I’m not going to lie to you, sorority recruitment was on of the most exhausting and frustrating weeks of my life. Also, keep in mind I attend the University of Wisconsin, where Greek life is much more low-key compared to other schools like in the South. Despite the tough couple days, I ended up in Alpha Phi which I LOVE, and the whole process was totally worth it!
With spring recruitment coming up, I figured I would give some advice to the girls preparing to go through recruitment next semester or anytime in the future. Here are some do’s and do not’s of rush based on my experience.
In case you don’t know what these are, the 5 Bs include: Boys, Booze, Brands, Barack (politics), Beliefs (religion). This was emphasized SO MUCH while I was going through rush. The girls recruiting you don’t want to know about these things. In fact, many may drop you for making one of these topics one of the main parts of the conversation. It’s best to just stray away.
I was so nervous going into recruitment that my conversations would be awkward and we would run out of things to talk about. Don’t worry! The girls work for months preparing for recruitment. They are trained in what to say, what questions to ask, and how to keep a conversation going. You might get asked the same questions over and over again, but at least you’re not sitting in awkward silence.
At Wisconsin, two of the most important rules are 1.) do not reach out to chapter members outside of recruitment 2.) do not go to fraternity sponsored events. The rules are taken very seriously, and failure to follow them means you’ll most likely get dropped. Make sure to pay attention to and follow the rules at your school.
Forget what you’ve heard before or during rush. This is easier said than done, but the whole point of rush is to get a true feel of each chapter and what they are all about! Keep an open mind about each house and make your own judgements AFTER you’ve visited the chapter and have conversed with some of the girls.
Believe me, I know it can be tiring and frustrating when you keep getting dropped by houses. I almost dropped out of rush so many times. There was a time where I had the most amazing, genuine conversation with a girl, and then I got dropped from that chapter the next day. It seriously crushed me. The process is confusing and complex. The girls recruiting are feeling out your personality to see if you’ll be a good fit for their chapter. It’s easy to get frustrated but STICK WITH IT because it WILL be worth it.
I may have been guilty of this and I honestly think this is the reason I got dropped from one sorority. Don’t ask “Do you know _____? She’s in this sorority.” Of course they know them. Telling the girl recruiting you that you know someone in their house isn’t going to help you, only hurt you.
Some essentials I would suggest bringing with you to recruitment are: 1.) a pair of comfortable shoes (you’re going to want to change out of your heels after a couple hours) 2.) snacks (cannot emphasize this enough- getting hangry will not serve you well) 3.) deodorant and perfume to freshen up 4.) extra makeup if you wear some 5.) water
This means getting enough sleep between days and drinking plenty of water. In most houses you literally have to scream because there are so many girls trying to talk in the room. I got really sick after the first couple days lost my voice, so I kept having cough attacks right in the middle of a conversation with a chapter member! Rush takes a lot out of you physically. The days are long and tiring, so give yourself time to recover!
I can’t tell you how many times I heard these words during rush. But as cliché as it sounds, it’s true. Some houses that you dislike at first very well may become one of your favorites. Keep an open mind during every round of rush. 95% of the time, you will end up in the house that fits you best. The process is confusing, but it’s proven to work.
There is really no need to dress up like a sorority stereotype. Again, the whole point of rush is for the different houses to see if you would be a good fit for their chapter. Dress in what you think looks best. Wear as much makeup as you want, or none at all. Truthfully, you will stand out if you dress in a way true to you, rather than looking like 90% of the other PNMs.
If you truly want to become a 4-year member of a sorority, make sure to ask the right questions. Make sure to ask how much the time commitment is, the grade and live-in requirements, and about what everyone in the chapter is involved in. Find 30 more questions to ask here.
You are not going to want to come across as a negative and cynical person. Leave the big fight with your friend out of the conversation for now.
Yes, rush may get “cultish” at times. However, the ceremonies or presentations they are showing you are special to that sorority, so do not make a mockery of it. Also, if you get invited back to a house that you dislike, still be polite and gracious to the girl recruiting you. The girls can tell when you don’t want to be there and just because you may not want to join their chapter does not mean you can’t still be respectful and engaged!
I have already stressed this point, but don’t let the reputation of the house or what your friends are saying sway you. If a house feels right for you, THEN STICK WITH IT! The whole point is to find where you belong, and if you are connecting with the girls in a particular sorority, it’s likely that’s where you belong.
If you’ve gone through rush, what other advice do you have for girls preparing to go through the process? I’d love to hear what you have to say!