I'm from a distant land where Greek life is nothing but a fairy tale you see in movies. As I watched "Sydney White" starring Amanda Bynes going through the process of rushing into her mother's sorority, I thought to myself "Why would anyone put themselves through such a process to be criticized and degraded in such a way where your self-confidence is shattered?"
Apparently, it wasn't enough to scare me from joining the rushing process when I started at UCLA.
My sister was the one who encouraged me to rush. She and I used to rag on sorority girls together but once she started college she joined a sorority. She talked about how much she loved Greek life. For the party? Yes, but also for the friends, the sisterhood, and the people she met throughout the process. Without her house, she wouldn't have the friends she has today.
I had no idea what to expect from recruitment, what to wear, where to go, how long the process was. In all honesty, I was really excited to start the year. After a full week of rigorous rounds of house interviews, I realized that sorority rushing is repetitive formal, informal interviews and a bunch of girl flirting.
Things you should probably need to know before diving head-on into rushing:
1. What to wear
Think comfy but cute. The first day is a solid 8-hour long (or it could be more) process of meeting people. My rushing process was 4-5 days and I was on my feet every day. By the end of the week, I swore to never wear my heels for a solid month.
2. Dress to impress
Whether you're going on a date or job interview, you're going to dress to impress the person you're meeting. It's the same here! Each day is going to be a different theme, so dress to impress your date.
3. Don't go on an empty stomach
The days are long and there's barely time to eat. Don't starve yourself to fit into a dress. Eat your food and go, you're going to be using so much energy. By the end of the day, you're going to feel absolutely exhausted.
4. Be prepared to talk about yourself A LOT
Usually, they're the same questions in every house. The whole point of rushing is to find your house, to find the people you would get along with. Think of Paris Hilton's "My New BFF" show but be yourself.
5. Be prepared to get judged
Yes, they are judging you. As much as they want to deny it, they are judging you but judging is normal. Whether if you're at a job interview, making friends, or doing a presentation, people will judge you. However, in this setting, it's just a little more obvious. If you're uncomfortable with such circumstances then rushing may be a little hard for you mentally. It does require an amount of confidence but the girls at each house do try very hard to not make you feel judged in any way.
6. Have confidence
Let's get real for a sec if I were 18 and rushing, I would feel so freaking ugly compared to all these other girls who were with me. I'm actually really happy that I rushed as a transfer, a little older than everyone else but with a better grasp of who I am. I know what I like and dislike so it was really easy for me to decide which house I would fit well in.
Media portrayal of Greek life is somewhat inaccurate. I can say this because I lived in it for a small period of time. I had prejudgement going into the lifestyle. I ended up leaving with new perspectives and respect for the girls who rushed and for the girl at the houses who work hard to help girls through college.
My last words to you newbies are "Trust the process."