The Beginning of Second Semester Means The Start Of Rush: Here's What You Need To Know

The Beginning of Second Semester Means The Start Of Rush: Here's What You Need To Know

Wondering if the sorority life is for you? Give it a shot!

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As an incoming freshman during first semester, I was excited to go through sorority rush — even though I wasn't quite sure what it was all about. None of my close family members had been involved in a fraternity or sorority, so I wasn't too familiar with the process or anything like that. However, it seemed like many students at Miami were involved in Greek life, and it looked like something fun I would like to be involved in too. As the semester went on, I learned a little bit more about the actual process and signed up for rush along with my three other roommates.

Looking back now as a sophomore who went through rush, I know it can be a stressful and extremely busy time, especially with the start of classes happening as well. It can also be difficult to decide whether or not to participate. I will say that it is a pretty large time commitment during the two weeks of rounds. However, it can turn out to be worth it in the end. The best part about rush isn't necessarily getting into the "best" Greek organization, it's about finding people who you feel comfortable around and who enjoy your company.

After shopping for all of my rush outfits over winter break, I arrived back at school for the start of second semester and the start of rush. My three roommates and I all had a very different experience with rush. One of them went to the introduction to rush and afterward decided that it wasn't quite for her, so she didn't even end up going through the rounds at all. Another one of my roommates went through the first round (also known as "Welcome Round") and dropped from the rushing process after. That left me and my last roommate, Cami, to complete the rest of the rounds on our own.

As the second weekend approached, Cami and I were pretty nervous but having a good time getting to know a lot of different girls and what each sorority was about. We even ended up becoming really good friends with a couple girls who lived in our hall. When we finally finished getting to know all of the sororities and narrowing down our choices, we got to take a bid. Cami and I ended up in different sororities, having extremely different experiences, but still remain close friends a year later.

Although rush can seem extremely stressful and even scary, the best part about it is meeting new people. Through this process, I made friends with girls in my sorority as well as girls who are a part of Greek life in general. The whole point of going through rush is to meet people who you connect with, whether they're in the same "group" as you or not. Although I wasn't sure if being in a sorority was my "thing," I'm glad I tried it out because I've gained so many worthwhile experiences as well as the opportunity for new friendships.

My biggest advice when deciding to go through or going through rush is to not give up. It's easy to get caught up in the stereotypes of Greek life and worry about if you'll fit in or not, but in reality, there's a place for everyone. However, if in the end, you decide it's not your cup of tea, there's no judgment in walking away.

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An Open Pat On The Back To Full-Time Students Who Also Work

You really deserve an award, but this article will have to do.
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It's pretty freaking hard.

“I can work nights and weekends, I'm a student," you told the manager during your interview.

So, what does he do? He schedules you most nights and weekends. This is OK. This is, after all, what you asked for. So you start working.

Class, class, work. Class, work. Class, no work tonight, you sleep and it feels like the first time in years. Class, homework, homework, homework. Class, class, work.

Before you know it, it's the weekend. There's a party. Your friend wants to see you. Your mom is calling you to see how you are.

But you are working all weekend.

You call your mom on your half hour break. She tells you are doing too much. She tells you that you should work less. Ask for less hours. Sleep more. Eat more. You will get sick.

You get out of work Friday night around 11 p.m. There is still so much night left!! You try to hit up that party. Sure, you will show up a little late, but at least you will make an appearance. At least you will get to see some of your friends. At least you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself. At least you will be able to have some fun. By the time you get ready and get there, people begin leaving. You begin to wonder why you came out in the first place.

“I'm sorry, I've been at work" becomes an all-too-familiar phrase.

But, but, but.

You really deserve a pat on the back, so here it is.

You've given up a lot. And you work crazy hard. Those long nights and hours are hard. A lot of kids your age don't work and rely solely on your parents. But you, you have taken it upon yourself to earn some money for yourself. You are a full-time student, and most of your free time goes toward working and supporting yourself.

You truly do not get the appreciation that you deserve.

But when you do get some time to go out, when you request a weekend off, you have some money to spend. You are never the guy who can't go out because they don't have enough money.

And of course, you will start saving. This is huge. You're going to graduate in debt (probably), and because you busted your butt during school and saved up, putting a crack in that debt will be a little easier for you.

You are a forward thinker, whether you realize it or not.

You are building responsibility, money management, and self-reliance skills, whether you realize it or not.

You are quite mature for your age, whether you realize it or not.

AND YOU deserve a pat on the back. So here it is.

You're incredible. You're amazing. Go get 'em.

Seriously, take a second to congratulate yourself for all your hard work.

And whatever you do, get some sleep, kid. And remember, don't work yourself too hard. Just hard enough so that you feel good, and rewarded, and happy.

You're the man. Keep killin' it, dude. Keep killin' it.

