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i rushed last year and i ended up in a sorority that's great for me, but i have a question about pref. i got invited back to two houses on pref night and i ranked one above the other but ended up getting a bid only at my second choice. is this normal? i thought being invited to pref night meant they would give you a bid.

Asked by
trisha-no

Your situation is TOTALLY normal. A PNM must be ready to accept a bid from either of her 2 (or 3) final Pref Night chapters. You are on the finalist lists of both sororities, but there are usually more girls going through the Pref round than a chapter can accept. So when you write down a 1st choice, the sorority must also have you on their #1 A-list in order for a match to be made. If you are on your 1st chapter’s B-list, and they fill their roster with lots of their first choices, you will slide down the list and possibly be knocked off of it.

But if sorority #2 had you on their A-list, you will make a top draft pick over there instead. So even though you picked house #1, they did not pick you in their group of #1 PNMs. But house #2 did - or they had more openings after their #1 choices picked other chapters. In the end, the chapters have some say about who is offered bids. If both houses had you at the top of their lists, then you would have had the choice by ranking your #1. 

Here is a 2 chapter example of how it basically works: 

  • There are 80 PNMs going through the two chapter’s Pref Night parties. 40 at the first party, and 40 at the second party - at each house. 
  • After the final round, both chapters make their A and B lists of all 80 girls in order. Some are from Pref party #1 and and some are from Pref party #2. A combo “dream list” of future members is submitted by each sorority.
  • Each chapter can only take 40 pledges. So their A-list is the top 40 PNMs and their B-list is the next 40. They love them all at this point, but a ranking must occur since there are more than 40 PNMs and only 40 spots per chapter.
  • The computer’s first task is to match #1 rankings and #1 picks. Let’s say the first sorority successfully matches 35 PNMs on their 40 girl A-list, but 5 PNMs ranked the other chapter 1st and were A-list picks there, so that’s where they make a match. So the next 5 PNMs move up from the first sorority’s B-list to see if #1 matches can be made with them, etc… This happens until the final new member list is complete for both sororities.  
  • If both houses put Patti PNM on their A-lists, then Patti PNM’s personal rankings will be the deciding factor. When the computer matches #1 to #1, Polly’s first choice will prevail, IF she is on her favorite sorority’s top list.
  • The ideal situation for a PNM is to be “in demand” and a top pick for both of the final chapters. That way her ranking is what makes the decision. 

Your #1 sorority may have given you a bid if more of the PNMs on their A-list had chosen other chapters. Then your name would have moved up and possibly made a match. But if a chapter is really popular, and they have a high acceptance rate, you could have been PNM #36 on the list, and just missed it by a hair. So much depends on WHERE you are on a chapter’s PNM list after Pref Night. 

All of this demonstrates the uncertainty of recruitment continuing until bid day! You don’t know what name will be on that bid card, due to what the sororities decide and how the other PNMs handled their rankings. That’s why the chapters also act with total surprise and happiness to find out exactly which new member’s are on their final bid day list. They are in just as much suspense as the PNMs until they get the final word from the computer. They don’t know who from the final 80 girls will make matches with them, and who made top matches at other houses. The night before bid day the sororities are excited when it’s confirmed that they successfully recruited some PNMs and they’re sad when some of their fave choices end up in a different sorority. Same ups and downs that the PNMs go through. 

There are a few more complexities in the bid matching system, but that is the general idea of how final selections are made. It’s suspenseful until the very end for everyone involved. But it has a way of working out for the best in the long run! xoxo ;)

So I'm going to a community college since my mom doesn't have money to send me to a university. Worst case scenario, I stay there 2 years and get an associates degree + guaranteed admissions to whatever school I want. Would sororities not accept a junior transfer? Would I still be eligible for greek life? Also, is there anything I can do before to make myself look better to sororities? I want to be in a sorority so bad and want to make sure it can still happen! Thanks!!

Asked by
futuresratgirl-deactivated20140

YES you can still join as a junior. Many girls are transfer students, or decide to go greek as “older” PNMs. While you’re in community college, stay as active and involved are you were in high school. Do things on campus, join a special interest club, volunteer with your favorite charity in town, participate in your church, etc… As long as you keep your life going you will be ready for your transfer one day. You are eligible to pledge as long as you’re in college, and beyond for some chapters. 

