Thoughts On Rush
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Politics and Activism

Thoughts On Rush

What Every Freshman Needs to Know

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Thoughts On Rush

For all the guys out there considering rushing a fraternity, this article is for you. I'll lay out all the things I wish I knew when I was entering the Rush process, through the lens of hindsight.

So, statistically speaking, if you're considering rushing a fraternity, the likelihood is that you're a freshman. If that's the case, you've been dropped into this whole new world where you have to take care of yourself, something that, unless you went to boarding school or were insanely adult during high school, you haven't had to do yet. On top of this, you're spending money you don't have like crazy, have no idea what to expect from your classes, have a roommate whom you don't know, and don't have to let Mom know whether or not you'll be sleeping in your room, the library, or for some unfortunate souls, jail. There's a lot going on and it's a lot to handle.

Cue Greek 101, and the first weekend of school. You hear about a friend of a friend who's in a fraternity, and they're already organized and having socials and its just the first week. So you take an interest in these social organizations and decide to attend this thing called Greek 101, which is the official start of the IFC recruitment period for the fall semester.

Due to word of mouth, reputation, and that guy you talked to for a little at that one booth, you decide to go to a rush event of some fraternity. There, they're offering free food, and let's face it, wings or pizza without spending any sort of money is way too good of a deal to pass up. Yet, there's a problem. You want to be in this organization because their pitch sounded good, they have cool celebrities that have been in, and that party seemed soooo cool from outside the front door, where a guy thankfully didn't ask, "Who do you know here?," but just didn't let you in. You want them to like you so badly, but everyone is standing around talking and its mildly terrifying because it just seems weird to walk up and start talking to some stranger, and are you even cool enough for them to like you?

Well, never fear because there are only 3 things to remember as you're traversing the jungle of Rush.

1. We're expecting you to talk to us.

Seriously. It might be weird in some other scenario to just walk up to some dude you don't know and start talking about where you're from and what your major is. However, for rush this is completely acceptable. In fact, for me, some of the guys that I'll stand behind the most are the ones who can talk about their ambitions and how they're going to turn those things into a reality. Share your dream, because in all likelihood there is another guy in the fraternity who wants to do something similar, and you could work together, rush process or not.

2. This is as much an interview for you as it is for us.

If you find yourself at a rush event and things just aren't clicking - you've talked to a handful of guys, the atmosphere seems a little off, or you just are getting a vibe you don't like - bail. Seriously, bail on that event or that fraternity in general. Let me draw a parallel here: when you were applying to colleges, your first thought wasn't, "I don't care if they don't want to accept me or not, I want to be in this party/engineering/private college even if they don't want me." No, your first thought probably revolved around you, and that is a good thing. After all it is your life. You get to choose what fraternity experience you'll have, or if you want to have one at all. So don't keep showing up to events where you don't get along with the guys or hate the way they talk about things just because your sister's best friend's boyfriend knew a guy in this fraternity. Move on, because then you'll be available to go someplace where you actually want to be, and actually wants you.

3. Realize what kind of organization you're trying to join.

Most fraternities, by nature, have some kind of religious background, connotations or symbolism. Mine's symbol is a cross, as an example. Yet I'm personally more agnostic and came from a Jewish background. This may seem like a conflict of interests, yet to me it's no big deal. If it is for you, then don't go to the one with a symbol that directly opposes what you believe. Also, understand that fraternities are heavily steeped in tradition (Rituals: by definition, a tradition) and even more heavily dependent on clearcut and set ideals and values that they expect from each member. If these ideals are not ones that you agree with, or the values are ones that you do not hold, then stop rushing that fraternity. Don't sell out your beliefs to appease some kid who, despite his posturing, is not any wiser to the world than you.

Those are really the only things you need to keep in mind during rush. And for all of those who might be persuaded by the claim that Greek Life is for people who need to "buy friends," I offer this counterargument: Greek Life provides endless networking, leadership, diplomatic, financial, social, and academic benefits, not to mention a chance to give something back to a great cause, because every Greek organization sponsors at least one major philanthropy. Where else can you get that kind of exposure to that diverse an array of extremely applicable skills?

So, my answer is that in Greek Life, we don't buy friends, we buy opportunities and the means to seize them. See you all at Rush.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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