The Ultimate Guide to Sorority Rush

Full disclosure: sorority rush is different at every school. But - We're here to tell you what no one else will. We're covering EVERYTHING about sorority recruitment - The good, the bad, and the ugly. Okay, well, maybe not ugly. But you get the point. The worst thing about going into a new situation is not knowing what you're in for. Think - Nerves, anxiety, the works. That's why we wanted to cover both sides:
  • The girls who are rushing houses
  • The girls who have been in the chapter for a year, and haven't been through rush on the other side yet
We thought it would be helpful to see both sides. Right?! We're covering expectations of rush, outfits, and all the parts that make up sorority rush. Make sure to share this post with your friends!  

Pre-Rush: Sorority Rush Prep



  Prep for rush is very intense - Everyone is stressed, and trying to get everything done before recruitment starts. Think of it as planning multiple parties with hundreds of people attending, one right after another. And your exec team or rush committee has to do it all alone, PLUS coordinate you and all your sisters so that you look good. There is a prep period of about one or two weeks, again, depending on the school you go to. The majority of the prep week(s) is spent learning the songs and/or chants that you and your sisters will sing at the start of each party. Before you start your conversations with girls, you put on a "show" of sorts. It sounds weird, I know. But, it's meant to welcome each group of girls into your house. Besides rush practice, you will also need to get your outfits together (more on this later). Just know that you MUST be prepared with all of your outfits before rush starts, so that there are no mishaps that happen. Recruitment coordinators want everyone to match very well so that it doesn't look sloppy. Once school starts, your chapter will start tabling. Tabling means all the chapters come out to a main walkway of school and set up a table with photos and posters about the sorority. There are 4 or 5 girls at the table, talking to freshmen as they pass by to get them excited. It is a great way to showcase your chapter before rush even starts! With that, let's get into the actual sorority recruitment process.  

Part 1: What to Expect from Sorority Rush As a Freshman

Hi freshmen! Welcome to sorority rush. First, you'll want to sign up for rush at your school. You can usually do this online, or at tabling that I mentioned earlier. Get your sorority recruitment outfits together before rush starts (more details on outfits later in this post). There are 4 or 5 days of rush itself, and then Bid Day. You have to go to all of the sorority houses first before you can narrow it down. A note about the process of rush: It has to be a mutual like between you and the chapter. Unfortunately (for the sorority), if the chapter liked you but you didn't like the chapter, you will not see the chapter name on your card for the next day. And vice versa. The days of rush get more intense as you go - You stay longer at each house and talk to more girls.  

Sorority Rush Mapped Out

First day or two (depending on how big your school is) is Letters Day. This is the day where you go to all houses (sometimes split into two days if there's more chapters at the school). You only have one conversation per house on this day, and sometimes it will be with one or two other rushees. Annoying, I know. But they have to get through A LOT of conversations, so sometimes it's impossible to be one-on-one on this day. You will note down if you liked the house after the visit is over. You do this every day after each house you visit. Expect to be on your feet all day - bring a pair of flip flops to wear in between houses.  


  The second day is Service Day - You're shown the chapter's chosen philanthropy (cause) that all of their fundraising efforts benefit. You will either do a craft with the sister you're talking to, or she will show you photos and posters of their fundraisers. On the third day, you will be shown the entire sorority house. This was by far my favorite day of rush. You'll get an inside peek of how the sisters live.   [banner id="3402" caption_position="bottom" theme="default_style" height="auto" width="auto" show_caption="1" show_cta_button="1" use_image_tag="1"]   The fourth and final day is Pref Night. You see more of the house again and get to know the traditions. Pref Night is the most intense for the rushees. You can really picture yourself in the house, or not. The sisters get emotional and really share their sorority experiences with you. Tonight is the night that you'll decide where you want to end up, if you don't already know. This decision is very hard for some girls, as they have two great houses that they pref-ed. But, the decision is the most rewarding!  

Part 2: What to Expect from Sorority Rush as a Sister

During rush, expect long days. You're on your feet all day, and "on" all day as well. Meaning - You're talking to different girls each hour for some of the days, so it gets really exhausting. Especially if you're not that into the conversation. (We've all been there) If you live in the house, expect to not sleep very well. In fact, if you're on exec or the recruitment committee, you might not be sleeping much at all. I know it sounds very daunting, but this is just because it all happens so fast. It is a very intense week, with very great rewards. As far as your conversations go, bring good conversation topics. You want the potential sisters to fall in love with your house. In fact - You want everyone to want to join your house. So, that means: be nice and friendly, talk about all of the parts you love about your house, and be open. All the stress will be worth it, I promise!  

Part 3: The Rush Outfits from Both Sides

  What to Wear When You're Rushing a Sorority  We wrote a full post about sorority recruitment outfits, so be sure and check that out for the full details! The days get more dressy as you go through rush. Quick recap:
  • Letters Day: the most casual day
  • Service Day: sundress, romper or jumpsuit, wedges or sandals
  • House Tours: Dress and heels
  • Pref night: Nice dress with heels


  The Types of Sorority Rush Outfits for Sisters Usually, chapters wear the same types of outfits every year. They include very specific outfits, accessories and shoes. Your outfits will be detailed out in the beginning of summer most likely, so that you have ample time to get all pieces if necessary. My experience at San Diego State was this:
  • Letters Day: Each chapter has solid color tank tops with their letters embroidered that they wear each year on this day. We wore these with dark-wash jeans, tan wedges and sunflowers in our hair.
  • Service Day: We wore long sleeve blouses in neutral colors with white shorts and camel-colored heels.
  • House Tours Day: We wore a solid color skirt and a neural shirt tucked into the skirt, with tan wedges.
  • Pref Night: We wore black dresses and black heels.
Again, it totally depends on your school and the rush outfits that they have detailed out.  

Part 4: The Finale - Bid Day

  The best part of the whole sorority rush process! Bid Day is one of the most exciting days of the year - For sisters, because you get to see all of your hard work pay off when you see the girls you loved walking through the door. For freshmen, because you get to join your favorite house and see that they loved you back! Getting a bid is the most fun process. They will be handing out bids at a certain location at your school. You will wait in line to find out what house gave you a bid, and then when it's finally revealed, you go meet the other girls who received a bid from the house! A group of your new sisters will be waiting there with chapter t-shirts, welcoming you to your new house. It is such an exciting time! Then, you will head to the chapter house (some schools have you run to the house, my school didn't) and be revealed to your new sisters. Usually Bid Day includes lots of food, refreshments, pictures and fun activities. When I joined Alpha Phi, they had a mechanical bull set up in the backyard. When I went through rush for the second time on the other side, we had a bounce house. So fun. You'll get to know everyone in your house in the following weeks. Your chapter will have bonding events for your pledge class, like sleepovers and what not. Congrats on joining your fav house! Welcome to the next 4 years.   Share this post with your friends!
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