Fall semester is synonymous with one thing to many incoming freshman--RUSH! Every semester, thousands of eager girls across the country participate in rush events, in order to learn more about their school's sororities and potentially join a greek organization.
And it's no wonder rush is so popular: Joining a sorority can facilitate leadership development and on-campus involvement, and can also bring you dozens of life-long friendships. Even if you don't think Greek life is for you, rushing can help you get to know other girls in your class and develop your small-talk skills!
So, you've got your outfits picked out and recommendation letters turned in. Now what? There's only so much that the rush pamphlet will tell you, so I'm here to help. These dos and don'ts will provide you with tips and info to make sure that your sorority rush is a great experience!
Rush Week Dos
1. Do bring a pair of flip-flops to leave in your purse and change into during passing periods. Depending on what school you go to, sorority houses may be several blocks apart. Running in high heels is difficult, and your feet will certainly need the break!
2. Do keep your purse stocked. I recommend bringing oil-blotting papers, baby wipes, a mirror and extra make up, mints, deodorant, and anti-bacterial hand gel. All of these will be lifesavers, especially during the hot days of August or September!
3. Do ask questions. Use the time with each sorority to understand what the strengths of the organization are. Ask about what they're involved with on campus, the type of academic rules they might have, and how much of a time commitment it is. Remember, the girls rushing you are just as nervous as you are, and the easier you make it to talk to you, the better!
4. Do get plenty of sleep and eat healthy meals. Rush days are long and require lots of energy. You'll want to be on your A-game the entire time, so getting sick is not an option. Remember that you'll be coming in contact with tons of girls a day, so washing your hands and using antibacterial gel is a good idea. Also, try drinking Airborne or Emergen-C for an extra immunity boost!
5. Do use the time during skits to rest your feet and voice. Enjoy those few minutes to yourself; cool down, relax your aching feet, and sip on the yummy drink they give you while watching the skit. However, don't act bored or blase--that's a sure way to get cut. Enjoy the skit, laugh and clap like you normally would, but use the time to regroup and refresh yourself.
6. Do be honest with yourself. Eliminate different organizations mentally throughout the week and pledge according to what you want in your heart. Don't let anyone pressure you into pledging a house that you do not feel comfortable at; not even your mom or siblings. Keep an open mind throughout the week, and be in touch with your instincts.
7. Do meet everyone you can! Strike up conversations with fellow rushees during passing periods and remember girls you hit it off with that are rushing you. You never know who will end up living in your dorm hallway, sitting nearby in your biology lab, or participating in your pledge class! Rush is a great way to meet people and start off on the right foot at a new school.
8. Do be yourself and show off your personal style! The best sorority houses are the most diverse ones--would you want all of your new friends to dress, talk, and look the same way? Of course not! Whether you like to dress boho, preppy, or little edgy, don't be afraid to let your style come through.
9. Do pledge somewhere that challenges you. College is all about personal growth, and there's no better way to learn than by surrounding yourself with girls that make you want to be a better person. If you want to be a more devoted student, pledge somewhere with great test files, a cozy study room, and a high average GPA. If you want to be more involved, join a house that has several members in leadership positions on campus. You'll be living with these girls, so its important that the house you're picking is filled with good influences and good character.
Rush Week Don'ts
1. Don't wear tons of jangling bangles or too many rings. Remember that you'll be shaking hands with dozens of girls a day--multiple rings will get uncomfortable in a hurry, and too many bracelets can be distracting.
2. Don't be afraid to eat or drink anything that's offered to you! It'll be hot outside and you'll be doing A LOT of talking; the reason why sororities give you a soda or milkshake to sip on is because they know it will make you more comfortable! Don't believe rumors perpetuated by TV shows like Greek that say sororities test you by seeing if you eat or not. Even if this were true, would you really want to join a house filled with girls who judge others like this? And while on that note...
3. Don't believe everything you see on television or movies about Greek life. The TV show Greek makes it seem like every sorority is at war with each other, and every girl in a sorority will stab you in the back the first chance they get. Remind yourself that this is NOT the culture of typical Greek organizations.
4. Don't reach out to members of sororities outside of rush during recruitment week. At most schools, members have been instructed by both Panhellenic (the governing body for sororities) and their rush team to NOT call, text, or send you facebook messages. This is a serious rush violation that they could get in big trouble for. Contacting them yourself will put your friends in an awkward position.
5. Don't dress head to toe in sorority cliches. Showing up to rush in pearls, red lipstick, a hair bow, and a beehive poof will only make you look ridiculous. If one of these things is your personal style, by all means wear it with confidence! But overkill will send the wrong message. Dress like yourself and be unique!
6. Don't talk about boys or partying. The conversations you have during rush should tie back to you or the sorority. Talk about your interests, hobbies, and what you would like to get involved with on campus. This should be a no brain-er as well, but really watch your language! Don't say anything you wouldn't say to your Grandma.
7. Don't dismiss a house based on what you've heard from other people. This especially applies if you're a freshman and haven't actually started school yet. The opinions you're receiving about a sorority's reputation may be biased or outdated. Go in with an open mind, and trust your gut.
8. Don't hold grudges or blame anyone if you get cut from a house. The way a sorority can bid on a girl differs for each Panhellenic administration, college, and chapter. Have an open mind about where you end up, and remember that you're there because everyone in that house wanted you to be their sister!!
What do you think?
Are you planning on rushing? If you're already in a sorority, what tips do you have for incoming freshman? What do you wish you knew before you rushed? Do you have any funny stories or experiences to share?? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear them!