Rush Tips: The Dos and Don’ts of Sorority Recruitment

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Group of sorority girls

Fall semester is synonymous with one thing to many incoming freshman–RUSH! And today I’m sharing all the best sorority rush tips you need to know.

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, your essentials stocked, your hairstyles planned, 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 Tips: Things to Do

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!

Pink purse and shoes

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: What NOT to Do

Bangle bracelets

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.

Hair bow and sunglasses

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 of these rush tips?

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!

82 thoughts on “Rush Tips: The Dos and Don’ts of Sorority Recruitment”

  1. great article, pretty much nailed it on the head!! i beg to differ with #3 on the DONT list because where i went to school, it was true. but maybe thats because my school was a small private school with only 4 sororities and 2 fraternities.

    for those who argue that being in a greek organization is you paying for friends, this is not true. with any organization, you have to put money in so you can have fun events. when you were a kid and you were part of a sports team outside of school, you definitely had to pay fees. so were you paying for friends then too? to say that you are paying for friends is insulting to anyone involved with greek life.

  2. Sasha, Faith – The most offensive thing someone could ever say to me is that members of the Greek system pay for their friends, in addition to being very biased and uninformed. In its purest form, a sorority or fraternity could be very low cost. The high costs come from maintaining the physical house (there isn’t some wealthy alum paying behind the scenes for those buildings!), keeping the national organization (all of them are non-profit orgnizations), funding philanthropic activities, and social events. When times get hard and membership declines due to costs, then the social budget is the one cut first. T-shirts are never mandatory, though usually one is included in the cost of dues for bid day and one for recruitment.

    I too pledged as a Sophomore fully aware of the pros and cons. I had a good social network already from my dormitory, but none of them were ever interested in getting involved in on campus activities. My sisters on the other hand have introduced me to a number of organizations or events (like Relay for LIfe) that I would have never participated in otherwise. While I am close with my sisters, my best friends are a mix of sisters and friends I met Freshman year.

    Sorry for the long rant, but it only perpetuates stereotypes to start fights by saying Greeks pay for their friends. Don’t assume that’s how it is for everyone.

    (And I shall cease to feed the trolls now.)

  3. As far as paying for friends, that view always comes from people who have never experienced recruitment. Sorority life is not always easy, but the friendships and life skills you gain cannot be challenged. If you want to learn how to work in a group during good times and bad, join a sorority! It has taught me to branch out socially and not be such a hermit. I have learned so much about myself and how to work with others jut by being in a sorority. Go AOII!

  4. I attempted to join a sorority because I’ve always been shy, and a little nerdy and offbeat. I figured that if they didn’t like me, they just wouldn’t recruit me, and that would be the end of it. I wanted to break out my shell and make new friends as a freshman. Throughout the whole process, I was polite, if a little quiet, always smiling, dressing well, and trying to make friends with each girl I met. Some of them even seemed to get along well with me. However:

    – You are paying for friends. The philanthropy for this group was an absolute joke. Yes, the money went to physical things, but that same argument can be used for theater, softball, etc… and they don’t make you pay $300 per semester. Rent was paid by each girl who lived in the house. T-Shirts and dances were paid for individually. I still couldn’t tell you where the actual dues to the sorority went.

    – After I’d pledged, we had a mid-semester/winter rush. Unfortunately, I missed one of these events (there were three nights) because I was rushed to the ER by my boyfriend and one of my friends, who is in the sorority. She left immediately to get to the rush, leaving me at the ER in severe pain with just my boyfriend. The president called me the next day giving me an absolute scolding–cussing, yelling, telling me no excuse was good enough. She didn’t BELIEVE that I had been in the hospital, even though one of the pledges had taken me!

    – There were several events (movie nights, mixers, parties, dances, even philanthropies) that I missed out on for the sole reason that I never knew about them existing. The girls I talked with outside the group always failed to mention them, mysteriously, until after they happened–even to the point of denying they were happening until the day after. After doing a little digging, I found out that I was REMOVED from the email list, and our website was so horrifically out of date that it still displayed events from 2008. When I did end up making it to an event, it was always scarcely attended, and the girls who did make it teased me, mocked me, or ignored me entirely.

    I finally cut my ties with these vile women. I leave this here as a warning: they seemed really, really awesome! I was really stoked to pledge this group! I rushed, just like everyone else, and they treated me like everyone else, and we seemed to agree on everything. That is, until I was actually pledging. Ladies, if it is the right fit for you, I’m glad. Get out there and enjoy yourself. But if it’s not… don’t try to force yourself in there. Don’t pay $300 for god knows what and women who disrespect you.

    Sorry if this was a bit long. If you cannot tell, I’m kind of bitter over the experience.

  5. My school got rid of ALL greek chapters last year because of alcohol abuse and hazing. Although our school had a bad experience with sororities, it seems like a lot of girls here have had better experiences. I don’t think it should be debated whether sororities are “good” or “bad”–it just depends on which school you go to or which chapter you try to join. If you don’t think greek is for you, that’s OK–just find something else on campus that’s for you, and get involved! πŸ™‚

  6. @Preye – I actually have no idea—I’m sorry!!

