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Being in a sorority is an amazing experience, but getting into one can be overwhelming and nerve-wracking.  As well-meaning as it is when people say not to stress it, you can’t help but to worry a little throughout the process.  The good news, however, is that there are plenty of ways to make your rush process both enjoyable and successful, and lucky you for you, I’ve created a comprehensive manual: The bSmart Guide to Sorority Rush.

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Keep an Open Mind

I cannot stress this enough: the number one most important thing throughout the rush process is to keep an open mind.  This applies to both before and during the rush process.  While it's a good idea to look up sorority Tumblr or Instagram pages to get a feel for the houses before you begin, it's not a good idea to use this as a means of selecting the house you want to be in, since the girls may not match your expectations once you arrive, or you may find a great house you hadn’t researched once the process begins.  Once you do start rushing, don’t jump to conclusions on the first or even second round.  Houses you may not like at first may grow on you, and houses you love may turn out to have their faults.  Rush, especially at large schools, does require a little bit of luck.  With so many girls rushing, it can be hard to make a lasting impression, and you may get dropped from a house you liked, even if it felt like you had it in the bag.  Keeping an open mind will enable you to really get to know the girls you meet, find the house that is truly right for you, and enjoy the rush process so much more.

Be Aware of Those Around You

A rush leader told me this when I began rushing, and it completely changed my experience for the better.  While of course it's extremely important to judge houses based on the girls who are rushing you in them, it's also important to look around you, especially during the later rounds, to see what kinds of girls your own age are also still rushing that house.  These girls likely feel positively toward the house for the same reasons you do, which means they may be similar to you, share your values, and turn out to be people you create lasting friendships with.  Even more so, if you look around and notice that the girls at the house with you are not those you see yourself becoming close with, this can be a sign that maybe the house is not the place for you.  Your experience is only as good as the friendships you are able to make along the way.

Ask Questions

After a while, rush begins to feel monotonous.  After all, how many times can you tell a stranger your major or your favorite spot to eat on campus?  Instead of repeating these conversations, feel free to take the reins and use this time to ask productive questions that are specifically important to you.  A few good questions to ask include:

  • What specifically made you choose to join this house?
  • What has been the best part of being involved in Greek life?
  • What sort of time commitment does this house require?
  • What kinds of activities do you do for your philanthropy events? For sisterhood?
  • Do you like living with your sisters?  What kinds of things do you guys do on a typical day or night? (If they have a house or floor of a dorm)
  • When did you know this was the place you belonged?  Who are the people who made you decide to join this house?  What are they like?

Do What’s Right for You

Like any other decision in college, rush will involve a lot of people sharing their opinions.  You may hear girls discussing the reputations of houses, rumors involving girls within them, good or bad experiences they had during a round, things their older friends have told them, or even how a house 'ranks' compared to another.  My advice is to tune all of this out, even the things that are favorable.  What works for someone else may not be what works for you.  What they are looking for may not be what is important to you.  And what 'tier' a house is in is, frankly, irrelevant.  Make your choices based on where you feel the best and had the best conversations, and you’ll end up in the place that is really the most beneficial to you.

Go With Your Gut

One thing that can make rush difficult is taking it too seriously.  I know, because that's what I did.  Every time I was dropped from a house I liked or was forced to make a tough decision as to where I wanted to go back, I got wrapped up in it, and felt overwhelmed or disheartened.  While it’s okay to feel that way sometimes, don’t let it get to the point where rush becomes a miserable experience.  Keep calm, and go with what your gut tells you.  Make decisions based on where you had the best feelings and the best conversations, not where you think you’re 'supposed to be' or how you think the girl rushing you may have felt in return.

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Keeping an open mind will enable you to really get to know the girls you meet, find the house that is right for you, and enjoy the rush process.

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Have Fun

This advice can be a hard one to follow when rush gets scary and exhausting, but the whole point of rush is to make connections with great people, and to find a place that will enhance your college experience.  Have fun, make good conversation, meet interesting people, and enjoy the experience as much as you can.

For me, being part of a sorority has been an incredible experience, one that has made me a better friend, a better student, and an overall better person. As cheesy as it sounds, I do believe that this is because the rush system works—you will end up where you are meant to be. As long as you enjoy the rush process and follow these few simple tips, there’s nothing keeping you from finding, and loving, your own sisterhood. Good luck!

 

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