As a freshman coming into college, I was solely focused on academics; I didn’t think about any extracurricular activities such as clubs or Greek organizations. I wanted to get the perfect grade point average so that I could pursue my dream of going to a great graduate school.
However, all that changed, when my roommate Nidhi asked me to attend a rush event for a sorority that recently came back on campus during my freshman year. Before this rush event, I saw sororities and Greek life in general as nothing but a distraction from academia. But during that event, Sigma Sigma Rho Sorority Inc. showed me the various opportunities that Greek life has to offer and I instantly went from being a girl who would never do a sorority to someone who knew she had to join one!
After meeting the sisters, I started researching the different sororities on campus and even attended rush events for other organizations, including professional Greek organizations. This helped me with my decision to pursue a social and service organization rather than a professional one; it helped me see that I wanted to get an experience outside academia. As I mentioned before, academia was the most important part of college for me and something that particularly helped me make the decision to join Sigma Sigma Rho Sorority, Inc. was their philanthropy: Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention.
[Read More On Sigma Sigma Rho Sorority, Inc. Here]
Our philanthropic efforts helps to empower women to stand up and have a voice in their communities. Often in South Asian communities, these issues are not talked about and I felt it is important to address these issues and support women who are victims of domestic violence.
In Spring 2015, I crossed into Sigma Sigma Rho Sorority, Inc. at Rutgers University. Immediately, I made so many connections and had the opportunity to meet so many people I would have otherwise never known. For example, my process mentor Shandy Abraham is from our Alpha Chapter (St. John’s University); she graduated from college a few years before I started college and through her, I met so many alumni from not only Rutgers but from other universities north of us. The strong alumni support is what allowed Sigma Sigma Rho Sorority, Inc. to come back to Rutgers University and it was astonishing to see how well connected they are with each other even after graduating. Some of them work full-time while others go to graduate school, but no matter what they’re doing, they always make time for new members and offer so many opportunities for internships in an array of fields.
[Read Related: Rush 2014: Sigma Sigma Rho Sorority, Inc.]
I’ve been a sister for almost two years now and I am so proud to be part of a sisterhood that continues to grow. My sisters have always helped me out with school and we are always there for each other no matter what life throws our way. As women we empower each other to become the best version of ourselves and uphold the values of Sigma Sigma Rho Sorority, Inc. These girls have become my best friends and my go-to people for everything.
This past year, my housemates Nidhi and Priyanka joined Sigma Sigma Rho Sorority, Inc. shortly after seeing our close-knit sisterhood. Now we make some unforgettable memories as not only friends but as sisters too, whether it is studying at Alexander Library or going on spontaneous adventures together. Together my sisters and I have made an unbreakable bond and I wouldn’t want to go through college without them by my side. I know for a fact we will all be friends after we graduate and I’m sure we’ll even be bridesmaids for each other when the time comes.
My experience with Greek life has been rewarding in more ways than one. I’ve learned so much and grown tremendously throughout the years. I am so happy I made the leap that enabled me to rush Sigma Sigma Rho Sorority, Inc. my freshman year. It is that one leap that has made all the difference.
Aayushi Pandya is a sister of Sigma Sigma Rho at Rutgers University and crossed in semester of Spring 2015. She has held various positions from social chair, recruitment chair, historian, South Asian Greek Alliance Representative and dance captain for Sigma Sigma Rho at AIR show. Outside of the sorority, she is very dedicated to helping others and has been a member of clubs such as Unicef and RU 20/20. She is a sweet, charming, and funny sister who spreads her positivity to those around her.