    I’m a bit shocked and appalled at the reaction this article has gotten. I know you girls are more educated than to judge an entire group by a few isolated instances. None of you would ever assume a middle eastern girl was a terrorist, or that a girl who grew up in Poughkeepsie goes to Snookie for fashion advice (lol).

    Maybe I’m overly optimistic, but I truly believe that 95% of people are good at heart. Surely in a group of tens of thousands, you’ll get a handful of jerks, but mostly you’ll be left with girls who just want to make friends and have a nice day. Generalizing the way that sorority girls behave (or go about recruiting others) is pretty close minded.

    I’m just a little miffed that people would feel the need to bash organizations in such a disrespectful manner. I am sure if you polled a large group of people in Animal Volunteers, Rowing Team, a dorm room floor, or French Club, that someone is bound to have an unfavorable experience.

    We come together here at CF because we’re a community of girls who love fashion!! Whether one girl is in a sorority (or chooses to rush) should make NO difference whatsoever on your opinion or not.

    Judgment doesn’t get you anywhere in life, and it appears to me that most of the judgment in these comments is not coming from the girls in sororities.

    My advice is to think for YOURSELF. If you go through rush and decided that you hate it, then at least you know you aren’t missing out on anything. But if you never tried it, you never would have known.

  7. Unfortunetly my freshman year of college I saw the bad side of Rush Week and sororities and fraternities. My roommate was entering a sorority and because family and medical issues she had to drop out, and the sorority she was going to enter completely backstabbed her. I also saw the bad side of the fraternities on campus, between the endless party on school nights, the fact that half the guys in the two most popular frats were place on academic probabtion, it completely put me off sororities and fraternities. I wish that things weren’t so clichΓ© at my college because I saw how amazing my older cousins sorority had been on how much she matured and gained life-long friends from it.

  8. Hi Sophie:

    The Greek rush system is meant for undergrad students, most schools limit the rushees to undergrads only. Most sororities only accept undergraduate women, though professional sororities might be different.

    Best of luck with your Masters!

  9. I am incredibly behind on this thread.. sorry!

    I have been in a sorority for the past two years, I love it. The town that I live in has the brothel law as well, we do not have one major sorority house, we have many throughout our college town. Only about 3 or 4 girls live in each house. Of course, you don’t have to live in a sister house, you can live wherever you want!

    I don’t believe in “paying for friends” my dues are much smaller than those at big schools- we dont pay for room and board. I pay about $200 a semester. Our dues go toward national dues, conventions, sorority events, recruitment, tshirts, special events, socials, and so much more! i have found my best friends through the sorority and I’m thankful for AST(my sorority) because if it wasnt for joining, I never would have found those friends.

    There are other benefits of joining sororities than just friends and drinking. I have become a leader in my organization, my GPA has improved, I have become more organized and more outgoing!

    I never thought i was ever going to be a “sorority girl.” My organization isnt your typical movie barbie-like sorority. We are a very unique group of girls. However, things arent always perfect. With a group of 50 girls (we are small!), you are going to run into cliques, disputes and problems. However, we are able to work these things out, we can maturely work these things out.

    Please remember every organization is different. You may have great experiences, you may have terrible. Please do not try to generalize things you have heard and affiliate them with every greek organization you come in contact with!

  10. okay so formal recruitment is literally just two weeks from now at my college (Virginia Commonwealth). I was reading this to get tips for the process cause I’m a little nervous and I still have no idea if Greek is going to be for me. Thanks for the article because it was really REALLY helpful, although some things didn’t apply. At VCU Greek is small and they don’t have houses… BUT it was good to know what to avoid. I guess what I’m wondering though is do sororities have payment plans or discounts for students who qualify for financial aid?

    OH and what is the “badge” they tell me you have to buy? Is that a physical badge or is it like a membership thing?

  11. I’m attending community college for one year and will attend WKU in the fall of 2012. I will be a sophomore,and I will be 20-turning 21 that December. Will that be a problem if I decide to rush? I really want to be in a sorority but I’m afraid my age will cause a problem. Please help!

  12. Desiree,
    It shouldn’t be a factor in your acceptance into a sorority. This past rush, my sorority bid several girls who are in their mid twenties. Some chapters prefer freshmen and some have no preference. For us, it’s all about the girl’s personality and how well she fits with us and what we stand for. Age is just a number! Good luck!

  13. I’ll be attending a University for the first time during Summer 2012 & I would like to become part of a Sorority while obtaining my degree. The only problem is I’ll be classified as a Junior will I still be able to join?

  14. So, I’m a junior in high school. School is almost over and I’ll be a senior and thinking about college. I have thought of joining a sorority, but I am not popular nor good looking so I was going to not even bother. I guess I am wondering if they care about that kind of stuff or if they focus on who you are?

