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Sydney White / Amanda Bynes
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Life > Experiences

The Side Of Sorority Rush You Don’t Hear About

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ohio U chapter.

Thousands of girls nationwide have gotten to experience formal sorority recruitment in the past couple of weeks. We’ve watched them on TikTok show off their adorable outfits, make new friends, and eventually receive a bid and find their forever sisters. From the viewer’s perspective, the whole process looks glamorous. What the viewer doesn’t see is the girls who don’t end up joining their dream sorority for one reason or another. When I went through sorority rush this September, I was one of those girls who didn’t end up joining their dream sorority, or any sorority at all. Here’s the side of sorority rush that no one talks about, and why we should normalize talking about it more.

Just like everyone else on TikTok, I was obsessed with watching “RushTok.” Once the opportunity arose for me to sign up for Panhellenic recruitment at my school, I was immediately on board. At this point, I was honestly a little skeptical about Greek life because of the poor connotation it carries for so many people, but I thought I would give it a try anyway.

Leading up to recruitment weekend, I was so excited. I had all my outfits picked out, met my “Rho Gamma’s” (the active sorority members who help you through the recruitment process), and overall had a positive attitude about what was to come.

The first round of recruitment was called “Meet The Chapters,” when all the PNMs (potential new members) had the opportunity to meet girls from all of the Panhellenic chapters on campus. It was exhausting talking to so many people and gathering all this new information, but I was ready to take on the next round at the end of the day. The next round was called the “Philanthropy Round,” and the PNMs got to go to the sorority houses for the first time and hear about each chapter’s philanthropy. 

What I and many other PNMs didn’t truly understand about this process was that while you’re ranking the sororities, the sororities are also ranking you. This means that if you really like a sorority but they rank you low on their list, you’re probably not going to be invited back to their house. By the second round, I saw so many girls dropping out of recruitment because they weren’t invited back to the houses they loved.

When I woke up the morning of the third round, “Sisterhood Round,” I was devastated to learn that I had gotten dropped by my top two houses. I thought I’d had great conversations with the active members, and I couldn’t figure out why they wouldn’t have wanted to invite me back. 

Unfortunately, I went into “Sisterhood Round” with a bad attitude, but I still wanted to give the other houses a chance. By the end of the day, I felt mentally drained and extremely conflicted. I really wanted to be in a sorority, but I didn’t feel that the options I had left were where I was meant to be. After a lot of thinking, I decided to drop out of recruitment on the very last day. It was a tough decision, but looking back now I think it was the right choice. 

It’s safe to say I didn’t have the rush experience I was hoping for, but I know that tons of girls on my college campus and campuses all over the country have similar stories to mine. If we normalize talking about the bad parts of sorority rush, we can make the overall recruitment experience better by diminishing unrealistic expectations. I don’t regret giving Greek life a try, but now I know that I don’t need to be in a sorority to fit in and have fun in college.

Amelia is a writer for the Her Campus chapter at Ohio University. She is from Columbus, Ohio and is an Early Childhood Education Major. Along with Her Campus, Amelia is involved in Chaarg and KDPI's chapters at OU.