Go Greek and Think Theta!

Pauline Ryan '17, president of Kappa Alpha Theta, is a junior living in Dunster House. This is part three of a four-part "Go Greek" series.

Kappa Alpha Theta is the oldest sorority in the country and the oldest at Harvard. As we head into our 23rd year on campus, our Zeta Xi chapter of Theta has a clearly defined character: we are a group of fun-loving Harvard women who come together to create a space where friendship is prioritized above all else. Thetas are committed to being genuine and loyal friends to each other, which is incredibly special at a place like Harvard where students’ extreme busyness often comes at the expense of time and energy dedicated to friendships.

I’d like to share a recent example of a time when my Theta sisters put our friendship over their own academic work and other extracurricular commitments. Last fall, I decided to take the LSAT, an exam that requires weeks of notoriously grueling studying. In the weeks leading up to the exam, I received daily texts from Thetas checking in to see how studying was coming and offering to bring study snacks or help in any way they could. When I needed a study break, I could always count on a Theta to take a break from their own studies and come with me to Border or take a fun group exercise class in the Square. The most incredible part of Thetas’ support for me during this time is that they all had their own academic stresses, since it was mid-term season. Yet, my Theta friends still went above and beyond to support me in the lead-up to the LSAT. After the exam, I returned to my room to find a huge basket of post-LSAT treats outside my dorm, put together by my Theta family.


I truly would not have made it through those stressful weeks in the fall without the unwavering support of my Theta friends. Thetas’ willingness to put friendship above academic work is incredibly special and one of the aspects of our sorority that sets us apart from other organizations on campus. As president of Theta, I could have taken this opportunity to share flashy facts about our chapter, such as our receiving the prestigious national recognition of Golden Kite Status two years in a row. But instead I wanted to highlight the aspect of Theta that makes me most proud to serve as its leader: that Thetas are incredible friends to each other. 

I cannot imagine my life at Harvard without my Theta friends, who are my greatest supporters and most selfless friends. Yet, had I not gone through rush and joined Theta, I would not have met many of my best friends. For instance, I met my one of my very best friends, Nina, for the first time at a Theta new member gathering, where we discovered not only that we were both Bay Area natives, but also shared a mutual love of food and travel. Since then, we have taken trips all over the world together, including a summer in London together. Without Theta, we might not have met given that our areas of study do not overlap and our Houses are maximally distant from one another. 

Theta is, without question, my favorite part of college life and I know many Harvard women in sororities feel the same way. Going through recruitment was the best decision I have made at Harvard and I strongly encourage any girl thinking about rush to sign up!


Interested in Going Greek?

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