Welcome to the craziest, most emotionally draining, most exhausting, and most rewarding two weeks of your college experience: Penn State sorority recruitment. When you finish, you’ll be part of a community of thousands of intelligent women across the country dedicated to improving their schools and their community. Keep reading for eleven tips on how to attend Penn State sorority recruitment without losing your mind!
It’s okay to feel nervous or feel out of your comfort zone. Sometimes, we have the best experiences when we step outside of our comfort zones. But there is no reason for you to be so nervous that you feel sick or can’t sleep at night. As much as you want the current sisters to like you, they’re think the same thing! They want you to like them and to want to come back to their suites. Just take a deep breath and keep smiling!
2. Be yourself.
You want to find sisters who love and celebrate you, the real you, not some version of yourself that you made up for rush. You might have a lot of misconceptions and stereotypes about the perfect sorority girl is and what you should be. I’m here to tell you that sorority girls come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and interests. There is no reason for you to pretend you’re someone you’re not.
Your real sisters will love you, weird obsession with Twilight and all.
3. Ignore sites like Greek rant and Greek chat.
Throughout rush, you may hear a lot of talk about “rankings” and the idea of being “top tier” or “bottom tier.”
It does not matter. Not even a little bit. Going through sorority rush, you’re entire focus should be on finding a group of girls that you love and want to be a part of. It should not be on getting a bid from which sorority is considered most popular and avoiding the one is considered least popular.
4. Take care of yourself.
This may sound kind of obvious, but you’d be surprised how much of this falls to the wayside after a long (and I do mean long, an average rush day could last from 9AM until 11PM) day of rush.
So here’s your reminder. Eat regularly. Drink lots of water. Get enough sleep at night. Shower as often as you can. Brush your teeth twice a day at the least. Remember to wash off all of your makeup at the end of the night. Get outside and do some yoga or take a run. If you have time, hang out with some friends or floormates who aren’t rushing just so you can think about something other than rush.
You want to the current sisters to meet the best version of you.
5. Pack a bag of essentials to bring with you.
During rush, you’re often allowed to have a small drawstring bag or backpack that you can carry with you from suite to suite. Most of the time, this little bag is going to be life saver. Here’s what I recommend you bring with you:
- Deodorant or a small rollerball of perfume (It gets hot in those suites!)
- Hair Ties, Scrunchies, or Bobby Pins (Ponytails don’t look great after 8 hours)
- Extra pens and pencils (You’ll probably lose the one they give you.)
- A compact or Oil Blotting Sheets (So your makeup can look great not matter what.)
- Band-Aids (In case of blisters or paper cuts!)
- An umbrella or rain coat (Summer in Happy Valley has a lot of thunderstorms and you don’t want to be caught in one, coming or going from rush, without something to keep you dry.)
6. Dress for success.
Each round becomes more and more formal until it all culminates at the last night of rush, Preference Night, where potential new members (AKA you) are expected to wear heels and a cocktail dress. While you probably want to ask you Pi Chi’s (the current sorority members who help guide you through rush) on the specifics of what you should wear each round, here’s some general advice:
- Wear something that is comfortable and easy to move around in.
- It’s also a good idea to wear something that isn’t too heavy since suites can get really hot.
- Shoes should be ones that you have already broken in and comfortable wearing for long periods of time.
- Most importantly, save anything that’s too revealing or considered in bad taste for the fraternities.
7. Keep your chit chat “PG”.
Yes, sororities have parties with fraternities. Yes, some sorority sisters consume alcohol. And yes, I’m sure there are some who use drugs… However, those are things you definitely shouldn’t talk about sorority rush.
Think of rush kind of like a job interview. You’re trying to make the best impression you can on all the girls at each suite. You wouldn’t ask an employer what their favorite fraternity is or what flavor margarita is the best. Once you become a sister at one of the sororities, you can ask all of your juicy questions, but until then, do not bring up boys, alcohol, or any illegal substances.
8. Make some new friends!
You’ll be rushing with a set of about 30 other girls. It’s the perfect opportunity to make some brand new friends. Invite them to the Starbucks in the HUB to get a mid-afternoon pick-me-up during a break in visiting suites. Get a big group together, and go get some dinner when you all finish for the evening. Maybe plan a movie night in someone’s dorm over the weekend.
Tip: Greek life is one huge community, so whether or not they’re in your sorority, you’ll be seeing these girls around campus a lot. Rush is a great opportunity to get involved in all aspects of Penn State from the very start.
9. Take the rules seriously!
When your Pi Chi’s tell you that you’re not allowed to visit fraternities during the weekend, please don’t go. It could have serious consequences for you, and you may even get kicked out of the rushing process all together.
When your Pi Chi’s tell you that you aren’t allowed to contact current sisters, even if you know them from home or around campus, please listen to them. It could have serious consequences for you and the sister. Not only will you not be asked back to that house, you could cost that sorority hundreds of dollars in fines.
There aren’t many rules during sorority rush, and they will all be clearly laid out for you before rush even starts. But, honestly, these rules are there for a reason so please take them seriously.
10. Keep an open mind!
Unfortunately, for as fun and exciting as rushing can be, there can also be some disappointement Your favorite house may not ask you back. You may not end up in the same sorority as your friend or your (biological) sister or the house your mom was in when she went college.
Try to keep an open mind. Everything happens for a reason, and you’ll end up in the place that was meant for you. Remember, the sorority that give you a bid picked you for a reason. They want to be your friends. They want to be your sisters.
11. Be honest with yourself.
Please don’t rush because you think that wearing some Greek letters on a shirt will make you popular or somehow transform you into this completely different person or satisfy your mom since she was a Zeta/DeeZee/Kappa/Whatever in college…
It’s okay if Greek life isn’t for you. It’s completely fine. There is so much available at Penn State for you to get involved in and to experience. This is just the beginning of your story.