7 Tips Introverts Need to Know For Sorority Rush

We’ve all seen the stereotypical bubbly sorority girl in various movies. If you’re an introverted PNM (sorority slang for Potential New Member) considering sorority recruitment, don’t let this scare you off! Sororities are full of diverse members and there’s certainly a home for you even if you’re not the loudest voice in the room. However, the process of recruitment revolves around meeting and talking to young women from sororities on your campus, so here are some tips to help you shake the nerves off and have an amazing rush week!

1. Prepare for rush as much as possible ahead of time

Study up, ladies! You don’t want to go into recruitment blind. Set yourself up ahead of time for success by learning about the Greek system and recruitment process at your school because aspects of Greek life vary widely in different schools and regions of the country!

Find out when your school holds sorority recruitment, how to sign up and whether sororities expect to receive information from you such as headshots, resumes and recommendation letters by checking out your school’s Panhellenic Association website. If your school holds any pre-recruitment events, such as “meet the chapter” events or house preview days, go, go, go!

Finally, pick out your recruitment outfits way before recruitment starts. That’s the last thing you need stressing you out during rush. Taking these steps can help calm your nerves by knowing what to expect going into rush, so you’re completely focused on the conversations you’re having with active members of sororities, because as Huffington Post explains, introverts may be easily distracted.

Related: What to Wear For Every Step of Rush 

2. Talk to your recruitment guide

At most schools with formal sorority recruitment, you will be assigned a recruitment guide who will basically serve as your mentor during recruitment. Schools have different Greek terms for recruitment guides such as Rho Gams and Rho Chis.

If you’re an introverted PNM, your recruitment guide is your best resource throughout rush! They are sorority members themselves and have undergone extensive training for this position, so they can provide you with all the advice and answers you need.

“I went to college really far away from my house plus I was very shy at that age, so I talked to my recruitment guide a lot during rush about how I was feeling and she was so helpful,” shares Kristin Wolfe, an alumna of Sigma Kappa at Arizona State University. “She helped me come up with interesting things to share about myself and my home state to the different sorority members I was meeting, and these ideas helped my conversations feel so effortless.”

3. Smile, smile, smile

Knowing and using basic, but very important, conversational skills can go a long way during recruitment when you’re talking to active members of sororities. These little tips will keep you better engaged in conversations at the different houses, and show the woman you’re speaking that you’re genuinely interested in her sorority and what she has to say.

Smile! Act like you want to be there, because if you made the decision to rush, you should want to be there. Smiling shows the women you’re speaking with that you’re excited about their chapter, and in return, they’ll be excited about you as a potential member. Making eye contact is very important as well. Eye contact shows you’re engaged in the conversation and not distracted or thinking about another house.

Make sure to show the sorority woman you’re chatting with that you’re interested by calling the woman by her name after she introduces herself, and occasionally throughout the conversation. Don’t reply to anything she says with one-word answers! “I consider myself an introvert who has a hard time with small talk, so after the first day of rush I changed my conversation strategy. I tried to see the girls I was meeting as potential friends and sisters, instead of strangers,” shares Lexi*, a sophomore and sorority member at Lehigh University. “You may start to relate more to the girls this way and then have the types of deeper conversations introverts love.”

4. Prepare interesting answers to questions beforehand

Speaking of no one-word answers during recruitment conversations, you could even think of possible answers to inevitable rush questions ahead of time. You will most likely be asked basic introductory questions by every woman you meet such as where you’re from, what you’re majoring in, if you’re enjoying the rush experience and other basic questions.

Don’t be afraid to answer these questions with more than a “New York” or “Biology” or “Yes." The women you’re speaking to are trying to see if you would fit in with their sisterhood, and that’s going to be very hard for them if you don’t open up about yourself.

Morgan Patrick, Director of Recruitment and a senior at The University of Alabama, which has the largest sorority membership in the nation, advises anticipating questions such as these and thinking of interesting answers ahead of time, so you don’t feel put on the spot. “Be aware that it’s not an interview. Especially the first couple rounds, it’s going to be a lot of where are you from [and] where are you living on campus. It can feel repetitive. For an introverted PNM, it’s difficult to start conversations, but if you have cool answers to those questions, it might lead to a different conversation. For example, if you’re asked where you’re from, instead of saying Memphis, Tennessee, you can say I’m from a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, so being from a suburb but near a city I had two types of experiences growing up.”

5. Don’t be discouraged if you’re not invited back to a sorority

The recruitment process at any school is a mutually selective process, meaning that you can be not invited back to a house (commonly referred to as being "dropped") even if you ranked that house highly. In fact, almost every PNM is dropped from multiple houses.

If and when this happens, it’s very important to not completely shut down. More on this later, but you shouldn’t change yourself or act like someone else if this happens! Everyone, even the girl who seems crazy confident, gets upset by being dropped by a favorite house. You’re not alone and it’s not personal. Sorority women are meeting hundreds of PNMs a day, so they can’t invite back everyone and they may feel some would fit in better at another chapter.

“Chapters are very large, so even if you’re not in the chapter you originally thought you would be in, there’s going to be someone in that chapter you can click with or befriend. Even if, especially early on in the week, you’re not back in the chapters you originally thought you would really love, give the other ones a chance,” says Morgan.

6. Relax and destress every night

We’re not going to lie: recruitment days are long and tiring. You will be walking all over the place (probably in heels!) and meeting so many people and making so many decisions. It’s important to remember to take care of yourself and your mental health.

Take time to relax every night after rush. If you have a tried and true tactic to destress, stick to that. If not, try watching a funny Netflix show, reading, writing in a journal, eating some comfort food or hanging out with friends. However, if you’re hanging out with friends, avoid discussing recruitment, especially negatively or comparing which houses you were invited back to. Introverts often find socializing, especially introductions and small talk, draining, so take this time to recharge for the next day.

“After each day was done, I would change into comfy clothes, put on a face mask and listen to music. I tried not to text my friends about rush either so it was completely off my mind. It really helped me be reenergized each day!” advises Lexi.

7. Most importantly, be yourself

As an introvert, you may feel pressured to act like someone you’re not to impress sororities. That’s the last thing you want to do! Sorority women want to see the real you, just like you expect them to be honest with you about themselves and their sororities. The right house will love you for who you are, not who you pretend to be or think you should be.

“I had a hard time going through recruitment because I’m very intimidated by people who are super outgoing, but I made sure to not try to be someone I wasn’t to impress anyone. Chapters genuinely want to get to know you, and you’ll be way more uncomfortable if you join a sorority that wants the fake version of you as opposed to the real version of you,” says Madelyn Dukart, an Alpha Chi Omega member at The Ohio State University.

Danielle Meller, another member of Alpha Chi Omega at The Ohio State University, adds, “What comes out of your mouth doesn’t have to be cookie-cutter perfect, but at least say it with meaning, passion, and enthusiasm.” 

We wish you the best of luck with recruitment, ladies. Now get ready to find your home!

*Name has been changed.