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rush talk: going geek is not for wimps!

Q: I just got an email from panhellenic with the details for recruitment. PNMs have to be there at 7:45AM and don’t get released until midnight and then have to be back at 7:45 the next morning and we go until 10PM! There’s an hour and a half break around 2pm but that’s it! Do you have any tips for staying animated and happy throughout these long hours?!

A: Going until Midnight is a very long time! But the good news is, the days get shorter as the week goes by. You visit fewer and fewer sorority houses and it gets easier. The first couple of days are always the longest and the most exhausting. The sorority sisters are keeping even longer hours than the PNMs if it makes you feel any better. 

The #1 thing that will keep you going: ADRENALINE!! Recruitment is so stressful and exciting, your adrenaline will be pumping. Every time you reach a sorority house, hear that chanting and clapping, your nerves will be on high alert and your heart will be pounding in your chest. Here are some tips to keep you going ~


  • Drink water and stay hydrated. 
  • Keep some protein bars, nuts, crackers, or dried fruit in your handbag for snacking between rounds. (Check your teeth afterwards.)
  • Eat breakfast before you arrive. Do not start the day on an empty growling stomach.  
  • Eat a solid lunch. This is NOT a time to diet and become light headed from hunger. Eat dinner too when you can. You need fuel to make it through a 16 hour day. 
  • Avoid too much caffeine - it will make you jittery when combined with your stress level.
  • Listen to music with your earphones during your down time. 
  • Chat with the other PNMs in your group. If you are having a good time, it will keep you perked up.
  • Put your head down and nap briefly during your 1.5 hour break. But only a short cat nap. Any more than about 10-15 minutes and you will feel groggy. A few winks can be refreshing. 
  • Run cold water on your wrists. This really helps when you are hot and tired.
  • On your break, take off your shoes and give your tired feet a much deserved rest. 
  • Don’t drink alcohol. It may be tempting after 10 hours of recruitment, but it will make you tired and loopy for the nighttime rounds.. Booze and rush DO NOT mix. 
  • Chat with your Rho Gamma/Gamma Chi. It’s a good idea to get to know her during rush. 
  • On your break, watch a favorite TV show, play games, or browse your fave websites on your phone/iPad.
  • Don’t fight the schedule. If you are angry and frustrated from waiting around, or the long distances between sorority houses, you will feel worse than if you just surrender to the process. Accept the hours and just know you will have some very long days at the beginning of the week. 
  • When you finally return to your room, don’t get wound up complaining  to your boyfriend about the day’s events, don’t start watching a movie, don’t chat with your mom and don’t down a bottle of wine… Just go to sleep as soon as possible! When you are immersed in recruitment, there is NO time for the outside world. Your rest is more important than anything else to keep you strong and healthy all week. 

I'm really embarrassed about asking this, but I withdrew from rush last year on preference night because I couldn't afford it (since I was paying for it myself). Now I'm rushing again (now that I've saved enough money) and am super excited! If a sister asks me why I dropped out of rush/ why it didn't work out, should I just be candid and say that it just wasn't a good time for me financially? Thanks for your help!

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Nothing to be embarrassed about. I admire girls who work hard and pay for part or all of their sorority membership. It will help you value greek life even more.

Many PNMs leave their first recruitment for a variety of reasons. You probably won’t be asked about it a year later. But if you are, I think a broad positive statement is best. You can say lightly something like, "For several reasons I wasn’t able to join last year, but now I am super excited and committed to going greek!" That is the truth without getting into a long discussion about money issues. You always want to end on a “high note” about how thrilled you are now. The focus should be on what you want to do in the present, not about difficulties in the past. Highlight good news, not past problems. 

Sororities want members who will be very reliable about paying their dues. If you start talking about your former financial problems, the sister you chat with may misunderstand and think you are a risk! People frequently hear things incorrectly. You don’t want her to describe you to the chapter as "The PNM who dropped out because she couldn’t pay the dues, now she thinks she can afford it, but I’m not really sure." See why it’s best to NOT bring up topics that could be misinterpreted? Don’t put a grey cloud over your head for any reason. How you handle your finances is your private business. No need to share TMI during your recruitment conversations. Stick to happy, enthusiastic, friendly talk filled with sunshine! That’s who you are TODAY! xoxo ;)

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rush talk: can a PNM think about rush too much?

Q: My friends think i’m psyching myself out/trying to hard to get into a sorority because I’ve done tons of research and have been worrying about the right things to wear and such. Sometimes i feel like they are right. But i just want this so badly! What do you think?

A: Let me answer your concerns with a few questions of my own:

  • Would you prepare for a major sports competition by studying your team’s plays, researching the maneuvers of the other team, practicing your own game, wearing the proper equipment and attending team motivation sessions?
  • If you had a top college admissions interview would you research the campus in advance, prepare some intelligent questions about your field of interest, spend time reviewing the university website and wear your best outfit to the interview?
  • If you competed in beauty pageants, would you style your hair, apply attractive make-up, work out to keep fit, wear flattering fashions, learn to walk and talk correctly, study up on current events for the interviews and practice the skills needed to compete?
  • Would you practice your vocals before a singing competition, train for a marathon before you start running, learn how to ride a horse before you enter a rodeo, research a company before you interview with them for a big job? YOU GET THE IDEA!!

Whatever you want to do in life requires learning, knowledge, practice and dedicated effort. If you are going to compete for something you really want, it’s worth doing WELL. Things will not be handed to you on a silver platter. The other PNMs are doing all it takes to get into their top pick sorority. It’s perfectly OK for you to prepare also. To look and feel your best inside and out, you should spend some time on picking the right outfits, learning about the chapters and rehearsing your small talk.

Preparation is powerful. Knowledge makes you less nervous. The more you know, the more you will feel relaxed and in control. It’s the unknown that’s super scary and stressful. Of course don’t stress out to the point of making yourself sick. But a decent amount of prep is absolutely necessary for most PNMs. Don’t let your friends cause you to second guess yourself. Do what makes YOU feel the most secure. It’s your future greek life, not theirs. xoxo ;)

"Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now." ~ Alan Lakein

If there are 12 chapters on a campus, should I be worried I only got invited back to 4 chapters on the second day when I could have had 9?

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Some PNMs narrow down quickly and some narrow down slowly. But either way, each girl can only join ONE chapter in the end. Bid day involves the same exact number for every new member ~ no matter ‘how’ she got there. Some girls go through most of rush with only one or two chapters, others have the max amount each round. There is no telling exactly “why.” So all you can do is “go with the flow” and make the most of the the hand you’ve been dealt. Give all your attention to the four chapters you have left and don’t worry about the hows and whys. 

Rush week requires constant mental readjustments as sororities come and go each day. Some seem amazing and then they’re no longer an option. Others are slow to blossom, but they may suddenly impress you during the philanthropy round, or on Pref Night. The pacing is different for every sorority. Let your feelings develop based on meaningful things like how friendly the sisters are, and not just on how glitzy and flashy the sorority house looks. Think QUALITY ~ not QUANTITY when it comes to your invites each round. One stupendous sorority is all you need on bid day! xoxo :)

Hi! I'm not sure if you remember, but last fall I had messaged you about how I was upset about not getting into my first choice house. I figured I would give it a try, and I'm so glad I did! I met my best friend last year on Bid Night, and this year I was chosen to write & read a letter on preference night! I never thought I would feel at home with this chapter, now I can't imagine my life without these girls.

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THANK YOU for sharing your sorority success story! I hope every PNM reads it and takes it to heart!! ❤ XOXO