Whether you’re a new freshman or a seasoned sophomore, Rush is an exciting time for everyone. But not to mention…nerve racking! Meeting different chapters, current sorority girls and all the other fellow girls rushing aside can get very overwhelming. But relax, take a deep breath. Rushing is a fun process that you will remember for years to come. It’s hard to know what to expect, but here are some tips and tricks for you as you make your way through Rush.
1. Be Yourself
Super cliché, right? I know you probably rolled your eyes just reading it, but hear me out. Think about it: you are looking to find a sisterhood that is a right fit for YOU! You’re not going to find a genuine fit if you’re not being your true self while rushing and talking with active members. So smile, be polite (these girls are inviting you into their house and potentially their sisterhood!) and be as authentic as you can be.
2. Practice your Elevator Speech
Ever heard of an “elevator speech?” It’s a slang term to describe a brief speech that outlines an idea for a product, service or project in the short time period of an elevator ride, usually 20-60 seconds. In this case, the product is you and your short time period is Rush. Rushing can be anxiety provoking, and you might find yourself stumbling over your words. Practicing how you’d like to introduce yourself can take some of the pressure off of you and can lead to a smooth transition into a natural conversation.
3. Ignore the Stereotypes
I can’t stress this enough! When I rushed I thought I had a general idea of all of the chapters and the general stereotypes that were labeled with them. I had formed my opinion on who was the “it” chapter and was determined to join…but I hadn’t even met them yet. When I found myself getting to know them through Rush I found myself feeling incredibly awkward. I didn’t seem to have much in common with the girls, and I just wasn’t comfortable in the atmosphere. My views of the chapter completely changed, and I no longer felt that sisterhood was the right fit for me. Moral of the story, be open-minded. Go into each house with an unbiased opinion and form your own opinion about how that chapter feels for you.
4. Let Yourself Have Fun
Rushing should be fun for both the chapters and the girls rushing. The actives may ask silly questions or have you play silly games, but they’re just trying to help you let your guard down and to relax a bit. I know you’ll feel nervous, but remember this is all in good fun and the actives want you to enjoy yourself!
5. Remember You are Looking for the Right Fit for YOU
Think of Rush like a job interview. Yes, you’re going in wanting to be offered the job, or in the case of Rush, a bid, but what good is that offer if it's something you don’t like and isn’t the right fit for you? Remember Rush is 50 percent the active members and 50 percent you. They’re looking for girls who would mesh well into their sisterhood, and you should be looking for a chapter that meshes well with you.
6. Ask Questions
The active members of the chapter are going to give you a brief overview of what their chapter is all about, but they only have a short period of time to do so. There may be things they didn’t touch on or something you’d like more information about, ask away! This will not only get your questions answered but will also show the actives that you are genuinely interested in learning about their chapter. Some example questions include: asking about what they’re involved with on campus, how much of a time commitment it is or the type of academic rules and standards they may have.
7. Don’t Assume You have an Automatic Bid
This may seem like a strange one, but it certainly happens. Girls rushing may know someone in the chapter or be related to someone who is an alum. While these things are awesome, they are never an automatic way into a chapter. Respect the rush process, and if you do find yourself with a connection, please don't ever insinuate to anyone that you have an "in." In my experience, word got around that a girl rushing felt she was entitled to a bid into a certain chapter, and it almost cost her a chance for even being considered because the actives were very put off by this notion. Long story short, keep in mind no girl ever has a guaranteed bid to any chapter.
8. Act Like You Want To Be There
Rushing can be draining and everyone gets that because they’re all tired too! After spending some time with a specific chapter, you may find that it isn’t for you (which is totally fine!), but still, respect that chapter's time. Pay attention to the conversations, give your input, ask questions and please don’t pull out your cell phone…I repeat, don't pull out your cell phone. The actives are carving out their academic and social time just like you, so be respectful to every chapter you visit. If it helps, keep in mind that your day of Rush ends when you go home, but the actives still have a long night ahead of them discussing all the potential new members they just met.
9. Don’t Trash Another Chapter
Whether it is to an active of another chapter or to your girlfriends back at your dorm, word gets around. Not only are you giving chapters the impression that you are someone who might bring drama into their chapter, you are showing you are not respecting Greek unity, which Greek members take great pride in. You don’t have to love every chapter, but everyone, active members and girls rushing, are expected to show respect to everyone.
10. Keep In Mind: Rushing Does NOT Equal Commitment
If you find yourself rushing and not feeling a connection with any chapters, that’s OK! While you certainly can join a chapter and see how it goes, remember you have the option to not commit to a chapter right now. Trying to join a sisterhood that isn’t the right fit for you is like trying to shove that puzzle piece into place even though it doesn’t exactly fit. You can always Rush again and see if any of the chapters seem like a better fit then.