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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pepperdine chapter.

For whatever reason, rushing a sorority as an Upperclassman is a bit taboo. I definitely felt that in the last few months while I was struggling to decide whether I was going to rush or not. I was worried about being one of the only Juniors rushing, what the active members were going to think of my intentions, how my peers would react, and what all the new Freshmen would think of me. 

Photo by Bewakoof.com Official on Unsplash

When I arrived on campus a month ago, I thought I had decided against rushing. I was someone who rushed and dropped my Freshman year, and was happy with my decision. I was putting too much pressure on rushing a sorority to decide if I liked Pepperdine, I didn’t know who I was, and I didn’t feel like I found my people — which makes sense considering I hadn’t found myself. It was just not the right timing. (Check out this honest article from Melissa on her experience. NOTE: The rush process was longer when we were Freshmen.) 


However, when I got here, I found a lot of my fellow Juniors were going to rush. Many of us were on the fence, but collectively, we decided to go for it. We already had friends, we had lived half of our college careers without being in sororities and survived, but rushing and joining had the potential to add something positive in our lives. So, we rushed, and I’m here to tell you why rushing as an Upperclassman was actually a positive experience (despite the taboo). 


Pepperdine is weird. It’s hard to put into words, but if you go here, you get it. Most Sophomores go abroad, myself included, and as a result, you really only experience one year with each class of people. Freshman year, the Sophomores are abroad, and when the year ends, the Seniors graduate, the Juniors stay on campus, and then the Freshmen and Sophomores switch places. After abroad, which is spent solely with other Sophomores, you come back to not knowing the Senior class, not knowing the Sophomore class, and not knowing the incoming Sophomore class. Even at such a small school, there are always new people to meet, especially at the start of the year. Because of the unfortunate system that leaves the different classes with only one year of overlap, it’s so much better to meet people early in the year rather than later — it feels like you’ve been gypped when you meet someone and then shortly after having to part ways for the rest of your college careers. This is the main reason I rushed this year — I wanted to get to know people in the different classes, and have the whole year to spend quality time with them. You meet actives in the rush room, other people rushing (mostly Freshmen) in the Rho Gamma groups, and, if you pledge a sorority, your other new members. Rush is a feeding ground for meeting new people, and it’s at the beginning of the year — if you hit it off with someone, you’ve got the whole year to spend time together. 


Additionally, if you’re an Upperclassman and have spent previous years on campus, you’re familiar with Greek Life on campus. You have a better sense of the community, vibe, and obligations. More specifically, you probably know what the different sororities are truly like. You have had adequate time to really get to see their involvement, values, and the essence of who they are. Chances are, you already know multiple people in each of the sororities. It is so comforting to see familiar faces when you walk into the rush room. It can be scary walking into a rush room as a Freshman (I was terrified), because everyone is older than you and everyone is a stranger. It is so reassuring to see a smiling, comforting face when walking into the room. It is especially validating when they seek you out to say hello. It helps so much with getting rid of nerves and releasing the tension. 


Lastly, you have lived more life and you have a better understanding of who you are as a person as an Upperclassman. You have experienced college, know what you can manage, and probably have a general idea of what you want to do in life after declaring a Major. You probably have a good idea of what is most important to you and how to prioritize. Along with knowing yourself, you probably know the people you get along with best and what healthy relationships look like; you know what you need from a friendship and a support system.

Photo by Matthew Hamilton on Unsplash

I did not have a great experience rushing my Freshman year, and I was honestly dreading rushing again this year. However, I took a leap of faith (alongside a bunch of other Juniors) and gave it a shot. I wanted to meet new people early on in the year, and this was the best way for me to do it. My rush experience this year was amazing, and I attribute that to being an Upperclassman. I was excited to get to know new people, already familiar with Greek Life on campus, I saw familiar faces in every room I walked into, and I had a better sense of self. Ignore the taboo, don’t let it stop you from potentially discovering your place.


Hannah Miller

Pepperdine '21

Senior Associate, Integrated Marketing (Activation) at Her Campus Media + former Campus Correspondent at the Her Campus Pepperdine Chapter!