Guys, you can obviously skip this page.
Girls, if you're even thinking about rushing, you're probably a little nervous.
I had no earthly idea what to expect & that's what caused half of my pre-rush anxiety. For those of you who have older sisters or friends who came out of rush in one piece, they might have told you every detail already.
The other half of the anxiety is the personal stuff. What if they don't like me? Will they talk about me when I leave? How do they vote on me? What if the only sorority I know anybody in drops me?
Don't worry. We've all had these questions haunt us, too. So, I talked to my sister & a couple of my friends & got their answers to all of the tough questions.
I've compiled our answers & hope they help put your mind at ease.
This might sound hokey, but if you be yourself (& I recommend to pray for a bit of guidance along the way) you will truly end up where you are meant to be. ...for real.
Here's what Ginger, Elizabeth & I remember.
1- What should I wear?
Elizabeth says, "Wear dresses or maybe a cute skirt & shirt depending upon the dressiness of the parties that day. Always take a little jacket or sweater in your bag in case you get chilly during or in between the parties."
The best guide is your campus's rush handbook. It will give you detailed information about each day's parties & their degree of formality.
2- What should I avoid wearing?
A unanimous reply is: Anything too short, tight or revealing. You're not going clubbin' (& even when you are, you should have some self-respect). You want to send the right message & you don't want that message to be, "I'm a floozy,".
Elizabeth recommends that you also avoid pants & flip-flops.
3- What should I talk about with complete strangers?
Elizabeth recommends having a pre-made list of 5 questions for the first round of parties. She also successfully uses this method on first dates which is a similar situation where you're trying to find out where the other party stands on your big issues.
Ginger's questions include: "How many hours a week do the sisters typically spend together?" "What is your involvement in the community?" "What is an event that you look forward to each year?"
You may also ask more personal, but still sorority-related, questions such as: "What made you pledge this sorority?" & "How did you get over being nervous?"
I would avoid asking any intrusive questions about their rush week like, "Did you get a bid from your first choice?" or "Who didn't you like when you went through rush?"
Elizabeth liked to ask questions about campus life like: "Are there any classes you have really enjoyed?" "What activities are you involved in on campus? ...why?"
4- What should I avoid talking about?
These are the no-brainers. Ginger says, "They're not going to talk to you much about drinking, partying or guys. These things can be a part of sorority life, but it's kind of hush-hush during rush week."
Simply put, I would follow their lead. Just like your attire sends a message about who you are, so does your mouth. Keep it clean.
Some priceless advice from Elizabeth warns against playing the "Do you know...?" game.
Innocent Little You: "Oh, do you know Jessica? She was my best friend in middle school!" (Now, you're thinking, "Yes! I have my foot in the door because Jessica's in this sorority.")
Offended Rusher: "Um, yeah, I sure do. She's who my boyfriend cheated on me with & she got busted with some pot in her backpack last week."
Even if you talk yourself blue in the face about how different Jessica has become since you were associated with her, you have already connected yourself with her in this person's mind.
Skip using anyone else's name to make an impression & let your own stellar personality do its thing!
5- How do I pick the right sorority for me? What should be the deciding factors?
Ginger advises: "It just has to fit you. It's kind of like finding the perfect pair of shoes, as soon as you put them on, you just know- 'This is it!'. There will probably be a feeling you get overall from each sorority...are they bookish, snobby, party girls, socialites, etc...just look for a place that makes you feel most like yourself."
The overall consensus is to find a place where you feel at home. Yes, that sounds cheesy, but it is what you're here to do afterall, right?
We recommend against following your best friend or pledging the sorority that has the most socials with your boyfriend's fraternity. You will see these people enough as it is. Branch out & be yourself!
And now, for the dreaded "What-Ifs"
Dun, dun, duuuuuun...
We're hoping to prepare you for these, so you can mark them off of your list of things to worry about.
What if my heel breaks off my shoe on the way there?
You will want to have a pair of flip-flops or sandals in your bag anyway to wear between parties, so slip those on if you have a catastrophy.
What if I'm having a terrible hair day?
Also keep a ponytail holder or hair clip in your bag & put your hair up.
What if the sorority I had my heart set on drops me?
Elizabeth says to try not to take it personally even though we know you will for a little while. After you mope for a minute, dust yourself off & keep going!
Remember what I said earlier about truly ending up wherever you're meant to be? Trust that you will.
The rusher has something in her teeth? Or nose?
Elizabeth says that she would just ignore it. "There will be plenty of sisters around during & after the party who will tell her."
What if my period starts during a party?
We recommend to be prepared. Stress tends to alter people's cycle & rush is no exception. If it is within one week of your start date, consider wearing a panty liner (& carrying plenty of extras so you don't use the same one all day).
I would keep feminine supplies in my bag no matter what. If you don't need them, someone else might.
What if everyone drops me?
In this unlikely event, Elizabeth recommends finding other campus activities in the meantime & re-evaluating your desire next time rush comes around. Maybe you will have found your true home somewhere else.
What if I get a bid from my 2nd or 3rd choice instead of who I really wanted?
In most cases, we'd say, "Go for it". You probably had them as your last few because you liked them.
Elizabeth says, "If you don't hate them, accept the bid & you can always de-pledge." Just keep in mind that both declining bids & de-pledging are not to be taken lightly. They leave a very lasting impression with the sorority.
If you absolutely do NOT see yourself being comfortable at the sorority that extended you a bid & you think de-pledging would be inevitable, don't force it.
One way to avoid many common what-ifs is to be prepared. We recommend carrying a bag or backpack with you between parties & packing it full of provisions. (The rush we are familiar with had us walking to, between & home from the sorority area of campus. We left our bags in the common room of each house before going into the rush party. Hopefully, you will have a similar set-up, but you should check before you come packed for a 10-hour hike.)
This bag should include:
Anything you normally keep in your purse
Hairspray if you use it
Ponytail holder or hair clip
Light sweater unless you're in hot weather
Travel sewing kit
Flip-flops or comfy shoes for walking
Instant stain remover (like a Tide stick or Shout wipes)
Feminine hygiene products
Mints or gum (that you will make absolutely sure you spit out before each party)
Toothbrush for after lunch (the one day you don't have it will be Garlic Day at the cafeteria)
I hope we've answered some of your questions & put some of your concerns to rest.
I will leave you with some words of wisdom from Ginger.
"BE YOURSELF!!!!!...It will be tempting to follow the crowd & just nod & smile. You'll never know what you're getting into if you don't speak up & ask questions. Also, there will be LOTS of girls going through this, so you'll want to leave an impression."
That is the greatest wisdom I can leave you with. If you're goofy, outspoken, quiet, intellectual, conservative, snort when you laugh...be genuine & never take yourself too seriously!