  15. Hi Ashley! I was never part of the popular clique in high school and didn’t consider myself that good looking. At larger schools, a couple of the houses might focus on these things, but that isn’t the type of experience you probably want. A good house will focus on who you are, not what you are wearing or who you know. I chose my house because I felt like they liked me for me.

    Just be yourself and you’ll do great!

  16. Christine – Some houses will bid you as a junior. It just depends on the house and how involved you plan on being. If you go into Rush/Recruitment as though you just want to join to put it on your resume, they’ll cut you faster than you can blink. Just be yourself and address the issue. Tell them, “Yeah, I’m a junior, but I’m really hoping to become involved over the next two or three years.” (Most programs take 5 years nowdays.)

  17. My school is relatively small, and just got their second sorority…are there any tips that are unique for that situation?

  18. I feel that everyone is generalizing. A LOT. I personally take offense to people saying you’re buying friends and/or are being judged by your looks. A sorority is so much more than one could imagine, given that you find the right one with the right people. I am sick of having to defend something that is near and dear to to my heart. I had a number of major tragedies happen in my life over the past year, and my sisters are the only ones who stuck by me the whole time–all my other “friends” outside my sorority gave up when things were looking bad. So I’m sorry you have such a negative opinion on sororities, and that you’re making assumptions based on…whatever. I just think that before you mount back onto your high horse, think about MY story and about what my sisters have done for me.

    those are my two cents–take it or leave it.

  19. I find it mildly amusing almost every negative critique of sororities left in these comments have been dissected and attempt to be proven wrong.

    It all comes down to opinion. If you want to be in a clique (that is EXACTLY what it is, selective membership, critiques, social requisites, etc.), and if you want to show that you “belong” in your sorority t-shirt, good for you.

    I, personally, do not feel as if I need to be accepted by a judgmental clique under the guise of a “friendship” that is charitable. A group of murders can run Relay for Life and do a car wash for charity, that doesn’t change what the group actually is. And for the majority of Sororities (not all, the MAJORITY), it’s just another dumb social clique, just like the rich girls in high school.

  20. I guess I’m kind of with Sasha and Faith, but I think someone else’s point about how “paying for friendships” is not sorority-specific is right on. But I think everyone will agree that sorority life is all about auditioning for friendships, which I think feels just as skeevey.

    I’m a huge fan of joining clubs and organizations on campus, but any other activity at college has to do with skills and interests. The idea of a group based around personality/looks just never appealed to me. Doesn’t that feel a little adolescent?

  21. Hmm, perspective from someone in a country without sororities/fraternities:
    I don’t think I’d personally do it. We have quasi-similar things, like certain clubs that seem exclusive, but in reality anyone can join ANY club. I’m from Europe and I could join the Christian Korean Engineers Without Boundaries (even though I am NONE of the aforementioned.) I think the idea of being “pledged” or whatever, is very foreign. A lot of kids at my uni live in residence, but no one does after first year unless they become a Residence Assistant (RA). Also, things like football and cheerleading are not NEARLY as big. It’s strange, but school spirit really lacks.

  22. @chelsea — tri delt at my school (penn state) had their charter taken away and their chapter disassembled for hazing. I’m sure your chapter is great but it’s hard to generalize across schools because girls can be so different.

  23. I think its kinda cool tradition and seems like a neat experience. Im canadian so we don’t have sororities really in our schools but there are some that are low key but there.

  24. Also, everyone kept saying “trust the system,” which is so hard to do but incredibly true. The house I pledged was my absolute least favorite the first day. But by the end, I knew it was the right one.

  25. I’m with Sasha; I really don’t understand the mystique of Greek life. I don’t think people should have to pay to make friends. Go do a play or join French Club. It will be far more enriching in the long run.

  26. It’s a lot of fun reading this post – I only know about sorority life from movies – which I understand is nothing like real life.

    It’s a fun tradition you guys have in the US.

  27. I think these are great tips and joining greek life is truly a one in a lifetime experience. I was an unlikely candidate for a sorority, but going to a commuter school I found it difficult to make friends, going through recruitment and seeing all the choices, you can really see what is right for you. I am so happy in my sorority and have so many friends in other sororities as well. Also I met all of my non-greek friends through greek friends. It’s great networking and it’s not about the mystique or the charm, and it’s not what it’s like on tv, but it is a great time and definitely COLLEGE. haha

  28. I had an awful experience during rush at a HUGE school where greek life was a big deal and I wish I could go back and tell myself this: don’t take anything too personally or seriously.
    If you get cut, it is not personal: hundreds, even thousands, of girls may be rushing with you, so it’s not like any of the sorority members will actually get to know you, no matter how hard they try.
    Also, if any of the other girls rushing make any sort of catty comments, just remember that they are probably very nervous and maybe even under tons of pressure from their own mothers in some cases. The rush environment can be very nerve-wracking and the worst you can do is let it ruin your confidence. I’m sure that yall will have a great time in college whether you join a sorority or not. Good luck!

