Sunday, September 9, 2007


Most days are pretty average. You wake up, you shower, you brush your teeth, get dressed, have breakfast, go to class, have lunch, talk with friends, go to class, go home, have dinner, do homework, get to bed - etc., etc., etc.

Some days, though, you do all the same things...and then something else happens that just blows you away.

Last Friday was one of those days. In the space of about ten minutes, I was offered two incredible, life-changing opportunities. The first was being chosen as an admissions blogger, which would have been more than enough for me. As for the second opportunity, I've been deliberately ambiguous until this point...although someone made a very accurate guess. ;) Basically, the story goes something like this.

Like many other freshmen, over the past week I've been busily participating in Fraternity Rush. At first, I thought I had learned all I need to know about fraternities during CPW - and I was wrong. In fact, fraternity life here at MIT runs so much deeper than I had ever imagined. No matter what fraternity I was visiting, the brothers were more than happy to introduce me to their culture, their house, their traditions, their vision, and - most importantly - themselves.

How to describe the brothers of MIT? They are dedicated, intelligent, funny, athletic, social, passionate, innovative, and so many other things besides. Basically, they are some of the best people I have met in my time here.

And now I'm one of them.

This morning, I pledged as a new member of MIT's Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity. The brothers of Phi Kappa Sigma - the Skulls, as they're popularly known - are, collectively and individually, among the favorite people I've met at MIT. I've gotten to know them (and my fellow pledges) fairly well over the past week or so, and I'm incredibly honored to call them my brothers.

As I was thinking about how to wrap up this entry, it occurred to me that I've now come to a kind of crossroads, a point of transition between the life I know and the life I am entering into. Even though I've taken the first step by pledging at PKS, I don't really know what lies ahead of me. In the same way, I still have absolutely no idea what it's going to be like to be a genuine admissions blogger.

But somehow that doesn't bother me as much as it would have before I came to MIT. Now, though, I know that standing before the unknown isn't supposed to be terrifying.

It's actually part of the excitement.


Chris said...

"Now, though, I know that standing before the unknown isn't supposed to be terrifying.

It's actually part of the excitement."

I echo that sentiment. I am very much in your shoes - I am going to accept SigEp's bid soon and I'm really excited about what being a blogger has in store for me! =D

Isshak Ferdjani said...

hi paul, i read your comment on kate's blog about weird quriks on certain tests, and you mention SAT 2 chemistry. i'm studying it ! do you mind giving me informations on it ! my blog is please do ! thanks!

Hawkins said...

Double congrats! =) You're so right, that feeling of not knowing what's next can be the most exciting thing in the world.

Hmm, dedicated, intelligent, funny, athletic, social, passionate, innovative... Sounds like you'll fit right in! Looking forward to more entries about these fellows; right now I'm clueless about the Greek scene at MIT.

Paul said...

@ Chris: Good for you! I hope you enjoy being one of the "Balanced Men" on campus. :)

@ Isshak: No problem, I left a comment here.

@ Hawkins: Haha, I don't even come close that description, but I'll do my best to live up to it over the next few years. ^_^

I'll definitely keep blogging about the Skulls and what it means to be Greek at MIT. You should check out some of the fraternities when you come visit, I'd be more than happy to show you around. :)

Wings said...

Good luck, Paul. I'm glad life is going so well for you =)

Kate said...

Man, am I ever an awesome guesser! (Okay, not really. But let's all pretend, shall we?)

Paul, congratulations on yet another accomplishment (and you're only getting started!) I wish the best for you in your new life as a pledege-y. And blogger, of course.

Also, thanks for the advice on the notorious SAT IIs. Basically, I think that both BestBuy and Collegeboard now owe you a stipend for recommending their products.

Star said...

"Now, though, I know that standing before the unknown isn't supposed to be terrifying.
It's actually part of the excitement."

Wow, you have no idea how much reading that just helped me. I’m experiencing a pretty new and crazy year this year, and I’ve been freaking out a bit, but you’re completely right. I don’t know why it took reading that for me to figure it out, but it did, and I actually feel a lot better about the upcoming year now, so thanks :)

On a more related note, congrats on the whole fraternity thing. I don’t get exactly (or at all) how Greek life works, but it sounds super exciting. So are you moving out of Simmons and into a frat house now? Either way, have fun and enjoy the great opportunities you’ve been creating for yourself, you definitely deserve it!