“It’s All Greek To Me” tells the individual stories of MIT sorority girls. Check in every Tuesday to hear a new voice. Clare Frigo is a senior in Course 10.
Academics is not the first word that comes to mind whenever you think about fraternities and sororities. Yes, these organizations exist on college campuses, but stereotypically that is where the connection to academics ends. MIT can be a scary place when it comes to classes, and some people think that joining a Greek organization could take away from their studies. Yet for me, joining a sorority has helped me so much academically, giving me access to people who guided me through MIT.
After pledging my freshman year, I immediately reached out to p-set with the rest of the girls in my pledge class, allowing me to get to know them better. I have spent the past three years studying with my sisters, and knowing that my sisters were with me through the all-nighters made everything more bearable.
During my sophomore year, I decided to take 5.07 (Biochemistry), but half way through the semester I realized that I wasn’t doing too well in it. I told some of my sisters that I was struggling, and later that week, I got an email from a sister who absolutely loved chemistry and biology and offered to tutor me throughout the semester. She definitely didn’t have to help, me but she took time out of her own work to aid me. While biochemistry still isn’t my strong suit, I definitely couldn’t have made it though that class without her help.
As an underclassman, whenever I had a question on a p-set or about a class, there were upperclassmen around who were always more than willing to help me out. Now as a senior, the tables have turned and I’m one of the people that younger sisters come to if they have questions about homework. Since older sisters helped out so much, I want to make sure that I return the same amount of help.
Another aspect that can really help is having a house with lots of common space to meet up and study. Throughout my MIT career, I have had countless p-set parties in my sorority house. My p-set groups always had a place to somewhere work that didn’t feel like a library or a reading room but more like a home. There is group space for when you need to work on projects and quiet space when you need to focus. Finally, there are always sisters around who are willing to answer questions or just sit with you while you study and make sure you stay focused on your work.
One factor that keeps sorority women focused on their academics is the sorority GPA requirement. If a sister falls below that requirement, our scholarship chair works with that sister to create a plan to get her GPA back up. The scholarship chair also shares information and resources that would be beneficial for the sister. However, having sisters below the GPA requirement is a rare occurrence because sisters who are struggling tend to reach out to other sisters before it would have that great of an influence on their GPA.
Overall, I think academics are a very important part of sororities. While academics still may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of Greek organizations, I don’t think I could have made it through MIT as unscathed as I did without the help of my sisters. MIT can be very overwhelming but whenever I needed help, my sisters were there to help me through it.