  29. Hi! I am currently a college freshman taking classes at a community college. I decided to stay home for a year because I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. But I finally decided that I want to go to The University of Oklahoma and I really want to rush.. Only thing is I’m afraid that maybe I won’t have a very good chance of getting into a sorority as a transfer student. I’m not sure how many credits I’ll have when I transfer in the fall so I’ll either technically be considered a freshman because of the number of credits I have or I’ll be considered a sophomore.. But I’m not sure how the process will work out and whether or not I’ll get into a sorority. I’m just hoping to find a home away from home where I can make life long friends.

  30. Do they look at age? I’ll be 27 years old and I’d like to join a sorority on campus. They don’t know how old I am, they assume I am only about 21 years old since I looks so young. I really like the people in the particular sorority on my campus. I want to join not to put something on my resume, but because I value good grades, and getting involved on campus and meeting people. I took off the last couple of years to pursue a career, but I realized its not what I want to do so I’m back in school pursing a different one. Will they consider me if they find out my age?

  31. Chelsea,

    First of all, great article. I have nothing negative to say about it at all, great job!

    However, I want to throw my two cents in. You stated that most of the girls dissing sororities in these comments aren’t actually in one, but I am. And I can say, from my personal experience, that sororities are NOT all they’re cracked up to be. At least, not from what I’ve seen, heard, and experienced.

    I got a bid from one of the “best” chapters on campus, expecting to have the time of my life. After joining, I realized that the whole sorority is extremely clique-y and sectioned off already. 90% of the girls are snooty and looked bored all the time and never once made an effort to talk to me–even after I smiled and greeted them. I thought things would get better once I got my big, but I was VERY wrong. She turned out to be a girl I’d never even laid eyes on, and she hasn’t spoken a single word to me since that one time I met her.

    The girls in my chapter are late for everything–and it’s not just a handful of girls, its everyone. They act bored, are never prepared for anything, never tell new girls about anything (except the ones who already knew older girls, which is most everyone except me) and pretty much pretend I’m not there. There are 4 girls that I really like and get along with, but it’s mostly because they’re sort of on the outskirts like me.

    I’m trying to drop out ASAP, which is iffy since I’ve already been initiated. But I want out of this bs “sisterhood”. It’s all about favoritism and “fitting in”, and if you don’t you get ostracized. And it’s not just mine–I’ve heard intel from members of other sororites at my school that it’s the same for them. I’m paying around a *thousand* bucks a semester for this, and it’s a complete and utter waste of money. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to all chapters as I’ve heard plenty of success stories, but anytime you get a group of 100 girls together that grew up off of Daddy’s credit card, there’s going to be issues–especially for those of us who don’t fit that mold. It’s basically like reverting back to highschool, which is exactly what I didn’t want when I came to a university.

    To sum it up, if you’re the sororitiy “type” and can handle girl drama, go for it. If not, either stay independent or join a sorority with a reputation for being sweet, down-to-earth and diverse, or you’ll probably regret it, like me.

  32. Don’t rush if you have absolutely no intention of pledging! But I want to say that if you do end up going through rush, keep an open mind! Until you’ve been through it you really don’t know what being in a sorority is like. Re pageantry, just don’t be obnoxious about it, like everything else. Everyone’s just trying toget to know each other over rush.

  33. Hi Chelsea, great advice. But please where can we find the red polka dot shoes in the first picture? I had a dream about them…lol.

  34. Thanks so much for the info. I’m thinking about doing the informal rush at my school this year and it’s nice to have some perspective from someone who’s been through it.

  35. Thank you for this information, especially things like don’t believe everything you hear and be yourself. During Formal Recruitment (Rush) some girls in the sororities are just as nervous as you are. I would also suggest not being afraid if you are the one doing most of the talking. We’re told (especially on the first night) to ask questions and let the Potential New Members do most of the talking. And thank you for pointing out that girls should not reach out to members outside of Rush. I always worry that the girls will think we’re being rude or putting on a show during rush, but it is a rule we have to follow.

  36. Love this post (Chelsea and Rebecca- yayyyy tridelt!) I agree with everyone that says to TALK TALK TALK. My chapter has cut girls because they just SIT THERE and barely say two words. I would also advise girls to stick with the entire process. If you decide after preference round (the final round) that you don’t want to join any of the houses, don’t pledge. I’ve seen too many girls drop out after the first day of rush because of the stress and not give the entire process a chance. Rush is extremely stressful but the end result is SO worth it (at least, it was for me πŸ˜‰ ).

    And enough with the “paying for friends” comments. That argument is so tired. Every college organization requires that its members pay dues. Being a part of a sorority is so much more than “nine thousand t-shirts-” it’s being a part of something larger than yourself, going through a ritual that has been around for centuries, living with 50 of your best friends, giving back to the community in numerous ways, having a bond with thousands of other collegiate women…I could go on, but you get the idea.

    My school’s rush is in January, but good luck to all girls going through rush now!!!


