A Guide to Rush // Your Questions Answered

Photo via The Eta Mu chapter of Kappa Delta's tumblr

Hey, y'all! Today, I have collaborated with Alexandra, the fabulously sweet girl behind the blog Prep of the South to bring you this post. Both of us have gone through the rush process, which is just as fun and insane as it sounds. I have received a whole lot of rush questions on tumblr, so I thought that both Alexandra and I could answer a few of them and offer some advice. We both had very different experiences, Since Alexandra attends UVA and I rushed last year at a small liberal arts school (before transferring to Rollins). Since some of y'all plan on rushing at small colleges and others plan on rushing at larger state schools, I thought that a collaboration post would be the perfect way to address everyone's questions!

Hello! I want to rush as a sophomore but I’m nervous to do so! I feel like the freshman have a better chance of getting a bid than I do since I waited. Is this true?

It’s completely okay to rush as a sophomore! Many girls do this, and I did not witness it negatively affect anyone rushing. A sizable group of girls in my pledge class were actually sophomores! Don’t be afraid to rush as a sophomore. 

What should I bring during each round of rush?

Everything but and the kitchen sink. Seriously, bring a lot. Well, as much as you can carry. Some schools have bins outside each house for you to dump a large tote before going into the house. Some don’t. Ask your Pi Chi/Rho Gamma/WhateverElseYourGroupCounselorIsCalled/ BasicallyTheMomOfYourRushGroup. Scenario A: You can bring a large tote and keep it outside so the chapters never see you lugging it around. Bring your face powder (in case you get oily), Q-Tips (in case of smudging), Lip Gloss/Stick/Crayon/Tint/WhateverOtherLipConcoctionSephora IsPumpingOutTheseDays (Unless you don’t like wearing stuff on your lips like me. Then bring chapstick), gum or mints, any other makeup item you want, water, and anything else you might need. Tide-to-go pens are my sidekick since I’m a chronic spiller. You don’t want to be stressed about anything during Recruitment so have an arsenal to handle a crisis. Recruitment is notoriously looks-oriented. (Surprised? Probably not.) As a sorority woman, I’m not going to put up smoke and mirrors and tell you looks don’t play some kind of role during rush, but here’s the real truth: We don’t care about your looks when we consider whether you will be invited back for the next round or not. Your personality is what matters. But what you look like is the very first impression you are presenting before words even come out of your mouth. You don’t have to be a model. You won’t be judged on how “hot” you are. You’re just expected to look like you put forth effort. It sounds weird, but showing that you put yourself together for Recruitment shows respect. (Yea.. it does sound weird, but I hope you know what I mean.)

How are my chances of getting a bid if I rush as a transfer student?

I think this differs from school to school! At my small liberal arts college, it didn't matter if you were a transfer. I would actually encourage transfers to go through the rush process if they’re considering it though! Even if you don't end up getting a bid, it’s an excellent way to meet people at your new school! 

What is sorority life like in general? 

It’s like any normal life really, except you have a sisterhood of people who love and support you no matter what, who are always down to hang out, go out, cuddle and watch Netflix, go hiking, study, eat, watch Netflix (mentioned twice because Netflix is important), eat some more (food is also important), and even go to a trampoline-lined warehouse with. You can’t explain it.

You also have a lot more social events available to you, which you can choose to attend or not. (But if you get the chance, go to them.)

Other than that, you’re really a normal person. (Except you wear weird looking letters on pullovers and t-shirts.)

I want to pledge a sorority, but I’m nervous that I’ll only get bids from sororities considered “lower tier.” I have no problems with these sororities, but I know others make fun of them on websites such as Greek Rank. How should I deal with that?

Do not trust Greek Rank. I repeat, do not trust Greek Rank. Most of those ratings are rival sororities ripping on each other or girls in the sororities giving themselves 5 star ratings! As for the tier issue, it shouldn’t matter what tier a sorority is considered falling in! What matters the most is that you’re comfortable and happy where you are! 

What should I wear in the photos that I have to submit to apply for rush?

Submitting a Solid Rush Photo 101:

Make sure the photo is of you, and you only. (Definitely submit a solo shot; avoid submitting a group photo with everyone else cropped out.)
Don’t wear too much makeup; let your natural beauty shine through.
Opt for a photo with more conservative clothing; submitting a racy photo, such as one exposing a lot of cleavage, will most likely offer a poor first impression! 

