Why I Joined Greek Life at Penn

Coming to Penn, I was nearly certain that I didn’t want to be a part of Greek Life. Built up from years of misrepresentation in film and television, my perception of what it meant to be Greek in college was entirely skewed. To me, membership in a sorority was cloaked with superficiality, competitiveness, and anti-intellectualism. I had no desire to be a part of a Greek community, and even began to feel bothered by many of my friends who were so invested in impressing Greek upperclassmen and attending Greek philanthropy and open-house events. 

As second semester rolled around, I filled out the rush form on a last minute whim, spurred on by a fear of missing out and intrigued by the rush process. To say the process itself was grueling is an understatement. Encompassed by five very long, very cold days, talking to dozens of sorority sisters in brief 2-3 minute conversations, trying to make an impression, and moving on to the next house. Every chapter blurred together, and by the end of the fourth day I was burnt out, with a hoarse voice and numb fingers. It was on  preference night, the last night of the rush process during which you are left with either two, or just one sorority, that I ultimately realized I had been entirely misperceiving Greek life at Penn. The past president of my sorority, Sigma Delta Tau, gave an extremely moving speech. She spoke about how this group of women was there for her when nobody else was, when she couldn’t be there for herself; they picked up the pieces and put them back together, supporting her through one of her darkest times. As I stood there, numb toes, chapped lips, and a dry throat, I realized how right this all was, that I belonged here, and that these would become my people. 

I am so thankful for the decision I made that day. The people and the community that I’ve been able to find and to form in SDT is incomparable to anything I would have ever imagined for my Penn experience. To be supported in such a way, both as a woman and as an intellectual, is an indescribable feeling. SDT has become one of my core support systems, and has introduced me to some of the best people I’ve ever met. So, if you’re reading this, and you end up at Penn, give Greek life a chance - it could change your life. 

-Sarah G, C’21