I found out along my journey as a first-year in college that rushing a sorority is NOT like the movies. Yes, you do find a home away from home and meet a lot of new faces along the way. However, the girls are not like the stereotypical sorority girls (Remember, the intro scene in "Legally Blonde") and are very accepting. I did learn two important lessons: 1) always keep snacks and water bottles in your purse and 2) always keep some pajama pants with you when walking outside in a short dress.
Meet the sisters
So, I only went to one "meet the sisters" event, and I was not that big of a fan. To be completely honest, it made me cringe because they were yelling, clapping, and singing. I was also the only girl eating the cookies and donut holes that the sister provided, which made me lose some of my self-confidence. However, I did not let this bad experience stop me from participating in formal recruitment. The reason I did not allow the lousy experience o stop me from attending is that I only went to one sorority, which means I just had not met my sisters yet. Plus, being in an organization like these is an easy way to be involved in school while having a good time.
At my university, first-years cannot participate in formal recruitment until the spring semester, so it is ALWAYS freezing. This sanction on first-years played a significant role in my experience because we had to go to all nine sororities in one day, which meant every girl who was rushing was in the freezing cold for over eight hours. This process is pretty stereotypical of rushing a sorority, but most of the time first-years can rush their first semester. One tip I will give for surviving the eight hours of walking and talking is to bring a purse with a water bottle and some snacks in it because you are going to be hungry and your throat is going to hurt. It may seem like this is stereotypical, but none of the girls in any of the nine sororities look down upon you for your looks or anything like that. It is not like the movies where you see each sorority pitied against each other for popularity, the sisters are more worried about the sisterhood and if you are a good fit.
The next Friday and Saturday, after you ranked the sororities that you liked, you get invited back to their philanthropy parties, which means the sisters will talk about how they are involved in the school, the community, and even the nation. During these parties, I narrowed down which ones I wanted to place as my top two for recruitment. The reason I was able to narrow it down is that some of the presentations were just awkward and you could tell the sisters had no idea what they were talking about. Now, do not get me wrong, all of the sororities' sisters were extraordinarily nice and welcoming, but the philanthropy presentations allowed me to realize what philanthropies I connected with and was excited to get involved with.
The following Sunday, after the philanthropies parties and after ranking your top two, you get invited back to two sororities so the sisters and yourself can make the final decision on whether you are going to get a bid or not. Basically, during the two parties you attend, the sisters will give you food, sing, and just gab to get to know you more. To me, this was my favorite round because they not only fed you, but you are not just talking about yourself anymore, you are having actual conversations. You will realize what sisterhood you belong in because of how the conversation flows, at least that is how I knew. For instance, at one sorority I felt as if I was "pulling teeth" and, while the girls were kind and welcoming, I knew that was not my home. Now, for these parties, you need to dress semi-formal, which means you need to wear a dress and heels. While I did wear a dress and heels, I refused to freeze since it was below thirty-degrees these days and I brought a pair of pajama pants with me in my purse and wore them between parties.
I am going to leave you with two tips for rushing in the spring:
1. Always bring snacks and a water bottle
2. Bring some PJs to stay warm