How to Survive Formal Rush

img_1443.jpgThis is Ginger’s Declassified Rush Survival Guide. What you need to survive Rush can be found here from tips to terms, and I will help you get through Formal Rush!

As in all of my Greek-Life related posts, I must say that every school has a different Greek or rushing system. Likewise, everyone will have different experiences; the advice given here is based of my own, and friends’, experiences.

First let’s make sure all the vocabulary is clear:

  • Rush: the time period in which girls try to learn about/ impress sororities
  • PNM: Potential New Member (people who are rushing or planning on rushing)
  • Affiliated Women: Women who are members
  • Dirty Rushing: When a sorority tries to convince a PNM to go for their sorority before rush occurs. It usually involves bid-promising.
    • Bid-promising: an Affiliated woman saying a PNM will get a bid before bid day occurs
  • Panhellenic: The name of the group of all sororities
  • Pi Chi: an affiliated women who has temporarily disaffiliated from her sorority in order to assist PNMs during the Rush process
  • Rounds: the time allotted for PNMs to interact with Sororities (usually anywhere between 30 min – 1 hr.)
  • Philanthropy Day: One of the first days of Rush that focuses on the sororities philanthropy. This is the time to ask about the organization’s involvement.
  • Sisterhood Day: Usually in the middle of Rush that focuses on the sororities sisterhood and the girls in the sorority. This is the time to ask about their values.
  • Preference Round/Day/Night: This is the last night of rush when you get to see a ritual of sororities. This is no longer you trying to impress the sorority but the sorority trying to impress you.
  • Bid Day: The day you receive a bid to your future home!
  • Bid: A sorority will give you a bid as an invitation to join the sorority
  • Suicide Bid: When a PNM only puts one sorority down on her preference list for bid day
  • Snap Bids: When a sorority offers bids after bid day because they didn’t get enough girls with normal bidding. This can be to people who went through rush or people who did not rush.

Basic Tips:

  • Keep an open mind: if you go into rush with your heart set on one sorority, you might miss out on the place where your fit best and end up being miserable.
  • Fake it till you make it: you will be tired but just keep smiling.
  • Be yourself: do not try to be someone that you are not
  • Sleep: the days will be long and you will be exhausted. Sleep is necessary.
  • Drink tea: you will be talking all day, this will help your voice recover

What to Bring in Your Purse:

  • Water
  • Mints/Gum
  • Phone Charger
  • Hair ties
  • Tissues
  • Chapstick
  • Makeup (the stuff the you would touch up)
  • Protein Bar/ snacks

Just like rush, we are going to take this day by day. However, the first day is not the first day of formal rush. The key to a successful rushing process is to prepare yourself beforehand. At my school, the sororities hosted philanthropy events and open houses during the semester before rush. Go to these events! These are necessary for you to make friends with sisters and to learn more about the sorority. This is also a great way to make your face recognizable because that is what will help you in the rushing process. Make sure to do a little research on the sororities before rush as well. This way you know what to ask them about and can have more meaningful conversations instead of informational surface-level conversation.

Now, fast forward to the month/weeks before Rush. This is when I received my Pi Chis and Pi Chi groups. Your Pi Chis are basically your guides for all things rush. They are there to answer any and all questions. They also take you from sorority to sorority during rounds. My Pi Chis were there when I chose my sororities after each day. Your Pi Chi groups are the group of girls that walk around to each round with you.

So, now it is the night before the first day of Rush! Usually there is an orientation of some sort to help you relax and know a little bit of what you are getting into. My orientation had a woman who was telling us what to expect while also getting us excited for rush. One of my favorite things she said was, “Get ready for a lot of matching outfits and a lot of singing,” which could not have been more accurate. There is always singing and everyone in the sorority always matches. Also, the night before rush you should go to bed extremely early (like 5 year-old bedtime early). You will thank yourself later. Try to drink as much water as you can the day before as well.

Ok, the first day of rush! I woke up at 6:30am to get ready, even though my first round wasn’t until 8am. Imagine all the effort put into getting ready to go out at night or go on a date, then multiply that by two and that was how much effort I put into getting ready in the morning for rush. I’m not going to lie–it was brutal, but so worth it. At my school, we had 9 sororities and 11 rounds, which meant you got two rounds for breaks. We went to all 9 sororities in one day, each for 30 minutes. They provided us with a chic-fil-a lunch which was nice, but honestly made me bloated. So try to avoid greasy food. This was a long day so be prepared to be awake and rushing longer than you slept. At the end of the day we had to narrow the sororities down to our top six.

The next day we would find which sororities we were asked back to out of those that we went to and the ones we liked. This is generally a shorter day. It is not common to get asked back to all six, so you will most likely have a lot of breaks. Then at the end of your rounds, you will narrow your choices down to your top two sororities.

Then you will go to either one or two sororities on Preference Day. This is the day that sororities share a ritual with PNMs. It is usually something that has to do with their symbols or colors. It’s not intense, but really shows you a lot about the sorority and the girls in it. This is no longer you trying to impress the sorority, but the sorority trying to impress you. Usually at the end of this day you fill out a contract, preference list, that says you will accept the bid from the sorority. Now, this is when suicide bids come into play. If you only put one sorority down on the preference list, that means that if they give you a bid, you are a new member. If they do not give you a bid, you do not have a fall back and will not be a member of any sorority. It is recommended to put two sororities on your preference list so that if the first does not accept you, the second might.

Then you go to sleep and wake up the next day for Bid day! My school organized us by Pi Chi groups, then, called us into a room to open our bid day letters. This is an envelope that states you have received a bid from a sorority. There are a lot of crying, laughing and screaming girls, so this day can be overwhelming. Usually you will go back to your respective Greek Houses and take pictures and hang out to meet all your new sisters. This is a day that is so special and so exciting and VERY overwhelming.

I hope reading this was helpful and give everyone going through rush some peace of mind. The most important thing to remember is: rushing is about finding a home, where people are like you. It is not about finding people you want to be like. For more help in rush attire check out this blog post about What to Wear for Rush! and follow my pinterest board Just Srat Things. Remember, all schools have different Greek and Rushing systems, so your school may do things differently.


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