  37. Just commenting to say, Great article Chelsea! What great tips for girls going through recruitment this fall. (and yaay, written by a Tri Delta!!) :] I went through recruitment last year as a junior transfer and I couldn’t be happier with where I ended up. I went in knowing nothing about greek life at all, and I now can’t picture myself without my sisters. Greek life isn’t for everyone, but I think everyone should at least go through the recruitment process at least once. If you don’t find you fit in anywhere, at least you’ll have met lots of new people!


  38. @emily I’m sorry you had a bad experience! Remember though that it was one girl out of that 30% who made that horrible comment to you–not all 30% have that ideology!

    After reading everyone’s comments, a common thread of advice is to try it, then decide whether it’s right for you. Some girls thrive in structure, while others hate it. There are literally hundreds of organizations to join on campus, you you ought to pick the one that is right for you! Don’t judge others based on what they have chosen for themselves πŸ™‚

    Surely, there are a handful of rude and entitled girls in each sorority–but that is also the case in any club, classroom, dorm room floor, or any organization. Please do not let one girl ruin it for you, go in with an open mind and learn the heart of whatever organization you choose

  39. This is a great post BUT rushing is not the only way to join a sorority!

    My sorority Mu Sigma Upsilon is the first multicultural sorority! We are apart of the National Multicultural Greek Council and instead of “rushing” we have ladies nights for interested girls and then they go through a new member orientation process to join

    i think it would be great if you did a post on how to join other sororities because rushing is not for everyone (like me!) and you could be missing out on an organization that truly fits you best!

  40. These are some really good tips. I can’t emphasize enough to TALK TALK TALK. Have a list of questions for each sorority (philanthropy events, sisterhood, etc). Good luck girls!

  41. I always wanted to be in a sorority, I did rush freshman year, but I could not afford it, even with all the financing options that are offered. Even though I may have missed out on some of the more intimate parts of sorority life, I lived with Thetas and I was able to interact with tons of other girls who were in other sororities too. I was lucky that at my first college, Denison, greeks and non-greeks were not as separate as they were at my second school, University of Maryland. I still wish I was more a part of a sorority, but when I got to UMD,as a junior, I was told there was no way I would ever be initiated. Do not be hateful towards sororities because you are not a part of one. You can still be friends with Greeks and you can still have fun with them too!

  42. I agree with that being in a sorority is not paying for friends, it is paying for events, insurance, and paying money to the organization. Similar to paying for a sports team or club dues.
    I agree with most of these, however, the school that i go to has a very small greek system in comparison with the campus as a whole, so ours is a lot more casual than most other schools especially in terms of clothing, the first two days are casual for us!
    But going greek was the best decison I made in college and I will always remember my greek-related things about college more than anything else.

  43. This article came at the perfect time, because Rush has definitely been on my mind this summer. I’m going to be a sophomore this year, and feel better knowing that some of you had a good experiencing rushing sophomore year.

    One of the major and pressing questions that I have on my mind, though– does GPA play a factor in sororities’ consideration of you? I had a bit of a rough start freshman year, but am turning a new leaf this year. My two main goals this year are to focus on my studies and be a part of the sorority sisterhood experience.

    What do you guys think? Thanks πŸ™‚

  44. Cool article!
    I have no interest in joining a sorority (I know it’s just not for me. lol.), but I am considering rushing. You know… meet new friends, work on my small talk skills, and get to dress up more than normal!! πŸ˜€
    Does it cost money just to rush?
    Would people be angry with me if I was just rushing but had no intention to pledge?
    Also… kinda random question… anyone had experience with pageant girls getting into the sorority scene? I compete in pageants and have held some titles. Are sorority girls kinda anti-pageant girl? Or vise versa?
    lol THANKS!

  45. I have the views I have because of friends who were involved in Greek life. Sometimes, it really does just add up the stereotypes.

  46. Sasha,

    I’ve always known from the start of being in Greek life that you gotta make it what you want it to be! I remember going through rush and the girls said that all the time…you put into it what you want to get out of it. Since then, I’ve done everything I could to get involved in my sorority, and I’ve gotten so many wonderful things from it! I have been chapter president since last semester, and I don’t think that any other campus experience could have benefited me so much or prepared me for the “real world.” Even though I belong to a small national organization…I know that I have 20,000 sisters throughout the nation that share so much with me in regards to customs and sisterhood. That’s a small price to pay for the dues I pay each year πŸ™‚ I’m not paying for sisterhood – I’m paying for the experience of a lifetime!

  47. @faith and sasha: don’t knock it till you’ve tried it πŸ™‚

    I lived in the sorority house for the last 2 years, and the monthly dues are less than my rent–and they included all my meals and bills! Its different in every case, but explore options at your school so you can make the most informed decision possible!

    Does anyone have funny stories about rush? One year my heel got stuck in the floor vent…hehehe

  48. Sororities are for people who are comfortable paying for friends

    How come you don’t mention the exorbitant costs of sorority dues? And all the needless money you will be spending buying presents for younger members, and the nine thousand tee shirts (so when other people on campus see you, they can judge you too!).

