By Nishi Elen
The Dallas metroplex is a hub for South Asians, so you can just imagine what I was up against when I chose to go to one of the top schools in the area. I came to a campus that was known for its Asian population and though the competition was tough, I actually had no issues fitting in. A lot of the people I had known in high school had come to UTD with me so I simply figured I would stay friends with them. However, the idea of being unique and branching out kept gnawing at me. I wanted to spend my college years making memories, working on myself, and creating connections. I wanted to be a part of something greater than myself that not only would motivate me to work towards my goals but enjoy my time as well. So as any freshman would, I began looking into student organizations. There was an array of dance teams, music groups, and interest orgs, but I wanted to test myself; step out of the box and do something I wasn’t already comfortable with. That’s when I decided to delve into the crazy and intimidating world of Greek life.
Let’s be real. We’ve all seen those sorority recruitment videos on YouTube, we know what a big, white sorority mansion is, and we’ve heard all the gossip about pledging. I figured that everything I had seen and heard about these “cults” was exaggerated and if thousands of girls across the country were willing to join, there had to be some benefit to it. I went on to explore the various sisterhoods at UTD and came across a group in particular, the Multicultural Greek organization. This was a subgroup of Greek life on campus and consisted of fraternities and sororities that tied to culture. Particularly, there was a sorority that identified as “South Asian interest” and was service based. A sisterhood that allowed me to connect with my roots and give back to my community? I was skeptical at first but I decided to give it a go.
I’m a junior now and years into college, I can confidently say that joining my sorority was the best decision I ever made (shameless plug, check us out @dallasdkd on IG). Almost all the memories I’ve made were with these girls and I’ve never felt more accepted. Not only did this sorority break the rugged, negative connotations I had surrounding Greek life, but they also allowed me to grow into a better person. This sisterhood always put my best interests forward. Whether it’s academics, leadership, service, or connections, I always know I have a strong group of girls to lean on. As a bonus, I’ve met some of my best friends through Greek life and I enjoy every moment with them. I’ve met people that are so similar to me and some who are vastly different, but I can’t help but become friends with them all. As a minority in the Greek community, I’ve realized that it’s not all about altering your beliefs or personality in order to fit in with a sisterhood, it’s about finding a sisterhood that’ll accept you for who you are.
Being brown and being in a sorority is an uncommon combination but I’m glad it’s where I fall. I thought that I’d become just another student on campus, studying and participating in extracurriculars, yet I’ve proven myself otherwise. I took a risk my first year at UTD and I’ve made the most of it to this day. I’m constantly reminded that my dreams aren’t too big and without the support of my sisterhood, I wouldn’t be so confident in myself. In addition, because of my sorority, I’m in touch with my culture more than ever, I’ve bettered myself through service, and I’ve created bonds that’ll last me past my college career. I’m so proud to wear my Greek letters on my back and I encourage all minority college students to take a chance just like I did. It could be the decision that changes your life forever.
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