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The Do’s and Don’ts of Pre-Recruitment

Arriving at Emory last month, you were eager to participate in everything college has to offer – clubs, teams and even Greek Life, too. In trying to organize your busy campus life, you probably thought to yourself, “sorority rush doesn’t start until January, right?” Wrong. As far as formal recruitment goes, yes, rush starts second semester, but there’s plenty you can do now to get prepared for what awaits you in the spring. Use these guidelines to your best advantage to ensure your success when the end of winter break finally rolls around, and rush season officially begins.

Do attend Novemberfest (a mock recruitment that takes place each fall). Think of it as a dress rehearsal for rush, a practice round before the real deal. This is a great opportunity to see what rush is all about, and to get comfortable with the process. You will get to visit all of the houses and talk to several girls in each, so be on your best behavior!
Don’t get your heart set on one sorority. As a senior in high school, you didn’t just apply to one college, you had options. The same goes for sororities. Do your best to picture yourself being happy in several houses. You don’t need to make a final decision until the last day of recruitment, so give yourself a break until then!

Do give every sorority a fair chance. Just because you don’t know any girls in a particular house doesn’t mean you should cross them off your list for good. Go into Novemberfest and recruitment with an open mind. You’ll be meeting tons of amazing girls, and you never know who might surprise you!

advertise your first choice. Of course, it’s only natural to have a few favorite houses, but keep this info to yourself! No holding up sorority symbols in Maggies, or telling all of your friends that you’ll die if you don’t get your first choice. The girls in every house should feel like you’re genuinely interested in their sorority, and you should be!

Do talk to older girls in class, at club meetings or when you’re out at night. Of course, watch your BAC level so you don’t let too many personal deets slip, but don’t be afraid to get to know the sorority girls. Feel free to reach out to friends of friends, camp friends, siblings’ friends, any of the above!
Don’t let older guys influence your decision. Every guy secretly (or not so secretly) has a few favorite sororities, but this doesn’t mean that he should have a say in which one you join. Guys are great for introducing you to other girls, but past that, they shouldn’t be involved in sorority rush.

Do accept lunch/dinner/froyo invites from older girls. At some schools it’s called “dirty rushing,” but at Emory, it’s totally legal. Sorority girls may ask to take you out in groups to get to know you better, and you can and should accept their invitations.
Don’t freak out if no one has approached you yet. Some girls come to college knowing a ton of upperclassmen, and some arrive knowing none. Do your best to meet sorority girls during your first few months on campus, and the relationships will form in no time.

Do include different friends each time you go out with sorority girls. Rush hangouts are only allowed to happen in a group setting, so you will usually be asked to bring along two or three friends. Be inclusive and you will be invited on more outings in return!
Don’t let rush dinners come between you and your friends. It’s easy to feel left out when three girls out of your seven-person group get to go out with sophomores or juniors, but just remember that next week it will be your turn!

dress like yourself, not like how you think “X” sorority would dress. Forget about what you’ve seen certain girls wearing on campus, because chances are, that that’s their own personal style. There’s no such thing as sorority dress codes, so feel free to dress like yourself and be confident with your own style.
Don’t show too much skin when out at night. Guys aren’t the only ones looking. While clothing options are up to you, clothing is certainly not optional. Showing up to a theme party half naked is not considered “in costume” – frankly, it’s considered slu**y and no one, girls especially, really wants to see that much. 

Do be talkative and engaging. Rush can get repetitive for all parties involved, but the girls in each sorority genuinely want to get to know each girl that walks through their house. It’s up to you to really put yourself out there while socializing with them first semester, and then while going through rush in January. Have something to say or questions to ask and stay engaged while you’re conversing with everyone you meet.
Don’t talk about guys or other sororities. Blabbing on and on about your favorite frat and your first hookup at Emory shouldn’t be primary topics of conversation with older girls. Talking badly about other sororities shouldn’t make the cut either. Having bad things to say about others only highlights a negative attitude – the kind that certainly isn’t welcome in sororities.

your research on who the older girls are dating (or have dated). We get it – random hookups happen when you barely know the guy. But as much as alcohol might be fogging your vision, be sure that it’s not another girl’s boyfriend that you’re making out with. No one wants to be that girl who ruins her chances at joining a sorority by kissing the wrong guy.
Don’t gossip about older girls/guys and their relationships. In fact, avoid gossip in general. Hearsay will only get you so much information, so it’s wise to not believe everything you hear. And even further, it’s not necessary to seek out excessive information (“dirt”) on the people you’re meeting if you’re just talking to talk. Plus, you never know who’s standing beside you on the line at Cox…

Do make your own decisions. Don’t do what your friends are doing, unless it’s what you want, too. It’s wonderful if your close friends have all decided independently that they want to join the same sorority – or at this stage in the game, befriend a certain group of older girls. When it comes down to it, joining a sorority can be a big decision and it’s up to you to make your own.

stress over it too much (at least not until January). Emory gives you a semester before rush for a reason. This semester, you’re allowed to take it easy and casually become friends with anyone and everyone you come in contact with – and you’re encouraged to do that! Don’t get all bent out of shape over what to say and who to talk to and where to rest your hand while you’re engaging in conversation. Stay calm in knowing that all you’re supposed to be doing is making new friends.

Even if you ultimately decide that rush and/or sorority life aren’t for you, this run-down of first-semester etiquette might prove valuable to you anyway. Dealing with rush is one thing, but getting to know people outside the strict structure of recruitment is what’s really important and valuable. Stick to these “pre-rush” rules and rest assured that sorority recruitment isn’t as intimidating or stress inducing as it may seem at first. Certainly, it’s no more overwhelming than your first visit to a frat house was…  

Jessica lives her life at several speeds. She talks too fast, eats too slow and over-analyzes too much.  When she’s not telling long-winded stories, sitting alone at the dinner table, or staring off into space, Jessica loves all things creative. Screenwriter, play director and poet at age 9, songwriter and choreographer at age 16, now, at 23, all she really wants to do is write, help others, and post Instagrams.  As a social media coordinator for multiple fashion brands, and a post-grad writer for Her Campus, she gets to do just that. Jessica is a Midwestern girl from the suburbs of Chicago, but she fell in love with city living during a summer internship in the Big Apple, and now calls NYC home. Jessica loves chocolate milkshakes, dance parties, Chippewa Ranch Camp, Friends re-runs, Chuck Bass and of course, spending time with her fans (read: family and friends).  
Lauren Kaplan is a senior majoring in English and Dance at Emory University. She is originally from New Jersey, and has loved living in Atlanta for the past three years. Lauren thinks most fondly of her two favorite places - her childhood camp, Camp Wayne for Girls, and Margate on the Jersey shore - from which she has derived a love of friends, family, and the beach.
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