Thinking of going Greek? Here’s what you should know.
Rush week was by far one of the most exhausting weeks of my entire life. If you think you know what it’s like, think again. From door to door, endless chants that get stuck in your head, to blistered feet and tireless conversation, rush week is an experience within itself. If you survive it-whether you end up running home or not-you will have a story to tell.
To prepare everyone for an idea of what formal rush is like, whether you rush in the fall or spring, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Go in with an open mind. Yes, every school’s Greek life has its own reputation, and every sorority has its own reputation, and every girl will tell you different things regarding each house-and most of those things may be true-but go with your gut and experience rush for yourself. Even if everything lives up to its stereotype…don’t let what others say keep you from rushing or make you feel like you have to rush to make friends or to get involved on campus.
Know what you’re getting yourself into. If you think you are ready to pledge-should you get a bid-make sure that you are well aware of the membership dues, the time commitments, and that you are 100% comfortable with the sorority that you are hoping to become a lifetime member of. Dues range anywhere from $1,000-$3,000 each semester, and if you are already struggling to cough up tuition, rent, or grocery money each month, you may want to put off pledging. Sororities also will hold several events throughout the year, as well as weekly chapter meetings, Alpha sessions, and mixers. If you have trouble managing your time and prioritizing, reconsider what you are choosing to get yourself involved with. School should always come first!
Be wary of the stereotypes, and don’t compromise your values. Before and during rush, you are most likely going to hear about several things. “Zip code cuts,” for example-where houses only choose girls who live in certain area codes, such as The Woodlands, Southlake, Alamo Heights, etc.- as well as rumors that girls are pre-picked by each house and therefore you have no chance at getting a bid from one. While some people may find these to, sadly, be true, choose to listen to your heart and rush home to the house that you confidently feel is right for you. The “Big Six” houses are only the “Big Six” because girls constantly view them as such. Any sorority that you rush could be right for you, but you should keep your standards set and not let a little rumor or two sway your decision. If it feels right for you, it’s right for you.
Don’t be afraid to drop out of rush, not accept a bid, or not get a bid at all. It happens. Rush week is stressful, and sometimes it ends with tears. If at any point you decide that you no longer want to proceed, do not hesitate to drop out of rush. For whatever reason you may have, you will feel 10x more relieved if you stopped when you had the chance to, rather than forcing yourself through it and ending up unhappy. There is always next year to rush again, and who knows? You may even find several other organizations throughout the year on campus that you fit into so much better! Greek life isn’t for everyone, and you don’t have to be in a sorority to have a close circle of good friends and weekend fun.
Rushing is just as fun and exciting as it is exhausting and nerve-racking. Don’t hesitate to ask your rho chi’s for advice along the way-that’s what they’re there for! Every girl’s experience will be different, and whether you run home or decide to wait, just relax and learn from and enjoy the process.