To rush or not to rush…that is the question a lot of my recent graduates are asking. You picked your college, you found your roommate, you know your major and now the only thing to decide is if you are going to rush. It is a big decision and one I know a little something about!
Now before I get into the advice portion of this post, I want to tell you my personal story when it comes to sorority rush. I did rush as a freshman at the University of South Carolina. I was so excited to rush and I had no idea what was in store for me. At the time, I was dating my high school sweetheart whose best friend was already at The University of South Carolina in a “good” fraternity. I say good in quotes because all of them are good for different reasons and for different people. More on that later.
So the best friend said that only two sororities were good. TWO! Out of 14 sororities! That should have been my first sign not to listen. But I was a naive little freshman who thought I needed to be in the cool or good sorority so I listened. No girls from my high school were in a sorority so I didn’t have anyone older than me looking out for me or to look up to. Basically I was on my own other than this guy’s advice. So I went into rush thinking, “ok, I’ve got to get one of these two sororities!” And if I am completely honest I wasn’t all that worried because I was in the right crowd in high school, I was popular, I was a cheerleader, I was involved in other clubs…surely college was going to be just as easy to fit in! Or so I thought.
So here I go, first day of rush, with my cute outfit and my mind made up that I had to get one of these two sororities. By round three, they had cut me and I was devastated. I cried, I thought I sucked, I had all those emotions that one feels when they don’t feel like they fit in where they think they should. And I ended up dropping out of rush completely. I was done.
I decided right then and there that I was going to be the most popular non-sorority girl I could be. It was my mission. Unfortunately more important than school (so definitely don’t do that!). But I set out to be in the in crowd even if I wasn’t really in a sorority. And it worked. I guarantee you if you ask anyone I went to school with they will tell you, “oh yes she was a tri delt” or “wasn’t she a zeta?” Nope. But I hung out with all sorority girls and I was an unofficial sister. But at the end of the day, I was not a sister. And that matters in the sorority world.
I tell you that story so you know up front what it was like for me and so you can decide for yourself if a girl who was not in a sorority can give advice on rushing. I get it if you don’t want to continue reading. But I promise I have a take on the whole thing that many won’t.
If I had to do it over again, I would absolutely rush again. I would hope for a different outcome and I would listen to the advice I am about to share with you so that I would in fact have a different outcome.
So here is my advice….
Advice for college freshman considering rushing a sorority
- Don’t listen to a boy! Well don’t listen to anyone’s opinions of what is good and what is not. You have to trust your gut. You have to find the right one for you. And the “good” one for you may be different that the “good” one for someone else. Yes, there is a so called ranking out there but my advice is not to look at it. Go in with an open mind and no preconceived notions about what you should or shouldn’t like.
- Do what feels right to you! If you truly don’t believe being in a sorority is right for you, don’t rush! But if you are unsure, go through rush and see how you feel. You may find out that you love it!! Or you may find out that it is not for you. But you will never know until you try.
- This next piece of advice is for the moms, the aunts, the sisters who were in a sorority…don’t put your opinions or expectations on your college freshman. Just because you were in a sorority doesn’t mean your daughter should be. And just because you were in a certain sorority, doesn’t mean that your daughter is right for that sorority. Sororities vary per school and yours may not be the same at a different school your daughter is attending. And sororities change over time, so yours may not be the same now as it was when you were in school. Try not to consciously or unconsciously make your daughter feel that she has to do what you did or has to be in the one you were in. And don’t hate me for saying that! Be honest with yourself and ask yourself if you are putting unnecessary stress on your daughter about rush!
- Go with the one you feel the most at home with during rush!! I distinctly remember getting chills watching a certain sorority’s rush video during round 2 and thinking this is so cool. But then telling myself no because it wasn’t one of the two I was told were cool. So trust your feelings! You will find the place that feels most like home to you.
- Clean up your social!! That goes for your fake insta too because I know you have one!! And if you think something doesn’t live forever because its a snap and they go away in 24 hours, think again! Unfortunately, whether right or wrong, you will be judged by what you put out on social and sororities will be looking!!
- Recs and Legacies don’t hold as much weight as they once did so don’t stress if you don’t have one!! Back in my day, if you were a legacy, you were almost guaranteed to get into that sorority whether they wanted you or not. Now, it only helps you so far and then its up to you to bond with the girls in a sorority through rush!
- Don’t be afraid to branch out and do something different! Chances are you are going to be rushing with other friends from your high school, but it doesn’t mean you have to go with the same sorority as they do. College is the time to meet new people, find new friends and do what feels right to you!
- Ask questions so you can make an informed decision! Find out what you need to know about a sorority while you are in their rush so you can make a decision that feels right to you. So if philanthropy is important to you, ask what their philanthropy is and see if it is something that fits in with you. The sororities want to get to know you but you also need to get to know the sororities.
- Try not to take it personally. Not getting picked by a certain sorority doesn’t mean you did something wrong or they didn’t like you. There are tons of girls rushing and sororities try their best to make the right decisions but sometimes they make a mistake. As much as it stinks not to be picked, it does not mean there is something wrong with you!!! Try your best to deal with it in a positive way!
- At the end of the day the absolute best advice I can give is to do what is right for you!! You are the only one that knows that! Trust yourself!
If you decide to rush and you love the experience and get the sorority you want, yay!! I will be so happy for you! If you decide to rush and determine it isn’t right for you and your drop out, I will be here for you! And if you rush and don’t get what you want, please call me because I know how it feels.
But please know that sorority or not, you will go on to have an amazing college experience!! I know this because I did! This is going to be the best time of your life!! Have fun, of course study, but be open to new people and new experiences!! I will be here cheering you on!!
To Rush or Not To Rush
June 26, 2022