4 Fun Swap Season Styles & How To Create Them

4 Fun Swap Season Styles & How To Create Them

Your inside source into everything sorority.

Swap season is the BEST season, but being caught without a costume is the worst. Newbies, this article is for you! It's time for you to take swap season by storm!

1. Rave/Neon Party

Grab a white T-shirt from Walmart, some ducktape, and spray paint. Place the tape on the shirt to spell out the initials of your hometown, a fun saying, or in abstract forms. Spray paint over it and voila! Add glowsticks, facepaint, and light up shoes and you're good to go!

2. Hometown Throwdown

This is the time to "throw what you know"- get a jersey from your hometown's team, your high school cheerleading outfit, or your school uniform. Whatever hometown means to you!

3. Angels and Devil

Halo or devil horns? Wings or a tail? Whatever you choose, it's best paired with a black/white tennis skirt and a black/white fitted workout top. Face glitter or red lipstick is always a fun addition. Put on some Converse and you're ready to take on the night!

4. Southbound/Country

Camo, black face paint, cowboy boots, and a ballcap. The more county, the better! You will see your sisters in anything from full body camo to a denim skirt paired with a camo top. Either way- camo is the way to go!

Cover Image Credit: Kate Pride-Muse

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Rush Is Not Scary Or Hard, TBH It's Just Girl Flirting

This is what rush is actually like.

I'll be the first person to admit to you that I am the last person you would expect to join a sorority. I'm hesitant to join big groups because I'm the absolute worst at introducing myself to new people and putting myself outside of my comfort zone.

However, due to where my first semester freshman year took me, I decided to do the one thing I told everyone I would never do: and I rushed. To my surprise, the recruitment process is nothing like I imagined it being, a complete opposite of the numerous portrayals I have seen throughout my life.

(Full disclosure: my school, Indiana University, does not have girls rush until the week before second-semester starts, and in all honesty, I probably would not have decided to rush within the first few weeks of freshman year.)

First of all, the recruitment process itself is not as intimidating as you would expect it to be. I was grouped with other girls rushing and we went from house to house talking to the chapter's members in an informal interview format.

Questions would vary from them asking about your major, your family, and your location on campus to what animal describes you and more "fun" questions like this. Not once are you left to find someone to talk to during the time at each chapter, rather a member of the sorority will escort you to a location in the house where you can have a quick conversation before another person in the house interrupts to get to know you.

Upon arrival to each chapter, the members prepare chants or even songs to sing to the PNM's (AKA potential new members). The idea of this is to be as catchy as possible so you remember the chapter's letters upon further reflection of the sororities you did or didn't like. Also, it's important to note that not "liking" a sorority does not have any reflection on you or the chapter itself. Many times it depends on how well the conversation was among the three or four girls you chatted with.

Sometimes conversations don't go well, and as a result, you may be cut from that chapter. This in no way is meant to destroy your confidence or cause tears because, in reality, the member's interviewing you are trained to figure out whether you will fit into the house's personality, or if another house will suit you better.

None of the girls that I talked to seemed superficial or mean, much like the picture I had envisioned in my head. In fact, many of the recruiters told me they hadn't pictured themselves in a sorority either. Learning this really opened my eyes to what greek life actually is on campus. Preconceived notions which used to put a bad taste in my mouth were quickly proved wrong, so if you find yourself worried about not fitting in to the sorority girl image, I assure you that there is no single type of sorority girl.

Cover Image Credit: murraystateuniversity / Flickr

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There Is No Such Thing As A "Perfect" Sorority Girl

There is no mold for the ideal woman, and there's no mold for the perfect sorority girl.

Growing up I was anything but what one would call a "sorority girl in training". The only dresses I wore were the ones my mom stuffed me into. I had a fascination with dinosaurs and all things nature. On Christmas morning, my little sister torn open boxes containing Barbies, Hannah Montana dream houses and tiny Polly Pocket accessories. I asked Santa for giant remote-controlled spiders and elaborate LEGO playsets. Needless to say, I didn't have a ton of “girl” friends. I just didn't have a lot in common with them. While they were showing off their newest hair clips and planning glitter-adorned birthday bashes, I was running around wielding my imaginary sword to do battle with my closest guy friends. I found pleasure in grand adventures both real and imagined. I had an active imagination and felt equally comfortable hiding in my treehouse reading a book or exploring the woods behind our house.

My family would vacation at our New Smyrna Beach condo during the summers, where my adventures only continued. My beach exploration included digging for sand fleas in the cool wet sand or searching by flashlight for crabs in the dark. My aunt and uncle had property further inland, which only meant more places for new discoveries. My cousins and I would ride the ATVs around the heavily wooded areas, stopping to find all kinds of oddities such as old coins and sometimes even an animal bone or two. When I got a little older we began to vacation with close family friend’s in their North Carolina cabin. The days were always packed with zip lining, hiking and white-water rafting and when everyone else was tired, the boys and I would go target shooting and exploring in the woods. I loved bugs and frogs and all the things other young girls loathed.

