Surviving Sorority Rush Week
If you think college finals are stressful, you clearly have never participated in sorority Rush Week. School has barely begun, yet many campuses are already overrun with sorority banners and signs screaming at you, begging you to consider their house. Sure, right now they want you to stop by and check them out, but it won’t be very long before countless girls will be turned away and left wondering why they weren’t good enough to pledge. You could hire someone to teach you everything you need to know about going Greek, but that could run you up to $8,000 for just a few days of private coaching. Ouch! Instead, use that extra cash to pay down your student loans (or take an amazing trip over Spring Break!) and follow these helpful suggestions for surviving sorority Rush Week. I can’t guarantee that you’ll be asked to pledge, but at least my advice is free!
1. Do Some Research
Rush Week is similar to a job interview, so do your homework and learn a little something about each sorority you are interested in joining. Check out the national and chapter’s website, as both will provide important information about the organization. It is helpful to know which philanthropies the organization is involved with, as well as the academic standards required for admittance. You may also want to take note of any recent awards the chapter has received, as this may come in handy during conversations later.
2. Do Ask Questions
Not all Greek organizations are alike; some are focused on academics, athletics and even career paths, so don’t limit yourself to just one type of organization. . Take the time during Rush Week to ask questions about each chapter. Find out how many activities, social and charitable, are typically held each year, as well as the time commitment expected from you. If the chapter is aligned with a specific cause, such as breast cancer, ask about the charities the organization partners with and why. Asking questions will not only show your interest in the chapter, but also give you an opportunity to interact with its members.
3. Do Follow Your Instincts
You’ll probably hear a bunch of gossip during Rush Week, and people will offer their advice on which chapter you should or shouldn’t choose, but try to avoid letting others make your decision for you. Take the time to meet with any chapter that may have similar interests to yours and feel them out. If any of the chapter’s activities make you uncomfortable or feel out of place, don’t be afraid to eliminate it from your list of potential choices. If anyone asks you to participate in an illegal activity, walk away and report it to the administration. The majority of Greek organizations upholds their members to high standards and follows campus guidelines, but a few bad apples can ruin it for everyone else.
4. Do Be Yourself
You’re going to be with your sisters for life (or at least the next few years), so don’t waste your time pretending to be someone you’re not. This not only applies to your personality, but also applies to how you dress during Rush Week. If you typically wouldn’t wear a Lily Pulitzer dress and strand of pearls, don’t run out and buy them now. Instead, choose something comfortable and classy. Stay away from clothing that is too small or too short, as this may send the wrong message. Above all else, wear comfortable (but cute!) shoes; you’ll be doing a lot of walking!
Of course, you shouldn’t do some things during Rush Week, as well. It’s an unspoken rule that you should never discuss sex, boys, alcohol or money, as these topics could lead to some very uncomfortable moments. You should also avoid name-dropping. Why? Just imagine finding out that your friend has slept with another sister’s boyfriend – that’s not going to score you any brownie points. You just never know who knows whom and how they are perceived within the house. And finally, one last very important thing…Don’t take Rush Week too seriously. On many campuses there are limited spaces available, so you may not receive an invitation from your first choice. Keep your options open and trust in the process. If you don’t end up in a sorority, it’s not the end of the world. There’s actually ‘life’ outside of Greek life.