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Sorority rush season is officially upon us, and many girls are eager to find their “forever homes.” The #RushTok has 1.3 billion views on TikTok, and Alabama RushTok, once again, taking over our FYPs. Even though it may seem silly to some, for many people, rush is an extremely stressful and emotional process. Many people go into rush blindly, not knowing what to expect or prepare for. If you’re participating in rush, especially for the first time, you probably have so many questions from “What do I wear?” to “What do I talk about?” You’re probably even wondering, “What do I bring with myself?” Well, in that case, I got you covered with my list of rush bag essentials.

It can be incredibly frustrating when you are in the midst of rush and forget something you desperately need. This process is extremely long and tiring, and the last thing you want is to forget something you need as you want to be the most confident version of yourself during this time. Here are nine essentials you need in your rush bag.

The bag

Arguably the most important item in this entire list is the bag. You want to make sure that it can organize everything that you will need and that it is easy to carry around as you visit the different sororities. There will likely be a lot of people rushing, and it can be easy to lose your stuff in the crowd of people. So, you want to ensure that you can differentiate your bag from the others — in other words, stay away from neutral colors. This rose tote ($50) and this floral corduroy tote bag ($11) are so cute and affordable.

Slippers, sandals, or slides

You’re going to be walking around a lot during rush, and your feet will start to hurt if you don’t have some comfortable shoes. Bringing a pair of slippers — like the Joomra Pillow Slippers ($24) — sandals, or slides will give your feet a break from your heels in between visiting houses. I would recommend wearing a pair that you don’t mind losing or getting dirty. The last thing you want is to have something valuable either stolen or lost during rush.

Reusable water bottle

All of the talking will make your voice dry, and mixed with the walking around in the summer heat too, you’re going to be really thirsty. Bring a reusable water bottle, like a Hydro Flask ($40) or Yeti Rambler ($55), so you can fill it up throughout the day as necessary. You might also want another drink handy, like Powerade or Gatorade to replenish your electrolytes and energy. And if you need that caffeine kick (don’t we all?), you can also bring an energy drink.

All the snacks

You’re likely going to be hungry during rush because chances are, you either won’t have any time to eat a meal, or you’ll have very limited time. The lines for your dining hall and other eateries can get so crowded that you may not be able to eat, and the last thing that you want to be during rush is hangry. Bring your favorite snacks to keep your energy up as you go between houses. Snacks that won’t get your outfit dirty are probably best here — think popcorn, crackers, pretzels, granola bars, etc.

Cough drops

Similar to the water bottle, cough drops or even sore throat medicine like Cepaphol can be a lifesaver when you’re going to be talking to so many people for so long. There are also typically so many people talking at once during each round that you might find yourself yelling from time to time just to be heard by the sister you’re chatting with. Cough drops, especially these Vitamin C ones ($8), will be your best friend during this entire process, and they’ll provide your throat with some relief.

Any headache medicine

During rush, all the high energy and yelling gave me such a bad headache, and even if you don’t get a headache, most likely, someone else around you will have one. Advil ($2) or Tylenol ($2) can also soothe your sore feet or legs from all the walking. You’re also constantly surrounded by people during rush, and all of this interaction can be mentally draining.

Compact mirror

Nowadays, we all have our phones to check our reflections in, but having a compact mirror is so much better than checking your makeup on Snapchat. Bring a compact mirror like the Kintion Pocket Mirror ($10) to touch up your makeup in between houses. Someone else will also almost certainly ask around if anyone has a mirror that they can use.

Portable charger

Lastly, bring a fully charged portable charger, like this one from IXNINE ($17). You never know when you’ll get back to your dorm to charge your phone, and you don’t want your phone to die on you during rush. You’re going to want your phone to take all the pictures of your cute rush outfits and to take notes on the sororities that you visit, which can help you figure out who you might want to secure a bid from later on.

Lip balm

Lots of talking with other potential new members (PNMs) and active sisters means that your lips will get chapped and dry. In addition to hydrating your body with water, make sure to hydrate your lips as well! A lip balm like this one from Laneige ($18) will do the trick.

Nikki is a senior at LMU from Honolulu, Hawai'i and is majoring in Communications Studies with minors in Journalism and Health and Society. She is also the president of Her Campus LMU.