Sororities in the south are a big deal. But at University of Alabama, Greek life is at another level. Here are eight things I found unusual but normal to the countries largest sorority population.
1. It's an eight-day process
"Rush Week" starts on a Saturday and doesn't end until the next Sunday. Even though the first day is only convocation, the next days are filled with "rounds." The four rounds include open house (20-minute house visits), philanthropy (30-minute parties), sisterhood (40-minute parties), and preference (50-minute parties). As each party gets longer in time, the number of houses you visit decreases. For example, for open house, you will visit 11 houses, whereas for preference, you can only visit up to two.
2. Door songs
The door songs are the epitome of rushing. They are what makes each house unique. To be welcomed into a house, you stand outside it, and at a specific time, the doors will open and each active member of the sorority sing a song. Their "singing" is more like a catchy yelling. It's actually scary, and by the fourth day of hearing them, you still don't get used to it.
3. The weather is not your best friend.
OK, I understand Alabama is in the south, but rush week has its own type of hot. Every morning is humid and by noon, the hair and makeup that was done that morning is destroyed. Girls are running up and down the row with fans and water bottles to stay hydrated. The university even supplies a medical staff ready with a stretcher in case of an emergency pass out.
4. It's exhausting
There's not a grimmer feeling during rush week than when you're so physical and emotionally drained and look at your calendar and realize it's only Tuesday and you have five more days of rush. Keep in mind girls are outside running around in dresses and heels all day and have days filled with talking to random people that may or may not become your sister. Knowing that this week determines who you will belong to for the rest of your life is actually mentally terrifying.
5. This is a big deal in the south
PNMs going through rush have spent so many months prior preparing for this week. Before the month of August even starts, they already know what dresses they're going to wear, which houses they like, and all the house rumors. Living in Texas for the last two years I was so blindsided by all this. People spend so much time preparing because they want this week to be prefect. It's almost like rush week is its own southern Saturday.
6. Bid Day is an actual holiday
Speaking of holidays, you ever heard of bid day? It's viewed as Christmas in August. Thousands of people fill up sorority row — and that doesn't even include all the girls that are about to be initiated to a sorority. All PNMs are put in the football stadium and all open their bids at the same time. Once you know what house you now belong to, you run to that house and are greeted by friends, family, and your bid day big sister. All this may or may not sound crazy, but once you're actually going through it it's so worth it to be able to run home.
Going through sorority recruitment was the best decision of my life and I recommend it to anyone who is starting college and wants to find a home away from home!