Rush Week for Dummies (Sorority Edition)

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As a freshman entering college, I assumed that I knew everything there was to know about Greek life simply because I had several older friends involved at various schools. I knew what sorority I wanted to join, what fraternities had the cutest (and weirdest) guys, and generally what the student body at my college thought about Greek life. I looked up the ratings of all the houses online, I asked all my older friends to tell me everything they knew; it was pathetic, really. I’m here to help you get through one of the most stressful weeks of your life (besides mid-terms and finals, of course) mostly unharmed.

First, the terminology. Not that anyone really gives a shit, and you’ll definitely say words you aren’t supposed to, but it’s important if you plan on participating in Greek Life.

No more Rush, because sororities do not follow the same rules, standards, and habits of the typical perception of what Rushing is. Fraternity boys Rush.  Girls go through Recruitment, a mutual selection process in order to find your home full of welcoming, loving sisters.

No more Rushees, because as ladies we do not try to force someone to like us by impressing them with our party antics. We are Potential New Members until Bid Day. After you accept your bid and sign paperwork on bid night, you are officially a New Member, not a pledge.

Now that we’ve got that part of it down, you may wonder, “What the hell am I supposed to say/wear/do during this week?!”

It’s really not that easy. Generally, it’s going to be quite a bit of standing outside in hot summer weather, meaningless chitchat, awkward side hugs, and staying on the cusp of dehydration and/or starvation. You’re going to have to participate in uncomfortable amounts of small talk. The best advice I received before recruitment was to not talk about the three B’s: Booze, Boys, and Bible. They don’t want to know how much/if you party, how many people you’ve slept with, anything about your boyfriend, or your religion, whatever that may be. If you have a boyfriend, a good rule is to never say that word to someone during recruitment. If you are heavily involved in church, only discuss it if they ask the stereotypical question of “What were you involved in during high school?” and do so very briefly. Tell a story about how you and your friends helped someone, a hilarious anecdote, and nothing further. Don’t ever discuss your actual religion or beliefs, and just say “church” to keep it non-specific.

Dress cute, but don’t overdo it. Sororities want to see your personal fashion sense during this week, but they also are extremely understanding of why you aren’t wearing stiletto heels and a body-con dress on Preference night. It’s hot, you’re tired, your ass is probably sweaty from sitting around and waiting on this event, and you really just want to get drunk and/or sleep. They understand, because they went through the exact same thing. Dress cute, be yourself, wear your Kendra Scott’s and your Michael Kors watch, and rock your hair and makeup. Just keep the forecast in mind and prepare for everything. Heels break, spills happen, and even sorority girls can’t stop the weather.

BRING SNACKS AND WATER. he active members of the sorority do not see you outside the house, sitting around waiting and eating pretzels. They’re inside prepping you to enter the house. Don’t starve yourself, because I can almost guarantee that the girls inside the house with they had time to eat a real meal. They have most likely been dining on measly catered salad and whatever quick snack they can munch on between rounds. Bring a refillable water bottle with ice inside, it will be your best friend. Love it. Cherish it. Don’t lose it.

BE YOURSELF!!! I can not stress this enough. If you don’t feel comfortable in the house that your grandmother, mother, or sister were a part of, you need to trust yourself and your own personality to steer you in the right direction. If you don’t feel happy in the top house on campus, but you know you want to be revered as a top house member, don’t join just for the looks and appeal of a sorority. As corny as it sounds, it’s more about sisterhood and comfort than anything else. Be yourself, because you’ll be stuck with houses you don’t really love if you pretend to be someone you aren’t.

After going through sorority recruitment, suffering some heartbreak when my favorite houses cut me, and crying on bid day from joy, I have found my home in a sorority. I hope that something I’ve said here will help you find your future group of sisters, and make rush week a little easier!

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