Year-after-year exclusive sororities open up their doors to prospective college students looking to enhance their overall college experience.
While many may not know this, joining a sorority or a fraternity is not a compulsory part of college life – it’s completely optional.
The process of selecting and being accepted into your chosen sorority is known as Rush or recruitment for sororities.
While the ins and outs of Rush differ from one college to the next, the basic principles remain the same.
If you’re fresh out of high school and off on your college journey, here’s 7 important things to know before rushing a sorority.
7 Things You Need to Know Before Rushing a Sorority
The option of rushing a particular sorority is 100% personal, you are in no way bound to what’s ”cool” or most popular. In fact, these deciding factors should be lowest on your list of priorities.
Ultimately, you’ll be part of your sorority for the duration of your college experience. This is why it’s important to ensure your sorority choice sits well with your personality and interests.
Everyone’s reasons for rushing a particular sorority are different, but if you’re looking for a few rushing sorority tips, this blog should help:
1. What is Greek Sorority Life?
The traditional designation of a sorority is to provide both academic and social support as an undergraduate organization.
These Greek letter organizations have a deep-seeded history which dates back to the 1700’s, with Phi Beta Kappa being the first ever recognized organization.
In today’s day and age, close to 9 million college students belong to either a sorority or fraternity.
Contrary to popular belief, there’s far more to Greek sorority life than constant parties.
Greek sororities are also well-known for their philanthropic initiatives and support of various charities throughout the year.
Education is also vitally important, with sorority sisters required to maintain a minimum GPA to remain active in the chapter.
Social events throughout the year are undoubtedly a large part of sorority life, with many sororities hosting regular formals and mixers.
This is encouraged to help students to network, meet new people and ultimately make the most of their college experience.
2. What’s Involved in the Rush Process?
Typically the rush period takes place throughout the fall or spring semester, lasting roughly 5-7 days.
During this process, new college students use this time to get to know different sororities, their members, and their values.
During this time, existing sorority members also take the time to get to know rushees and potential new members.
The rushing process is largely based around Greek life etiquette, with some rush processes being very formal, while others are a little more casual. However, sorority rush tends to lean towards the more formal side of things.
When the rush period is over, members of the sorority will meet and discuss whether the new rushees would be a good fit for the chapter.
If so, they will usually extend an invitation to students who they think will pledge their sorority.
3. What Happens During the Pledge Process?
After an invitation has been received by your chosen sorority, you will need to accept the invitation if you believe the sorority is a good fit for you. After this, the pledging process begins.
Pledging can range from a couple of weeks to the entire semester and allows you to get to know your chosen sorority on a better level.
It also allows you the chance to get to know fellow new students, the sorority’s history, values, and traditions.
When the pledge period draws to a close, all new members are initiated into the chapter. Each sorority has its own set of initiation traditions which are usually kept top-secret.
4. Do You Have Enough Time to Join a Sorority?
While there are a myriad of deciding factors to consider during your rush period, time is most likely your greatest consideration.
At the beginning of your first college semester, it’s important to keep in mind that you may already have a lot on your plate.
From balancing tough college courses and the responsibility of living on your own, extra time may not be a luxury you have.
The rushing process can truly suck up a lot of extra time, not to mention the process of pledging to a new sorority.
You will need to consider if you have that extra time or whether you should hold off until the spring to rush the sorority of your choice.
5. Will You Be Able to Afford Sorority Life?
In some cases, sorority life can turn out to be relatively expensive. Will you or your family have the funding for this throughout your college tenure?
Even if you are provided with an allowance for your college spending, being part of a sorority will require you to budget and assign your funds properly.
Sorority life includes dues which are expected to be paid each semester, which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Additionally, sorority life will include functions, trips and miscellaneous fees which can really add up throughout the year.
Be sure you have the time and money to budget for all the commitments included in sorority life.
6. Will Sorority Life Enhance Your College Experience?
When it’s all said and done, do you feel that being part of a particular sorority will enhance your college experience? Will you be able to look back on those years of your life with fondness instead of resentment or stress?
When considering a sorority, it’s important to ask yourself ”how will this add to my overall college experience in a positive way?”.
For many people joining a sorority is a great way to extend your friend circle or find both social and academic support.
For others, it’s a way of growing your network to leverage your post-graduate opportunities when searching for a job. Decide what’s most important for you.
7. Is this Sorority the Right Fit for Me?
Rushing a sorority is all about the right fit. That’s the beauty of the rushing process, it’s an opportunity to test the waters.
If it’s not the right for your personality or interests, you don’t have to commit. The process works both ways, if the chapters feel you aren’t a good fit, they don’t have to commit either.
Just make sure you’re rushing a sorority for the right reasons and not because it’s the most popular choice.
And remember, Greek sorority life is there to enhance your college experience, it’s not compulsory!
Looking for More Sorority Life Tips?
At Greek U we offer an assortment of articles on sorority life and what to expect when rushing a sorority.
If you’re a new college student and want to learn more about the benefits of joining a sorority and other related topics, explore our blog!