Are you deciding on whether or not you'll be pledging a sorority? A lot of girls decide to rush during their college years, and eventually pledge a house. This is incredibly fun, but it’s actually a lot more stressful than I expected. Maybe you know people who have done it before and will give you words of wisdom, but here are 9 things that I wish I had known when I was rushing and pledging a sorority.
1. Inner Beauty is What’s Most Important, but...
Unfortunately, in many sororities, looks are the number one factor, so don’t be afraid to dress up and look good! But don’t worry; you’ll usually get a ‘dress code’ for different days. During rush week, when you decide which sorority you want to join (and vice versa), looks are everything. Pledging a sorority is the step after rush; it’s even more important to look your absolute best during that time. Time to break out those sundresses and heels!
2. You Are on the Radar 24/7, Even after You Get a Bid
This is definitely something that I wish I had known. Sorority sisters always keep an eye on you – during rush week, and even when you’re pledging. It’s kind of like how we always Facebook stalk that cute guy we’ve been flirting with. The sisters need to learn more about you in a short amount of time, so they resort to social media. So before you even start to rush, it might be a good idea to clean up your posts and pictures a bit!
3. Research the Sororities
I knew absolutely nothing about Greek life prior to rush week, so when I decided to rush, I took some time to look into all the sororities at my college. This helped me familiarize myself with Greek names (they’re confusing at first!) and with basics about each sorority, such as philanthropy (that’s a big one!). Also, it is so impressive when PNMs (potential new members) come with some knowledge – it shows that they care. Looking into each sorority actually helped me narrow down which ones I was interested in. Though you really don’t know until you actually meet the sisters, it really gives you a preview.
4. Don’t Go All Crazy Party Girl until after Initiation
If you are told not to do something during rush week or while pledging, just don’t do it. It’s a test. Even though all the hottest fraternity parties or school events might be going on during recruitment, you do not want to go against anything that is asked of you. Chances are, you’ll get caught and will be expelled from recruitment. This depends on your school, but why risk it? You’ll have plenty of time to do all that fun stuff with your new sorority sisters later!
5. Feeling Stressed?
If you are feeling overwhelmed by recruitment, take a little step back! Sisters prep and train for weeks on end for rush week. They are 1,000 times more stressed than PNMs.. PNMs just have to check out all the sororities on campus and socialize. Sisters have to plan, train, organize, research, vote, and a bunch of other tasks, too! Enjoy the fun socializing while you can, because once you’re on the other side of it all, there’s no going back!
6. Smile and Make Small Talk
This is so important! I can’t stress how awkward and boring it is to talk to a PNM who just is too serious about everything. I remember during rush week, I was getting to know a PNM, and she just gave me one-word answers. Even if you’re not enjoying yourself, make the best of it! Work with us – we try really hard!
7. First Impressions
We know, even after a minute, if we like you. And if you’ll get a bid. The truth is that first impressions are everything. And this is my least favorite thing about recruitment because we have so little time to get to know PNMs and see what they truly are like. But you’ll definitely be able to sense if a sorority likes you; the sisters tend to act more warmly toward you, and in a genuine way. Plus, you’ll feel the same way, so they’ll see if, too!
8. Be Engaging
It’s good to be active while talking to sisters, and try to show, or at least fake, interest. Though I don’t suggest being fake at all during recruitment, just keep in mind that it is kind of like a show. If you’re really not interested in a certain sorority, just try to get through it. And like I mentioned, they’ll know, so don’t worry too much about getting stuck with that sorority. After all, you’ll need to pick your top houses and they’ll have to pick you back. That way, it’s a 100% compatibility match!
Rushing and pledging a sorority is an emotional roller coaster ride. I laughed, I cried, and I don’t ever remember being as nervous as the time I was waiting for my bid. But like all things, the excitement wears off. And so do the massive floods of hospitality from sisters. Those generous rides to and from the house won’t last forever. Neither will all the hugs and shrieking. So soak it all up!
Sorority recruitment was such a fun experience for me. And after being on the other side of it, it really is a neat process. I hope you found these tips helpful! Are you planning on going Greek or did you go Greek in college? Do you have any tips to share?