So, you have decided you’d like to join a sorority. The recruitment process can be a great experience, but it can also be very stressful. And, the best way to alleviate some of that stress is to be prepared. Here are a few things you need to know before Rush starts.
• Stay true to yourself – Yes, it is cliché, but it is also very true. Misrepresenting yourself will put you in a bad situation. You will either be spotted right away as being a fake kind of person (thus being cut automatically), or you will end up in a sorority that is not a good match. Either way, you’ve destroyed your chance at finding the right fit. Remember that joining a sorority means that you will be making a huge commitment to a specific group of women over the course of your entire college experience; you don’t want to spend all of your time with people who you would not normally want to spend time with. Besides, if they don’t want you for who you truly are, then they aren’t worth your time.
• Keep an open mind – Many girls go into Rush Week with a particular sorority in mind. That’s fine, but you should always keep your options open. You never know when you might click with a particular group you never thought you would. It is important to remember that as an outsider, you may not know the whole story. Some sororities get bad reputations because of the actions of one or two members, or because of rumor or jealousy. Others get bad raps because they are supposedly “too sporty” or “too nerdy.” Don’t let other people’s perceptions cloud your own. Just go into the party openly, and see how you feel about the girls there. You may find that everything you have heard about them is simply untrue.
• Do your homework and ask questions– Before going into a rush party, you should know at least a little bit about the sorority in general as well as a bit about what your local chapter has to offer. If philanthropy is important to you, then you will want to seek out a sorority that has the same values. If you love to play sports, finding out that a particular sorority is actively involved in all of the intramural sports (and wins!) might be something you should know. And, if you can’t find out by looking at their website or asking around on campus, then be sure to ask the girls when you are at the rush events. They are most likely as nervous as you are, so having some questions on hand that are meaningful to you will enable you to not only find out if the sorority is the right fit, but it will also help the conversation flow.
• Dress appropriately – You do need to pay attention to the guidelines for rush attire. Dress according to the theme or tone of the night. If it is a casual night, dress casual. If it is formal, dress formal. It is a good idea to wear things that are elegant and classic and won’t distract from “you.” You want to be remembered for your wonderful conversation and beautiful smile, not your crazy, multicolored leggings. That being said, don’t lose sight of your own style and personality. You can find always find a way to inject your fun and quirky personality into a classic look by adding your own twist, and you should. Again, you need to be you.
• Don’t be negative – One of the biggest turn-offs is a negative person. Rush is not the time to talk smack about other people or sororities. You won’t gain any points by doing something like this. Although the sororities can be quite competitive in some ways, most of the girls have very good friends all through the Greek system as well as out in the general college public. Trash talking will just get you in trouble, and no one wants to hear it. Another thing is that you never want to be negative about yourself. There is no need to point out whatever faults you think you might have, nor do you want to have a little pity party right there in the middle of a rush party. This is the time to focus on all of your positive attributes. Sororities are very diverse where even your most obscure passions and talents will surely find a welcome place somewhere in the group.
• Don’t stress out – This is the most important thing. You have to go into something like Rush thinking about the big picture. Yes, being in a sorority can be a lot of fun. You have instant access to activities, teams, and potential friends. But, it can be extremely time consuming as well. And, yes, it is not a pleasant thing to be rejected; however, your college life would definitely not be over. There are thousands of groups, clubs, and organizations on campus that would love to have you as a member. In the big picture, you just need to remember that things will happen the way they should happen, and all you can do is put yourself out there and enjoy the ride.
Sources and more information on all campus sororities:
http://www.npcwomen.org/index.aspx – National Panhellenic Conference – The coordinating body for 26 inter/national women’s fraternities – provides links to each sorority’s national headquarters
http://www.nphchq.org/home.htm – National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. – A coordinating body for the nine historically African American fraternities and sororities. According to the website, “NPHC Undergraduate Councils promote academic excellence; demonstrate values of NPHC, member organizations, and host institutions; develop leadership skills; develop positive relationships; and develop citizenship through community service and outreach.” The website includes links to all of the participating sororities.