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My 2021 Sorority Rush Experience

On February 1 my rush experience came to an end with a bid from Alpha Omicron Pi. However, with rush being held completely over Zoom, it’s safe to say that it was not the easiest process.

 

Rush consisted of endless hours on Zoom, yet there were pros and cons to it being virtual. 

 

The biggest con for me was staring at my computer screen all day. Usually, the weekends are my break from staring at screens, but this weekend was not. It got to a point where I had constant headaches from the blue light. 

 

In my opinion, the first round was hard to execute well. It felt unfair to be judged solely based off of a one-minute introduction video. There is no way to honestly tell what someone is like from such an impersonal, short video. 

 

It is also tough to know if you can get along with someone if you only see them on a screen for a limited amount of time. These short conversations are what we all had to participate in with the sorority members. Everyone tried their best to hold a conversation, but nothing was too memorable when it wasn’t face-to-face. 

 

Then, of course, there were technical difficulties. Multiple slow internet connections lead to a lag for all participants in a breakout room. Then, some girls even got kicked out of meetings because of an unstable internet connection. 

 

There was no in-person bid day to put the cherry on top of it all, either. I understand this precaution, but I will be honest — it was incredibly awkward online. 

 

Many of the sorority girls were together, singing and having fun, while all of the new members were alone in their rooms. It was fun to watch the sisters have a good time, but it was personally challenging for me to be outgoing in this situation. 

 

Even with these cons, there were ever better pros to outweigh them.

 

The entire second weekend of rush, it snowed a total of about ten inches in State College. Since rush was a fully online experience, no one had to walk in heels for twenty minutes on snow and ice. Illnesses and injuries were likely avoided by not having to trek across campus in cute outfits. 

 

Many women also mentioned how much easier it was to talk to everyone over Zoom. Usually, there are around one hundred women squished into the sorority floor suites. It was always way too loud to talk to other potential new members, so they would have to scream in each other’s ears. Over Zoom, however, no one had this problem.

 

This aspect made the process less exhausting overall. Every woman was able to rush from the comfort of their own homes, and they didn’t have to walk all over campus for it. 

 

Doing Zoom meetings from home is something we have all gotten way too accustomed to. However, no one can deny how awesome it is to never change out of sweatpants. Especially for rush, we didn’t have to put on dresses or short skirts with our fancy tops. 

 

Then, of course, we all did our part in slowing the spread of the pandemic. Every sorority girl made the best of the situation, and I rarely heard any complaints. 

 

I am so grateful for all of the amazing women I talked to during this experience, and I am beyond happy to one day get to meet my new sisters. 

 

I would encourage every woman who has thought about rushing to just do it. It is something you won’t regret, and if you “trust the process,” you will eventually find the place you are meant to be.

Marlena is a third-year in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State where she is majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Psychology and Digital Media Trends and Analytics. She is so grateful to be at Penn State and loves learning more about communications, her peers, and herself every day. She hopes to use this knowledge and her own positive outlook to help others in any way she can.
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