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. 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?

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

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

  7. 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!

  8. what kind of purse is that in the picture? i love that brown bag & the marc heart shaped compac 🙂 more info please ?

  9. @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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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!).

  13. @faith and sasha: don’t knock it till you’ve tried it 🙂

    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

  14. 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 🙂 I’m not paying for sisterhood – I’m paying for the experience of a lifetime!

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


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