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Life > Experiences

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly: What to Expect During Sorority Recruitment 

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

With summer around the corner, incoming freshmen, sophomores, and transfer students are anxiously planning for sorority rush in the fall. Whether that’s buying outfits for each round, getting a rush counselor, or watching videos about sorority rush at their college, preparing for recruitment is stressful for potential new members (PNMs) and recruiters alike. However, if you are unsure about the rush process and don’t know what to expect, look no further. Here are some of the most consistent things you could experience during recruitment:

Lots of planning

I’m sure most people are aware of this, but there is truly so much planning for both PNMs and recruiters in each sorority. I personally started planning out my outfits and conversation starters in July. However, if I were to start the planning process over again, I would start planning out my outfits in May or early June and have a clear idea of my major, what I did in high school or college so far, and what I’m passionate about. Ultimately, if you are confident in yourself, you will do very well. 

Long days 

When it comes to recruitment week itself, each day is incredibly long. Especially at UCLA, where the last rounds are during the beginning of the first week of school, you’re going to be tired. As someone who went through it myself and had classes almost every day of week 0 during recruitment, you get through it. I drank a lot of coffee that week to stay awake and to make sure I was present during each conversation. But, I know plenty of girls that didn’t and did very well. Just remember that your recruiters are also starting school that week too, so chances are you will all be a little drained together. 

short breaks

Before I started recruitment, I was under the impression that I would go to each house back to back, with no break in between. I knew I was going to be exhausted, but I would at least get it done all in one go. However, that isn’t really the case. For the first round or two, you go to a few houses and then take a short break for the length of one house meeting. Then, about half way through the day, you get a lunch break. I really enjoyed these breaks, as I was able to talk to and bond with other girls in my rush group. As the week goes on, you have longer breaks as each house meeting gets longer and more spread out. So, during the third or fourth rounds, you may have one hour long house meeting, but then a two hour break in between your next house. Ultimately, the breaks are very helpful for giving you time to rest, so take advantage of them and get to know your rho gamma or other girls in your group. 

Happy Fun Laughing Girls
Cassie Howard / Her Campus
repetitive conversations

Especially during the first few days of recruitment, your conversations will be repetitive. You will be constantly asked where you are from, your year in school, and your major. Have these answers ready to go! You will also be asked about activities you did in high school and what you look for in friends, so be prepared to repeat yourself at different houses, especially early on. However, there will be differences in how each recruiter navigates your responses, so even if the conversation seems repetitive, put your all into it. I think the best way to go about conversations is to put the same amount of effort into each one and to give each house a chance. I personally feel like I didn’t do this, and I definitely regret not giving other houses as much of a chance. So, try your best to make each conversation seem like its own thing, and like you didn’t just talk about that with another recruiter at a different house. Who knows, the conversation may start off repetitive, but it could develop into something unique and interesting. 

questioning your sanity

One of the hardest things to navigate during rush is getting dropped from houses. I distinctly remember being dropped by houses I loved between rounds three and four, and I was really upset. I was really confused and thought the conversations went well, but maybe I had messed them up. However, at the end of the day, we need to remind ourselves that rush is truly a numbers game and you shouldn’t take it personally. You may have aced the conversation, but someone else could’ve been a better fit in the eyes of the recruiter. Recruitment is so subjective, and ultimately, you want to go where you are wanted and appreciated. Otherwise, what’s the point of being somewhere where you are made to feel like you are lesser, even if you aren’t in reality.

Friendships with girls from other chapters

One of the biggest surprises from rush was that I would meet so many girls from other chapters that I am still friends with almost a year later. Especially in your rho gamma group, you meet so many different girls that end up joining houses across the row, which makes UCLA seem that much smaller. I distinctly remember going to lunch in between rounds with a group of girls that ended up being in a club I joined winter quarter, unbeknownst to me. And if I hadn’t joined that club or talked to them during rush, I wouldn’t have found myself knowing other girls from different chapters and expanding my social circle. Ultimately, it is so cool to know girls in other sororities, because you begin to understand each other on another level from the things you share about your houses. So, get to know girls in your rho gamma groups because you never know, they may become new friends.

Friendships with girls in your chapter (which grow on bid day)

One of the craziest things that happened during rush was meeting one of my best friends at UCLA in my rush group, with whom I ended up joining the same sorority. We bonded over each round, and opened our bid night cards together at Drake stadium, where we ran home together. I know this is probably a unique experience, but it’s truly the girl you least expect who becomes your best friend in your sorority. We went through recruitment together and at the end of the day, I couldn’t imagine being in my sorority without her. I probably would have dropped the sorority, to be frank. Recruitment is truly such a physically, mentally, and emotionally draining process, so, if you can, talk to girls in your rush group. Make friends with them, because the girl you talked to on the first day might become your next best friend.

Ultimately, there is so much pressure to have a perfect rush experience, in which YOU are the one dropping houses and every conversation you have is flawless. However, that is simply not the case, and this pressure will only make you more stressed. Before going through rush, I never thought I would end up in the sorority that I’m in, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. At the end of the day, I have really enjoyed being in a sorority. Although it may not be perfect, having a group of girls I can spend time with has been so much fun. So, if you are on the fence about rushing, go for it! You never know, you may enjoy it.

Calina is a second year Communication Studies major and Global Studies minor at UCLA from Santa Cruz, California. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, going to the beach, exploring new places, and spending time with friends.