Greek Life Q&A – What Are Sororities Really Like, What If I’m Not A Legacy, + More

By spending my freshman year at a BIG10 school and going through recruitment, Greek life became a huge part of me. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I met some of my closest friends through Greek life and I’m lucky that even though I’ve transferred schools we are all still close. They’re also incredibly supportive – I’m pretty sure they were some of the very first readers of Abundance of Abby!

Anyways, I decided to write this to answer people’s questions regarding Greek life. I wanted to take my own personal experiences and help clear the air and get some burning questions answered.

  • “What are some reasons to rush a sorority or fraternity?”

I went to a school where I knew two people – my roommates. I wanted to meet new people and get a sense of community on a campus that over 30,000 students attended. If you knew me way back when, then you know that I had been pretty set on joining a sorority ever since early high school. I knew people who were apart of sororities and fraternities and they absolutely loved it and encouraged me to join. My parents and I went to the Greek life meeting during my orientation and once they explained that students in sororities and fraternities have a higher GPA on campus, that just reaffirmed my decision. So aside from making life long friends and holding yourself to achieving a higher GPA, some other reasons to go through recruitment is for the job and business connections post college, the volunteering and philanthropic aspect, and typically living in a sorority house is cheaper than living in dorms or renting an apartment!

  • “What if you don’t get a bid?”

This is a highly unlikely situation. I can’t speak on behalf of all schools, but when I went through rush we had a process that focused on mutual selection and that in the end you would get a bid. However, if you went through the last round and chose not to rank both of your final options and only listed one of those sororities as your final preference you may end up without a bid. (I had two in the final round, so I’m not fully sure, but I believe if you only had one to begin the last round with you were basically guaranteed a bid from that chapter.) I know it’s all a bit confusing, but the way it worked at my school was that you would end up getting one of the two sororities if you listed both. You may put XYZ sorority first, but if ZYX sorority wanted you more you may go to be apart of their sisterhood. If you only list XYZ and not ZYX you are severely limiting your chances of being apart of Greek life, because you may not be at the top of that houses list. (I believe this was called a “suicide bid,” but I’m not quite sure if I’m remembering correctly.) Because I have only been through one side of recruitment, I’m not 100% sure if this is the entire logistics behind “suicide bidding,” but the moral of this very long and slightly confusing story is that it is highly unlikely that you will not get a bid at all and to make sure you list all of your available options in the end to maximize your chance of receiving a bid! I’m sure you’ll find the right house for you.

  • “How should I go about preparing for rush?”

I planned my outfits in advance and signed up for recruitment early in the summer. This made it feel less chaotic during the actual two weeks of rush I went through. (Because believe me, it will be hectic!!) A lot of girls will look online and creep on the sorority social media pages, myself included, but I would recommend staying off of websites like GreekRank. A lot of times, you should be going into recruitment with an open mind about each chapter and after spending nights reading up on the gossip forums and websites, you may already feel like you have your mind made up. This again is limiting to your chances of finding the house that you truly belong to. Once rush week approaches, especially if you go to a big school, I would recommend packing a mini emergency kit. It sounds kind of crazy, but trust me you will thank me once you’ve been running from house to house in the sun all day and need some perfume and water. Pack your bag with the previously mentioned items, and add things to it like tampons, deodorant, bobby pins and hair ties, any makeup you might be wearing for touch ups, and a pen and paper. This way once you leave a house you can write down what you liked and didn’t like so later when you keep narrowing them down, it will be easier for you to make those hard decisions!

  • “How much of a commitment is it?”

I’m not gonna lie, being in Greek life can be a pretty big commitment, whether that’s financially or based on time. Obviously, what you put into your chapter is what you’re going to get out, so I really don’t recommend being the member who’s not involved at all. I held a position my freshman year in Tri Delta, attended socials with fraternities, went to other chapters philanthropies, and still had time to keep a solid GPA. It’s all about balance and time management. So yes, it’s a big commitment, but it’s very worth it.

  • “What if I’m the first one in my family to rush and I’m not a legacy?’

You are not alone!! Sure, it helps to be a legacy but it won’t determine your “fate” in recruitment. I recommend trying to get as many letters of recommendation as possible from friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. You’d be surprised how many people around you went Greek in college. My twin’s (we have the same big for those who don’t know the term) mom, aunt, and grandmother were Tri Delta’s and that’s such a cool experience to share. So once you go through just think that could be you and your daughter one day!

  • “How do you survive rush?”

The days can be long. And hot. And by the end you just want to fall asleep on the grass of the house full of girls chanting at you. But remember, those ladies are hot and tired too. They’ve been at this just as long as you have. There really is no magical way to “survive” sorority recruitment, but bring water to hydrate (and accept food/drink if they bring you some at the houses!!), don’t overthink or stress, ask questions, and get a full nights rest. Girls who go out and party during recruitment are either going to be excused from rush, as it usually is not permitted, or they are going to be super tired and not make the best impression.