  49. YES! love this! just be yourself–i thought i wanted 1893478934 other sororities, but the one i ended up in is the best one for me. I’m really happy about where i am, and that’s the most important tip–be honest, don’t listen to anyone else and be where you REALLY want to be–after all, what’s the point of spending money on a organization you’re not happy in?

  50. Just throwing in my two cents here… My freshman year I went to a school where greek life basically ruled all. 30% of the 40,000 students were greek. I knew from the beginning that greek life wasnt for me so I was never planning on rushing. I never had any problems with sororities until a sister at a party I went to told me I’d be nothing at that school if I wasnt in a sorority. And to be honest, she was right. Basically if you werent greek, you didnt party, didnt meet people, didnt do much of anything. Greek life was IT! Being a freshman didnt help with meeting non greeks either because all of the girls on my floor were rushing…literally all of them. And everyone who’s lived in a dorm here knows how you stick with the people on your floor most of the time. I especially did because I didn’t know one person at the school 7 hours away from home…
    Moral of the story, I transferred to a school where greek life was less prevalent in the daily life of the college and I couldn’t be happier.

    Nothing against most greeks, but I couldnt handle that 30% that believed it was right to tell a freshman she had to rush or she’d be nothing. I know some wonderful girls and guys who are greek, but this particular school may honestly be the basis for all the stereotypes.

  51. @Lindsey,

    i had a friend who had a somewhat similar experience to you. she was (she thought) well liked in the sorority and was even elected to a leadership position. she went to events, had a fantastic GPA, was an active participant…everything you would hope a sorority girl would be.

    sophomore year, i got a text at 4am one night that something was wrong and she needed to go to the hospital asap but none of the girls in her sorority were able to help because they were either passed out drunk (on a wednesday) or just not willing to get out of bed. she knew waiting for an ambulance would take too long, so i ran over to her house, had to carry her down the stairs, and rushed her to the hospital. turns out her appendix had ruptured and she was at the point where if she hadn’t gotten to the hospital when she did, she would have died. on the way to the hospital she had to be shocked with the paddles because her heart actually flat lined. i’ve never been SO terrified in my life. it was a terrible experience.

    the next day i got a call from the sorority president asking me what was going on last night, why i was at the house, and then she essentially bad mouthed my friend to me for waking everyone up at 4am. i explained the situation to her and she had the gall to tell me i was lying and clearly just trying to cover something up. it took a lot to not go over there punch her in the face. NONE of my friend’s “sisters” visited her in the hospital (she was there for almost three weeks, because not only was the problem more serious than just a ruptured appendix, there were serious complications during the surgery that compromised her recovery), including the ones that she thought were her best friends in the house.

    she missed several events while she was in the hospital, even though her boyfriend, her parents, me, and several of her other friends contacted the sorority president, panhellenic, etc. to make them aware of the situation. there was no sympathy whatsoever and she too got the “there’s no excuse good enough” spiel. when she finally got out of the hospital, i had to take her back to the house because her boyfriend was at football practice. we got there and no one said a word to us…they stared, but said nothing, like they knew something we didn’t. we get up to her room to find ALL OF HER BELONGINGS in boxes in the hallway. literally, all her clothes, books, bedding…everything was packed. another girl had even already moved into her room!

    45 minutes and one 5-way screaming argument later, i found out that the she was essentially kicked out of the sorority for being a non-presence the previous three and a half weeks and she had an hour to move out. how that was even allowed to happen, i have NO idea. i don’t know sorority rules, so maybe it is, but … come on. really? by some stroke of luck, there happened to be an empty room on my floor in my dorm, so she was allowed to move in there without going through the usual paperwork because of the … odd … circumstances.

    karma came back to bite the sorority in the ass though because a week later they got in a lot of trouble with the school for doing what they did. our RA was on the newspaper staff and ended up working my friend’s situation into a story they were doing on the “bad side of sororities and fraternities”. they were fined, among other things. they were one of the best houses on campus, known for their GPA, involvement, etc. but after this, they fell pretty hard.

    this was truly the epitome of sorority girl-bitchiness in the most unacceptable of manners. i would like to think that not all sororities act like this but based on lindsey’s comment and a couple others, and just what i’ve seen at the schools i’ve been to, it really puts into perspective that this happens all over the country.

  52. what kind of purse is that in the picture? i love that brown bag & the marc heart shaped compac πŸ™‚ more info please ?

  53. My advice is usually throughout campus there are different sororities that don’t participate in the big rush. I decided to join a fairly new sorority and even though we’re small it feels great to know that we’re the ones making traditions and building it up!

  54. i attend a school where there are district brothel laws … aka girls are not allowed to live in houses or together at all.

  55. This is all soo true. I’m actually going to be on the other side of rush this year (super nervous) but recruitment is such a fun experience if you keep an open mind and not listen to what others’ opinions are. There were so many houses ruined for me by what all the other girls were saying. Keep your opinions your own and do what feels right.

