The Ultimate Guide to Sorority Rush

What you really need to know - a foolproof guide to help you find your sisters

                PC:Sorority Sugar

Hey there PNM. Yes, that’s you. Potential New Member. Welcome to this uber-informative guide to sorority rush! Before you rush, it is an exciting, and equally as nerve racking time. But fret not my friend, because rush is way more of an exciting experience than a nerve-racking one. I specifically wanted to create a guide for the girl that ultimately knows she wants to join a sorority, and desires to know how she can display her best assets that will show her potential sisters that she has got it going on! I myself went through rush last year, and am on the flip side of it all; now, I am the recruiter. My, how time has flown by in a year. I feel equipped, and as if it is my duty to share with you, rushees, how to maximize your potential and find a solid group of girls that will feel like home to you. So, if you have been reading this and nodding your head in agreement because this is how you are feeling right now- continue! You got this girl, read on.


First things first.

Before the makeup, before the shoes, before the incessant smiling that will cause your jaw to hurt- take a second to evaluate what you want out of a sorority. Every sorority is different. They value different things over others. Their philanthropies are ever ranging. Their makeup can be diverse or lacking. So before you work on anything outwardly physical, reflect on-to the best of your ability- what you think you would like out of a group of women.

Do you want to be a part of something greater than yourself?

Do you want to be a part of an organization that strives to make a difference in their community?

Do you want sisterhood? (You may be asking yourself what that even means. Don’t worry too much. We will get into it later, if it sounds appealing, just mentally check yes in your mind)

Do you want to be in a sorority that has a chapter house?

Do you want a support system?

Does Greek Life sound appealing to you?

Do you have the time and desire to contribute much of yourself and your days to being a part of a sorority?

These questions are not meant to be mind blowingly daunting, rather they are purposeful in aiding you to examine whether or not sorority life is for you. Good news, if your answer to any of these questions was a yes, I would say you are on the road to rush baby. No one is entirely certain of all of the questions in the beginning, before joining a sorority. With time, all you value becomes very clear. Primarily though, it is important to have a basis in your mind of what you would like coming into the process. With a foundation of things you want out of a sorority, it will be easy for you to weed out houses that do not match your criteria.

Rush is a mutual selection, meaning that you want House XYZ, and House XYZ wants you. It is a mutual choosing process, which is a great thing if you think about it. Who would want to be in a sorority that did not like them and vice versa. There is nothing malicious about the selection. It is simply a way for sororities and potential new members to mutually say “I like you!”



Alright. That was a mouthful. Let’s dig deeper into the process honey. Just to get it out of the way, this is simply a paperwork step in this process. Have you signed up for recruitment (rush)? Most likely on your college/ university’s greek life website there will be a link somewhere for you to sign up for recruitment. There is a fee, universally it is small. Mine was around $45. If that fee alone seems to be rather expensive, I would like to remind you that being in a sorority has its cost. There are dues to pay that will cover a myriad of expenses from formals to rituals. But there are additional, underlying expenses that you never really think would come up. Those expenses largely arise in the wardrobe department. Being required to buy certain articles of clothing really is a blessing in disguise because the wardrobe your building to wear to meetings and events is largely business casual/formal. So, the pieces you are buying, are in fact building a closet that will follow you into the business world. I have found many pieces of clothing to be multi-functional. This was a small tangent, but I think it is worthy to state as this guide is aiming to be “ultimate”.

As I was saying, small fee to be! Every recruitment sign up form will be different but underlyingly they will all be asking the same basic questions. For a quick summary, you will encounter general questions about yourself, involvements, etc. that will help sororities get to know you. All this information will be used to register you as a PNM, once again- potential new member, and get you ready to go through rush!

Okay, so you are signed up, ready to go, and both excited and nervous. That is natural and all good. Now comes the prep! We should tackle the physical and leave the inspirational mental for last. I am going to outline the days of rush in order to guide your outfit choices. Rush is usually around a weeklong, lasting typically five days.

Day 1 is the day you will be visiting all  Panhellenic houses. You will be placed into an RC Group lead by your RCs (RC stands for Recruitment Counselor fyi). RCs are Greek life members who disaffiliate during the recruitment process to lead PNMs through rush (to guide without bias). Each day you have “rounds” or “parties”, which is simply terminology, or another way of saying a meeting/conversation with the women of the sorority. The day should be treated largely as the initial meet and greet. Here at UCI, the Panhellenic guide suggests to keep your outfit “Cute and Casual” and to “Go for: Sundress, Skirt, Flowy Shorts, Comfy Shirt, Strappy Sandals,  and “Avoid: Ripped Denim, Sweats, Sweatshirts, T-Shirts, Leggings”. Just be yourself and treat each party equally. Should you have expectations about a certain house, I would advise you to try to come into the process as neutral as possible. That way, you will not be jeopardizing the chance of you possibly liking a house solely because you came in with either your own or someone else's opinion of House XYZ.