Elementary and middle school flew by and suddenly I was starting my freshman year of high school. I found myself in an awkward predicament. I was still drawn to more boyish interests but I began to yearn for female friends. I mean don't get me wrong I had a few close girlfriends, but not a large group like I had seen in TV shows and movies. I guess you could say I was a little distrustful of girls. I felt like I had always had to play the game. Boys had always seemed more genuine to me kinda like “what ya see is what ya get”. In my experience, they usually had no time for drama and manipulation. With boys, it was always the more the merrier and with girls it appeared to be more about competition and exclusion. There is an incident I recall, in sixth grade this girl marched right up to me in the middle of P.E. class, as if on an important mission, and proceeded to impart some words of wisdom. “You know, she started, everyone thinks you’re really pretty but if you tried a little harder … and maybe dumped some of your friends you could be really popular.” I was shocked; shocked she would say that about someone, shocked that such a thought had crossed her mind. I shrugged off her comment and went on my way, but her words did weigh on my heart and would unfortunately come to mind every now and then.

Fast forward: I'm 18 with an acceptance to my dream school, the University of Florida. I didn't have many friends joining me in college, so I knew that the main objective of my freshman year would be to make some new ones. I hadn't completely shed my tomboyish youth, I had just learned how to hide it. Behind the lipstick and mascara stood a girl unsure how she'd ultimately fit in when the opportunity for Panhellenic Recruitment presented itself.

See, I had grown up with my mom proudly sporting her Greek letters, so I felt it was only natural to follow in her footsteps, but I was scared, actually make that terrified. What do I talk about? Will they see right through me? Am I going to have to pretend to like their outfits? Before I knew it I was upon the steps of a massive brick mansion, surrounded by other anxious girls, about to venture into the great unknown of sorority life. My curly hair had been tamed and highlighted and my face was beat to the heavens. I had poured myself into what one girl described as the cutest Lily Pulitzer shorts she had ever seen, and prepared myself for the worst. All I could think about was how girls had excluded me when I was younger because of my not so girly interests. I had little time to ponder though because I was soon shepherded into a massive and exquisitely appointed living area.

I was sat down across a goddess of a young woman but soon realized that she wasn't anything like I expected. We actually talked about normal things: the foods we liked, the TV shows we binge watched and music that we listened to. And then it hit me, that we weren't so different. I had totally pre-judged her and the other sorority girls before even getting a chance to know them. I had done what so many other girls had done to me. With that in mind, I went through the rest of recruitment with a smile on my face and an open mind and before I knew it, I was running home to my future sisters on Bid Day.

What I've come to realize is that not all girls are catty and conspiring to take you down at a moment's notice. Not all girls like glitter or everything they own to come in some shade of pink. Some of my girlfriends are the girliest women I've ever met while others can barely tolerate wearing a dress to chapter. The point is, it doesn't matter if you're the quintessential sorority girl in training or "one of the guys", what matters is being able to find other women who accept you for who you are. I don't always fit the stereotypical female mold, but I've been fortunate to find sorority sisters who don't care if I'm sporting the latest Lily Pulitzer pattern or a camouflage jacket.

It's funny, I've actually come to enjoy makeup, shopping, and yes, even sometimes glitter. I think I thought since I had such tomboyish interests, I needed to dress the part, just as I had done with sorority recruitment. What I really needed to do was to be myself. Yeah, I do prefer my boots to heels, and my flannel to skirts but sometimes I like to throw on a dress and paint my nails too. I don't know if I'm a tomboy, a former tomboy, or a girly girl - if anything I'm all of them. I like what I like and I don't need to slap a label on it anymore. I'm comfortable with the woman I've come to be and I have the girl friends who are by my side to thank for that. When I was younger, I couldn't imagine being in the "girl squad" I am in now, but without them I wouldn't have discovered the person I eventually became.

I was a very reluctant sorority girl, but only because I feared I needed to be some type of way to survive in that world. I had been conditioned to think that girls weren't loyal and transparent like boys are. It took me finding a home in a sorority and lifelong friends in my sisters to see that girls aren't what everyone makes them out to be. I blame the media, society, boys, but most importantly I blame other girls. We need to stop putting each other down. There is no mold for the ideal woman, and there's no mold for the perfect sorority girl. And if I had known that when I was younger, then maybe I was have dared to start female friendships a little earlier.

So, you might find me crafting in my apartment with my sorority sisters or digging in the dirt for fishing bait with my guy friends. Whether I'm hair tied into a messy ponytail and a pair of worn out blue jeans or the newest Lulu Lemon leggings and makeup done to perfection, I’m just me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexel

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