an article for The Tech stating that I thought Recruitment was a commitment, requiring “an extreme amount of small talk, Barbie-like smiles, and buckets full of patience” and that in contrast, Rush was “long hours of as much crammed-in fun as possible.” But having said that, I went on to elaborate that I was thankful that I had the chance to participate in Recruitment instead of Rush because I ended up learning so much about all the sororities and through a mutual selection process, I ended up finding the best fit for me!
Three years later, I can only say that my gratitude has increased a million-fold. Coming to MIT, I never saw myself as a sorority girl. Shows like Greek, movies like Animal House, and MIT’s reputation gave me a very set expectation about my college experience, and I wasn’t sure how Greek Life fit into that. Yet, once I was here, I saw that most of the older girls that I had been hanging out with during CPW and Orientation, women I looked up to and wanted to emulate in a couple of years, were affiliated. And being millions of miles away from my home in California, I really wanted what they said a sorority could offer me: a community, a family, a home away from home.
My sorority has been my chance to have unforgettable adventures and collegiate experiences and has allowed me to make lasting bonds. My sisters are my mentors, role models, and, most importantly, my closest friends. This past summer, I was in New York City for my internship, and despite being in a new place, I never felt alone because I always had sisters either visiting me or hanging out with me on weekends. When I first got to New York, I was so burnt out from the last semester that if it hadn’t been for my sisters, I don’t think I would ever have left my bed. With them I discovered the greatest restaurants and experienced adventures such as midnight bowling, mini-golfing, and Fourth of July rooftop fireworks.
It’s hard to explain, but a sister is not just a friend. There is a life-long connection. At MIT, I’ve gone days without talking to some of my sisters, but those same girls were my closest companions in NYC and I would’ve hated living there without them. Girls who had graduated years ago would drop everything to grab dinner with me just because we were in the same sorority and had gone to school together. Ultimately, sororities are all about community and a support network, and I’ve realized that it’s really hard to get through MIT without being a part of a community. You need to find your niche, and mine was my sorority. It gave me the chance to be a part of something bigger than myself, and I’m very grateful that I had this opportunity.
The Greek system is a large part of life at MIT. You can avoid it, embrace it, or simply tolerate it. I’m glad I chose to embrace it. Although I know that not every girl will find a home in a sorority and that Greek Life isn’t for everyone, I’m glad I gave it a chance. I hope my story inspires someone else to do the same, whether it’s through Recruitment or some other adventure at MIT. I have a lot of “lasts” coming up these next 10 months, but I would probably never have had them, if I hadn’t been brave enough to embark on a few “firsts,” like Recruitment.