    Flip flops=brilliant (or just wear flats if you’re allowed)

  56. hmmm they say paying for friends… but in reality, the money you pay goes toward meals and events you have with your sisters, aka your friends. add up the amount of money you spend going out to eat with friends and doing fun things throughout the semester… then think twice about the phrase “paying for friends” because in reality, we all “pay for our friends” in some way.
    living in my sorority house is also cheaper than living anywhere else near my campus… an apartment or another house. its also a bigger room and i only share it with one person. paying sorority dues and rent together is cheaper than living in an apartment or in a dorm for a year.
    so there’s a few things to think about. sororities aren’t all about partying. we do charity work, sisterhood events, and learn from one another. i never thought i could be in a leadership position and i’m on exec board for my sorority, so it just goes to show you that having people that support you can cause you to learn something new about yourself that will help you later in life.

  57. Annie, yes GPA is a factor. Your Rush Counselor should be able to tell you what the requirements for each are. They should tell you at each house as well. If you had a difficult freshman yr you might wait for Spring rush to help boost your gpa.

    Sasha and Faith to you all I have to say is from the outside looking in you could never understand it and from the inside looking out you can never explain it.

    one heart one way!

  58. Is Sasha from post 35 the same Sasha from post 10?

    Because taking an out of date, paternalistic, and sexist law and using it to pass judgment on women you don’t know sounds a lot like a stereotype of those sororities you hate so much.

    And just so you know, sororities aren’t the only people who have houses, at least on my campus – a lot of the sports teams have their own houses, including softball and women’s rugby. And guess what? My friends on the softball team pay dues too!

  59. Here in Canada the greek system isn’t as big as in the states. We only have a few sororities at my school and they’re actually not officially offiliated with the school. Plus most houses only have enough room for about 12 girls, while everyone else pays the same amount and has to live elsewhere. I honestly wanted to join a sorority when I went to college, but I simply couldn’t afford it. The fees were going to be $700+ a year, and that’s with me not living in the house. It’s too late for me, but do you have any suggestions for girls who’d really like to rush, but can’t afford to?

  60. @Sasha and Faith,

    It’s sad that you have such views of sorority life but like so many have said before me, all of those dues go straight to maintaining physical items like the house and maintaining the organization on a national and regional level as well as supporting our national philanthropy. I know exactly where every cent of my dues went, and I know I’m not paying them to meet friends. I met some amazing girls through my sorority that I never would have met otherwise and I’m so happy that I went through Rush my first year.

    As to tips in going through Rush, just be yourself! Relax! Don’t wear shoes you can’t walk in! You do not want to be in pain the whole day (or night or weekend!). Remember to maybe carry a small bag instead of a big one. Rush on my campus (since none of the sororities have houses) is conducted in a big building on campus and you’re simply walking between rooms and a big bag isn’t necessary but definitely ask your Rho Chi (recruitment counselor) about it!

    I hope everyone who goes through it has a lot of fun and comes out with a bid in their dream sorority!!!

  61. This is such a fantastic article! I am doing my 3rd recruitment from an active’s point of view and ALL of these things are so true! Also, remember that if a sorority is bad-mouthing another sorority that it does not show good character of a chapter. If only this had been around when I was a potential!

  62. @sasha…LOL!! i don’t know why your comment made me laugh, but it did. i agree with you and faith though. i know several girls who actually left their respective sororities because the dues, obligatory present buying for people they barely knew, and all the other expenses were just too much and they weren’t getting any “return on their investment”.

    sorry girls, but the stereotypes are there for a reason and i’ve been to TWO schools whose sororities (and fraternities, to be fair) have done nothing to change outside people’s perceptions of them. one school was in the northeast, where it seemed like every other girl freshman year was going to rush events in their leggings, uggs, northface, and pearls. in the midwest, it was the same thing, minus the pearls. they’re all bitchy, stuck up, and pretentious, which is unfortunate because i think i would have/could have been friends with many of the girls on my floor freshman year had they not joined a sorority. and yes, i did take the time to get to know them before/after rush and the “after” was a LOT different than the “before”. we actually ended up having to have a floor meeting because of the problems it was causing. i was never interested in greek life simply because i knew i would never be able to commit to it because i was already committed to being a student and D1 athlete, and that was more important to me.

    my advice to those girls that were offended by some of the comments would be instead of assuming that the naysayer’s don’t know what they’re talking about because they haven’t experienced it, go out and try and change people’s opinions of sorority girls so they don’t have a reason to say that those involved with greek life are paying for their friends. people don’t say sorority girls are bitchy and pretentious just for the hell of it. they generally have a reason.

    overall, i thought this was a great article. if you aren’t into greek life, think of all the ways you can apply these tips to situations other than rush events, such as convocations or those department meetings where you get to meet all the professors before classes start (did anyone else have something like this?).

