It may currently be back to school season, but it is also recruitment season. As a freshman, it seemed strange to me that Miami University had recruitment during the second semester. While it may at first seem like you are missing out while the rest of your friends rush at their respective schools as soon as they return, you should instead be thankful Miami makes you wait until the second semester.
1. It gives you a chance to adjust to college first semester.
While it might suck seeing some of your friends from other schools rush the first semester at their colleges, just know that second-semester rushing is saving you a huge amount of stress. Recruiting is stressful enough; you really don't want to be going through recruitment and the first weeks of classes all at the same time if you don't have to. Rushing second semester means you'll have a better idea of how to juggle your classes and homework while going through recruitment.
2. You have a better idea of the type of events sororities hold throughout the semester.
Sororities are about so much more than parties. Sororities also spend a large amount of time holding events to raise money for philanthropies and doing community service. Because freshmen are non-affiliated first semester, you have the chance to see all of the amazing things sororities do before deciding to rush. This is a huge plus if you are someone who wants to rush to get more involved on campus.
3. You are familiar with campus.
At Miami University, recruitment takes place in various buildings around campus. Because you are familiar with the campus during rush it makes getting to rounds on time so much easier. Sometimes it's hard enough getting to rounds across campus during the short breaks. When you don't know where you're going, it makes it even harder. That's why I am very thankful I had a semester to learn where everything was on campus before recruitment rolled around.
4. You have more time to decide if you want to rush.
I'm a very indecisive person, so choosing to join a sorority wasn't the fastest decision for me. Sororities are huge time commitments, and I wanted to be sure I was making a decision I could fully commit to. Because I had a semester of college already under my belt, I was able to make a better judgment call over whether or not I would be able to handle a sorority with my schedule.
5. You have a chance to meet people from different sororities before rush.
One of the worst things you can do going into rush is set your heart on only one sorority based on their reputation around campus. By meeting more girls throughout the first semester who are in sororities, you meet a wide range of girls in a more organic environment. Instead of just knowing the sorority for its reputation and the fast small talk you make between rounds, you are able to get to know sororities based on some of the amazing girls you have already met, making the whole rush process a little less stressful.
6. You have more time to find the perfect outfits.
Rushing in the winter is a very different experience. Instead of cute sundresses and shorts, you have to shop for an entirely different season. While there are a ton of outfit ideas online for summer rush, there are very few for a second-semester winter rush. I think it is harder to dress formally in the winter, so I was glad to have some extra time to get all my outfits together.
7. You don't have to go back to school early.
A lot of schools who have recruitment first semester require potential new members to move onto campus a week early to rush. Instead of moving in early, Miami holds recruitment events during the weekends of the first two weeks back from winter break. While this means things can get a little crazy, it also means you get an extra week of summer that other potential new members miss out on.
8. You have a better chance at already knowing girls in your pledge class.
It was kind of overwhelming meeting all of my new sisters on bid day. What made things a little easier was having a few friends in the same sorority as me. Because recruitment occurs in the second semester you have a higher chance of already knowing the girls in your pledge class from classes and around campus. I'm not at all saying that you should pick the sorority that your friends are in because you should 100% pick a sorority that you feel is right for you. But it is reassuring to see some of your friends end up in the same sorority as you. For me, it was a reaffirmation that I had ended up with the right group of girls. It also meant that I didn't feel as awkward around all of the other strangers I was suddenly sisters with.
It's okay to be a little jealous of first-semester recruitment schools, but only be jealous because the girls there get to wear shorts and don't have to lug around their parkas. You really don't miss out on anything waiting the extra semester, but you sure do gain a few advantages.