At the end of the day, you will be given a paper list to rank the houses you visited. This will be inputted into a specialized computerized system that the sororities use to mutually select you! You will be ranking at the end of each day all the way up to pref night when you will be picking your number one choice amongst your last two houses. All very exciting stuff dear!

Day 2 is way less stressful because you will have gone to all the houses and been through the first round of parties. Before your Day 2 starts, you will be given a slip of paper with your schedule detailing what houses you have been called back to for the day. If for some reason you find that a house you liked didn’t call you back for the next day- just know that they were not the right house for you! No problem, remind yourself of the mutual selection process and move forward knowing the right sorority will be in your future in a matter of days. Okay, as for what to wear on Day 2-which is Philanthropy Day, at least here at UCI, the online Panhellenic guide suggests “Go for: Blazer, Dress, Skirt, Dress Pants, Low Heels, Ballet Flats, Cardigans and “Avoid: Denim, Leggings, Spaghetti Straps, Tight Dress, Flip Flops”. You will want to go for a more business casual look on this day. The parties will be longer, you will get to spend more time talking to women, and you will be hearing all about each sorority’s philanthropy!



Day 3-Sisterhood Day. So so fun! You will have received an even shorter list of houses to visit because of your ranking of your top choices from the night before. This means that you will spend even more time with the women of each sorority that you are visiting, which allows you to form deeper connections and have more meaningful conversations with your possible future sisters! Day 3 is a hoot because you get to form an actual conclusion as to what sisterhood means to each sorority. You get a vibe that will help you in deciding whether or not you can totally see yourself in said sorority. You will want to go cute and casual style wise, “Go for: Sundress, Skirt, Flowy Shorts, Comfy Shirt, Strappy Sandals and “Avoid: Ripped Denim, Sweats, Sweatshirts, T-Shirts, Leggings”. After your long day, you will repeat the same steps of narrowing down your top choices. It can begin to get really tough, but you must remember to choose which sorority is best for you. Never choose a sorority solely because you have a friend in it! After all, you will be the one possibly in said house, so if you do not like them...that entirely defeats the point of joining a group of women… that you like. Just a reminder girl.



Day 4 is very exciting ladies- it is Preference Night, Pref night for short. This evening is really special because you have successfully narrowed your sorority choices to the final two. You will end up only going to two parties that night, House ABC and XYZ. It is incredibly helpful that the party you will be attending at each house will be the longest of any party you have attended the whole week. This duration of time with the women of each sorority will immensely help you make the decision as the which sorority is your number one choice. The evening is special to the women of the sorority because if as a PNM you have made it this far, the sorority can see you being one of them. So, Pref Night is the final round to convince you essentially that you should choose House XYZ. On Pref Night you should aim to be wearing “Cocktail Attire”, the guide recommends to “Go For: Semi Formal Dress, Heels and “Avoid: Denim, Leggings, Spaghetti Straps, Tight Dress, Flip Flops”.


PC: Dillards

As the night comes to a close, thoughtfully reflect on both houses and what you ultimately want out of a sorority. Then comes the time to turn in your final preference of what sorority you would like to be in! If you find it troubling to decide between your two options, go with your gut. I guarantee that in your heart you likely have a 51% percent leaning for one of your choices. All will turn out well; sometimes, you have to trust in yourself and the system that everything will be a-okay!

    Now the next day is here, Bid Day! You will receive a bid from one of the houses you pref’d! It is a very exciting time for you and all the girls receiving bids. Once you open and see what sorority has offered you a bid, it is up to you to decide whether or not you would like to accept. Outfit-wise, pick whichever bottom you would like, because most commonly the sorority will supply you with a shirt!

PC:Study Breaks Magazine

Once having received the bid, a major reveal all of the new pledge class to the actives will ensue; it usually involves a lot of running to each other and mass amounts of hugging new sisters. And afterwards, a party with your sisters typically follows. Fun fun!

PC: The Tiger

    I want to congratulate you on making it this far throughout this guide. I hope it will help you on your rush journey. Remember to enjoy rush. The recruitment process alone brought me lifelong friends in other sororities and in my recruitment counselors. I am thankful for simply the journey and what it brought me beyond my own sorority, which I love dearly. Before rush starts, you feel mentally overwhelmed- normal and natural. Just know that you are more than capable of going through this process. Flood your brain with good thoughts and put your best foot forward mate. I wish you all love and blessings on your path to finding your sisters. Good luck!

PC:Oregon State


Final helpful and very useful tips for rushees:

-You are not allowed to bring your phones in the house. Make sure not to leave it in your pockets, leave them in your purse outside with your RC(s).

-Carry powder/ lipstick for touch ups

-Bring mints over gum because you don’t want to be chewing during parties

-Be confident in who you are and what you bring to the table.


Go get em’