  • “How did you narrow down your final sororities?”

It wasn’t too hard for me in the beginning to cut sororities from my list. I had a handful that I felt like I really connected with, but once we got to just a select few, I had to really evaluate what I liked and disliked. Again, this is not the time to check online message boards, etc. This is for you and you alone to decide!! I honestly called my mom a couple times just to talk about some of the houses when I couldn’t figure out who to cut. In the end I went with my gut feeling. And I’m really happy that I did.

  • “So what are sororities really like?”

For me, it was like coming home. It’s cheesy and cliché, but my family was moving to a different state at the time and I didn’t feel like I had a real home to go to. When I would come home from breaks, my room looked different, I didn’t know where anything was, and moving boxes were literally everywhere. My dorm was so close to my sorority house that I could head over there in less than five minutes. I would go there for lunch a lot and it was so nice getting to know the older members and just sit around the dinner tables talking. Sororities are such a support system. I lost a couple of people in the past year and after my grandmother died, I received an insane amount of hugs, and all around love. I also got a sweetest handmade card that my big had basically everyone sign. I still have it in my desk. Some of my favorite memories aren’t having socials with frats or anything like that, but chilling in sweats in the tv room with my friends watching movies or driving around the city with my big eating ice cream right out of the tub. So when I get asked what sororities are really like I honestly only have good things to say.

  • “What do I talk about when I go through recruitment?”

Talk about yourself, what you did in high school, what you want to do in college, or what your favorite place is you’ve ever traveled to. The girl you’re talking with will most likely ask a lot of questions to get the ball rolling, so don’t worry too much about that. However, you should avoid talking about the “4 B’s” during recruitment. These include boys, booze, Bush, or bucks. The girl talking to you doesn’t want to hear about your boyfriend for the whole time when she’s really trying to get to know you and you should absolutely not bring up drinking, politics, or money. This is a situation to just get to know who you really are and if this sorority is right for you.

  • “What if I don’t get the house I wanted?”

Then, it wasn’t for you. You really need to trust the process behind recruitment. If you didn’t get asked back to a specific house, it’s most likely for the best. You don’t really want to be at a house that doesn’t want you, when there might be a house full of girls who think you are the cutest PNM and that they just have to have you. Believe me, following through with the process is all worth it in the end.

  • “Did you think that you and your roommate would be in the same house?”

First off, shoutout to my friend (and other roomie) Sydney for sending this in. My friend from high school, Em, was my other roommate freshman year and we went through rush at the same time. I didn’t think we would both be in the same house, just because our school had like sixteen houses or something like that, and we both have pretty different personalities. If I’m remembering correctly, after the first round we had slightly similar houses, but once we started narrowing it down from ten-ish our lists were pretty different. Emily’s an Alpha Chi Omega and actually just moved into her sorority house! And this also brings up a subject I wanted to touch on a bit and that would be that you can have friends in other sororities. In AXO alone, I have 4 friends, not to mention some scattered in Pi Phi, Kappa, Theta, and Zeta. I don’t know why some people think that because you are in a specific sorority you can’t have friends in others. It truly baffles me.

  • “What is one of the best experiences you’ve had in your sorority?”

It’s so hard to pick just one so I’ll ramble for a bit and tell you a couple. Firstly, my big did a crazy good job during big and little reveal week. (Seriously, shout out to you Ash – you’re amazing!!)  The baskets I was getting were just so cute. I remember telling my mom that I thought that it could be Ashleigh and low and behold I was right. She is one of my best friends and I love her so much. Another cool thing was finding out my childhood best friend was a Tri Delta at another school. I had gone through recruitment right before she did so I was already apart of my sorority, and when I found out she was one too I was SO excited. I mean come on, how cool is it that friends since elementary school ended up being sorority sisters in different states?? And lastly, I got to be an assistant for our philanthropy second semester and learning all about St. Jude was amazing. We put together an ice cream social and raised money for the kiddos at St. Jude. Earlier in the year, we also did a baseball tournament, and letter writing campaign. As I’m writing this I keep thinking of more and more stories to tell, but for now I’ll stop here. Maybe I’ll start posting sorority stories more often!

If you have any other sorority stories you want to hear or questions you want answered feel free to contact me! And for all of my sorority ladies and soon to be sorority gals make sure you check out GreekU. They let me customize a pre-designed shirt (shown above) and I love how how it turned out! So special little thank you to GreekU for sending me this shirt.  For Tri Delta clothing you can click here. If you are looking at ordering something from them use the code ABUNDANCE for 20% off! Good luck to all my ladies going through recruitment!! You’re going to do great and find your home away from home along the way!

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