lone pine
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Hello everyone! The term has been pretty intense the past few weeks, and I've found myself not having enough time to relax and reflect as much as I had hoped. There's just so much happening here and I'm always running to the next class, meeting, practice, or event. I still feel good about everything, because I'm actively enjoying everything that I'm using my time for; it would be nice to just have a few more hours in each day.

The largest development in my life has definitely been my entrance into Greek Life at Dartmouth. Freshmen aren't allowed to rush, so the majority of students that want to be affiliated end up rushing their sophomore fall. Rush is a long, extensive, tiring process. This year was particularly exhausting because we only had a few weeks to get acquainted with the different houses, since all fraternities were closed for the entire past year. Eight weeks into the term, having now finished the rush process, I thought I'd reflect on it as a recently-affiliated member of a fraternity.

As I said before, rush was exhausting. For five weeks, I'd spend large portions of my days going to different houses, getting meals with brothers, and using as much free time as possible to try and get a different feel for the houses. While it was a big commitment and a major use of my energy, I honestly feel positively about the process as a whole. For fraternities, rush just feels like making friends. All of the meals and events were opportunities to meet new people and get to know them on a personal basis. As a social person, I loved having this chance. Last year, the '24s were pretty isolated as a class, with most upperclassmen off campus. Because of this, I came into my sophomore year with only a handful of friends or connections with '22s or '23s. Rush has helped me get to know many more people from these upper classes, and it feels so refreshing to have so many new individuals in my life. This is why, while it is exhausting to try and meet thirteen houses in five weeks, it's also an incredible opportunity and why I had a very positive experience.

If I had gone to any other school, I never would have rushed. I am not the regular frat guy: I'm a gay sociology major that likes to sing and dance in his free time. The idea of being in a stereotypical fraternity actively terrifies me. However, I've found that Dartmouth's Greek scene, while far from perfect, is extremely unique in its diversity. Because Hanover is a small town with no real nightlife scene, all social spaces for student fun are on campus. This means that students are incredibly reliant on Greek houses to create positive, fun spaces for all students, because there are simply far fewer alternative options. This has thus led to a uniquely diverse population inside of the Greek system, which is exciting. In just my fraternity, there are many athletes from a few different teams, many guys in my acapella group, 6+ LGBTQ individuals in my rush class alone, insanely talented coders, as well as people from across the country and world. Inside of just one space, there's such a broad array of individuals and I'm consistently realizing how glad I am to have rushed.

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