  63. My best advice is also to look past social Greek organizations! There are Greek-lettered groups for everything, from honor societies to service sororities to professional fraternities based on your major or heritage. I’m a proud member of Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity for women, and definitely think it’s a better fit for me than any of the social sororities on my campus.

  64. Sasha and Faith: It is extremely offensive for non-Greeks to say such hurtful things. I am the president of my sorority this upcoming academic year and that is one of the things I am striving to change before I graduate. It is extremely unfortunate that people on the outside looking in have these stereotypical views of sororities and fraternities. First of all, there are different councils. At my school there are 4: Panhellenic-social based sororities, IFC-social based frats, NPHC-historically African American, and USFC-culturally based. I think many people are unaware of these different councils and tend to lump all social sororities with others. I am a member of a multicultural sorority and we pride ourselves in not giving in to the stereotypes. However, there are sororities that do feed into it. I mean don’t get me wrong, we are college students and we party but we are nothing compared to what you see potrayed in the media.

    Joining a sorority was the best thing that ever happened to me!

  65. Also remember that just because you rush doesn’t mean you have to pledge. If, after rush, you get the feeling that Greek life isn’t for you, don’t feel pressured to pledge by the sorority members or the friends you’ve made. Real friends will respect your decision.

  66. @Celia I completely agree!! In addition to my social sorority (rush tri delt!!) I’m also a member of Delta Sigma Pi, a coed business fraternity. The bonds in the business fraternity are just as strong as in my social sorority!

    The point is, GET INVOLVED ON CAMPUS!! Nothing is more rewarding than nurturing a skill or an organization and watching it become stronger πŸ™‚

  67. Wonderful article! I’m a sorority alumna and served as Membership (rush) Chair my junior year, so this article made me very happy. I would encourage potential new members to ask questions of their Recruitment Counselors (Rho Chis, Rho Gammas, whatever) because they will give you the best insight about recruitment at your particular school. Many schools have a campus Panhellenic website which can give you more info about the schedule and what to expect.

    The NPC (umbrella organization for 26 national sororities) has a great website for potential new members:

    Hmm…funny rush stories…we always hand out flyers the week before recruitment, and I accidentally gave one to a 40-year-old mom on campus with her kids. Woops…sorry, that’s the best one I’ve got right now.

  68. I have to disagree with Sasha and Faith. Greek life may not be for everyone, but it is far from the stereotypes that popular culture makes it out to be. While I am greek, I joined as a sophomore which I think gave me a great insight into the system. My best friend and roommates freshman year were greek, in two different organizations. And I was able to see both the good and not so good sides that greek life brings with it. Maybe my greek experience is different because I go to a huge, Northern, Urban school where the greek life has just been gaining popularity in the past decade or so. As for the idea of joining other organizations idea, I and all of my sisters are members of other organizations as well; and every organization I am a part of require dues, and they have their own slew of T-shirts to promote themselves.

  69. Its unfortunate your friends had such a terrible time in greek life. However, just because you have some friends that thought of it as nothing more than paying for friends, doesn’t mean you an an inkling of a clue of what greek life is all about.
    Regardless of your personal opinions, you definitely shouldn’t try to discourage others from experiencing something for themselves.

  70. I couldn’t agree more the advice to do what’s in your heart.

    I roomed with by best friend from high school (and roommate for that year) during rush and by the second day we couldn’t stand each other (lesson on rooming with your best friend from high school is for another day. πŸ™‚ ). So when bid day came and I knew that she was going to get a big to the same house I was getting a big to, I didn’t pledge because I didn’t know how I was going to be able to put up with her for a year, much less be tied to her in sisterhood for life. This house was the house my Mom and grandma were in and I really liked the girls, but I made the decision not to pledge based on MY ROOMMATE? Silly silly silly.

    It was a bad way to make a decision, but, in hindsight, I think I lucked out and it was the right one for me. She ended up flunking out and moving home after freshman year, but sometimes I still have pangs of regret at the opportunities I missed out on because I didn’t make that decision for ME. I ended up transferring to a smaller private school after Sophomore year and joined clubs and ended up making lots of friends and having fun college experiences, but sometimes I still wonder “what if?”

    So my advice is this… Rush is STRESSFUL. You’re about to move away from home and be on your own. If you’re like me, you’re probably already trying to keep homesickness at bay. Then throw on the stress of meeting new people and always trying to put your best foot forward… all these stresses are going to try to eat away at your emotions and influence your decisions.

    You’ve got to step back and have fun with the fact that you’re on the edge of big things and you’re making new friends and meeting people that may one day be your bridesmaids! Enjoy the games you play and movies you watch with your fellow rushees in your downtime. When bid day comes, choose what’s right for you and what YOU FEEL in your heart.

  71. I really enjoyed reading this artical, but I still have ALOT of questions. First off let me just say I always dreamed of being in a sorority!! I am starting school in January, so does that mean I would have to start as a sophmore? Ooh well I only had one question hehe but I really want to know!


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