Wear the color you think flatters you the most! (If you don’t have a color you think flatters you best, blues and turquoises photograph extra well.) 

How should I dress for pref night? 

It depends! I’ve heard of schools where Preference Night only requires a nice blouse and jeans, but others that require formal attire. (I wore a long sleeve black cocktail dress with gold pumps and a turquoise statement necklace.) Ask your Pi Chi/Rho Gamma/WhateverTheHeckElse TheyCallYourGroupLeader. These are your moms for the duration of Recruitment. You get to ask them anything without sounding naive and without being judged (just like you would to your real mom). Whatever your dress code is here are some tips:

1.) If you choose to wear black, accent it with colors. Odds are the sorority women will be wearing black, as will be the other PNM’s. So stand out! Or just avoid black all together and go with another color.

2.) Choose flattering styles over trendy styles. You want to show off your style, but wearing something that you feel confident and secure in is better than wearing something you are unsure of. Confidence is the best thing a girl can wear.

Is getting a Big scary or fun? This doesn't really pertain to rush week, but I've always wondered!

It's so much fun! Big/Little reveal week is one of the best parts. Not only is it fun being showered with gifts (because lets be real, gifts are cool), but it's also so much fun to see who your big sis is after all of the time you were wondering... the anticipation kills you leading up to it!

GIF via First Class Greeks on tumblr

How do I go about getting recommendation letters I’m going to a large state school so it’s essential that I have them?

Most likely, some of your friends’ mothers are sorority women; ask around! You can also ask teachers that you are closer with, or even your parents’ friends. Ideally, you want the person to know you well, so that they can portray you accurately in a recommendation letter.

How can I go about making a good impression? 

BE YOURSELF. If you act differently in order to “impress” a certain type of girl, the sorority you’ll end up in will be the right one for the girl you acted as, not the right one for your real self. 

Don’t think about making a “good impression;” think about making an accurate impression. You want to portray yourself as genuinely as possible. Otherwise, you can end up in the wrong home. Let me give you an example:

Sally is on the quiet side. She enjoys spending time with her friends and meeting new people; she just has a more calm demeanor. Sally enjoys more low-key activities and isn’t one to go out too much. During Recruitment, Sally feels like she needs to be more “out there” and extra extraverted in order to give a “good impression.” So, Sally pushes herself to be more loud and says things she thinks will give a “good impression,” even if she doesn’t feel like those things describe herself perfectly. Sally ends up in a sorority of extra extraverted girls who are very similar to the girl that Sally described herself as during Recruitment. Over time, Sally gets worn out and tired of keeping up an act. She also feels more isolated from her sisters because she isn’t too similar to them. At least the girl she presented herself as during rush is similar to them, right?

If Sally had focused on portraying herself as genuinely as possible during Recruitment, she would have ended up in a sorority where her sisters shared the same interests as she did, and she would have felt a lot more at home.

Being in a sorority is about being in a sisterhood; it isn’t about attaining a certain title or status. Instead of looking to get into a certain “tier,” look to get into the sorority that will feel the most like family. When going into Recruitment, don’t try to find the “right” things to say, and don’t try to say what you might think a certain sorority “is looking for.” Be your raw, genuine, unedited self, and you will end up in the right sisterhood for you.

How do I pick a sorority?

This one is easy. Pick the sorority where you feel the most at home. Here’s my “sorority test”: Can you picture yourself sitting in bed, in sweatpants, eating ice cream out of the pint, watching Netflix with these girls?

This question usually narrows it down to one or two chapters. Like I said, being in a sorority is about sisterhood. You can usually picture yourself out at a party or event with the girls from any of the chapters you visited; you can get dressed up and act put together around almost anyone. However, you can only let your guard down around girls you feel very comfortable with; those are the kinds of girls you want to be in a sisterhood with. 

Even though I ultimately ended up transferring schools, Kappa Delta really helped me get through my year at Georgia College. I relied on my big a lot the last semester, and she kept me sane! 

My sisters have changed my life for the better. The bond you share with your sorority sisters is hard to describe to people who haven’t experienced it for themselves. As the saying goes, “From the outside looking in, you can never understand it. From the inside looking out, you can never explain it.”

1 comment

  1. As a girl who is definitely considering Greek life in college, this post was SO helpful. Thank you to both ladies for sharing your insights! :)

    XOXO Paulina