Cover Image Credit: Peter Bernik/123rf Stock Photo

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Sorority Formal Recruitment Is Much Tougher Than You Think, But Oh, The Things You Learn

Formal was by far one of the toughest things I have ever done, and I learned so much about myself and others in the process.

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I had known that I wanted to be a part of a sorority since middle school. I'm an only child, so the thought of having a bunch of fun, beautiful sisters that I got to choose was fascinating to me. When applications were released to apply for formal recruitment for my university, I didn't hesitate. I filled out the application, paid the fee and waited patiently for spring semester, which is when our rush process takes place. I was so excited! However, that excitement only stood its ground for the first of the many rounds. I never expected something that seemed so glamorous and cheerful could be so hard.

There were a lot of tears.

I kid you not. I cried so, so much. Especially at the beginning of the second round. I remember the feelings of adrenaline and hope I had as my group's Rho Gammas passed out our schedules, then the feeling of pain and rejection I got as soon as I looked at mine. I was so not expecting the results that I got. I thought that the conversations I had with the many chapters all went well, but my schedule seemed to prove me wrong. I sat with my Rho Gamma while bawling my eyes out for about 20 minutes before deciding to keep going and give the chapters that wanted me back for that round a better chance.

Twenty-five minutes really isn't that long, especially if you're judging someone's character.

I'm not too sure how it works at every school, but at mine, the first few rounds are a mere 25 minutes long. This amount of time really only gives the sorority a chance to ask your name, major and other basic questions before you are already getting rushed to the next chapter. It's very overwhelming for both the PNM and the sorority member doing the interviewing, and after visiting a few different chapters during welcome round, I realized that my conversations at each had been pretty similar. This is one of the many reasons that I was so hurt after receiving my second round schedule. I didn't understand how those chapters simply decided they didn't want me after asking such general questions.

My confidence was certainly tested.

Before participating in formal recruitment, everyone is told the same, basic things. "Be yourself!" and "Smile!" I made sure to do these things at all times, so this was why my confidence was so shaken after going through the first few sets of rounds. If I was being myself, happy and outgoing, then why didn't these chapters want me in their rounds? I am usually a pretty confident girl, but receiving schedule after schedule and seeing which sororities didn't want me was quite heartbreaking. I went home each day and cried — a lot.

My mom tried to understand what was going on, but since I am the first in my family to even attend college, this was difficult. I reflected on each conversation I had to try and see where I went wrong or where I messed up, and I judged each outfit I put on until I had changed for the fifth time. I probably ran a straightener over the same piece of hair until it was perfectly pin-straight. My poor, blonde hair.

Girls can be really mean, but there are some nice ones out there.

I remember I was standing in line ready to go into one of the chapters, when I really liked a girl's outfit. So naturally, I complimented her. This girl proceeded to get offended and give me a dirty look, just because I offered her some kind words, and this was not the only time something like this happened during rush. I silently observed as countless girls talked bad about other girl's outfits, other PNMs in general and even some chapters. This broke my heart even more.

In my mind, the girls I stood by in line were likely to be my sisters in the future, so I didn't view it as a competition, but many others did. I tried making conversation with some of these girls, but many of them were not interested in conversation. Formal recruitment really made me realize that the "mean girl" didn't end in high school for several people.

Even though I encountered many mean girls, I still met some really kind ones. I am happy for these girls because I don't think I would have continued with the process if I hadn't met them. Something as simple as someone complimenting my hair during a round and something as big as my Rho Gamma comforting me into continuing with rush really seemed to benefit me.

Speaking of Rho Gammas, talk to yours if you need someone.

They really mean it when they say that they are there if you need them, and I did. I wanted to drop so many times because the stress and heartbreak was just so much. However, my Rho Gammas let me know how much their chapters changed their lives and how grateful they were for continuing with recruitment. They knew firsthand just how hard this process can be for a girl, so I really took their advice into consideration.

Don't read the comments online

You may feel tempted to go online and see what everyone has to say about each sorority, but I strongly advise against this. Today, all people have to say about several organizations, especially Greek ones, is purely negative, and this is so sad. I would read through endless posts of hate and wonder why people always have to be so negative, especially online. I especially saw a lot of hate going on between Greek organizations online, and this is so alarming.

I am more than just a number.

Yeah, so the name tag that I wore through each round had a certain number on it. Yes, this is the one they used to define me. However, I had to keep in mind that I was more than just that three digit code. I was a whole person, smiling with lipgloss-smothered lips, ready to impress.

In the end, the only thing left to do is "trust the process."

This three-word phrase was said over and over (and over) to us so many times throughout the recruitment process. Many of us refused to listen for a while. It was so hard to put so much trust into a process that made zero sense. As the end got near, though, I really was able to see which chapters wanted me back, and this meant a lot.

Yes, it really did hurt when I got rejected by chapters that I really saw myself in, but in the end, I want to be in the one that wants me back.

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