If finances are an issue, you can also work part time, which will give you even more experience as a future PNM. Working will help pay for your sorority dues and provide you with some interesting adventures. Sororities are looking for enthusiastic members who live life to the fullest. It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s more about being an active and dynamic person. xoxo ;)

I'm transferring to a university in the spring. Should I do spring rush or wait till fall? I don't want to wait but I know every chapter doesn't do spring recruitment so I don't want to miss out. Thanks so much!

Asked by
maryjaneek

Before you make your final decision, I recommend you look into each chapter at your new college. Browse their websites, look at their social media and get a “feeling” for each one. You can tell which chapters appeal to you to most and which don’t in a general sense. Then cross-reference that information with the list of sororities who are recruiting in the spring. If many of the chapters that you like are participating, then go for rush in the spring. If your least favorite are not recruiting, then you won’t miss anything. As an older transfer student it would be preferable to join greek life sooner rather than later. 

I’m not saying you can tell everything about a chapter from their online presence, but from multiple sources you can paint a general picture. Let’s say the two chapters you are least interested in are not recruiting and everyone else is ~ happy day! Or reversely if only a couple of chapters are recruiting and you have zero interest in them ~ take a pass.

Another option is to give spring rush a try (no matter what) and decide once you meet everyone in person. You are under no obligation to join, if you participate, and then don’t make match. If you do your research and the odds look semi-favorable, then go for it in the spring. You have nothing to loose. Number one choice: don’t wait a year if possible! xoxo ;) 

big/little problems: little has gone her own way…

Q: I am starting to get really frustrated with my little. I try to spend time with her and it seems as if she just doesn’t have time for me. Believe me I’ve tried everything and i’ve spoken to her about it twice but still nothing has changed. She doesn’t even seem to have time for our organization. It’s so bad I’m starting to think about taking another little. I don’t want to hurt her but I’m not happy either. what should I do?

A: When you have honestly done ALL you can in any situation, what’s left? You can’t make someone be nice, join the fun, love your sorority and be a part of chapter life and your life. Sadly, your little seems to be going a new direction. I don’t think it’s personal, I think she has lost interest in the sorority right now and it distracted by other things. It doesn’t mean she won’t come back around one day. Membership ebbs and flows. One year you can be really into it and then get busy with other activities the next year. Or, maybe she had a falling out with another sister, and is distancing herself because of that. It’s hard to say why a perfectly pleasant sister drifts away. 

But since she is basically out of the picture, I don’t see why you can’t take another little. In some chapters it’s normal to have more than one! I say go for it and have more fun in your sorority. You don’t have to wait on the sidelines just because your little disinterested. Don’t disown your first little ~ just ADD to your family.

Presented the right way, I don’t think she will be hurt. If you view a new little as a totally positive addition to your family line ~ there should be no problem. Have a happy outlook about it. Instead of moping about how you “have” to take a new little because the first one bombed out, consider it a terrific opportunity to spread your sisterly love to more members. You are blessed to have two littles to love, love, love! If you treat the situation as all good ~ it should be perceived that way by your first little and the chapter. Many times it’s “how” you do things that matters most. xoxo :)

"Trust your hunches…. Hunches are usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level." ~ Joyce Brothers

"Your world is as big as you make it." ~ Georgia Douglas Johnson

I'm nervous I won't get a bid, what happens if I don't?

Asked by
sammyxpoo

It’s unlikely, but if you don’t get a bid, you are free to rush again as soon as you like. You can accept a ‘snap bid’ right after rush ends. You can try informal recruitment, or COB, this semester or next. And you can participate in fall formal rush again next fall. You don’t have to wait 1 year to try again. There are no limitations on your ability to go greek in the future. And you have every recruitment option open to you! 

But the best way to avoid being bid-less is to NOT drop out of recruitment! Most PNMs who don’t receive bids, end up that way because they didn’t like the sorority choices they were offered. They drop before recruitment concludes. If you see rush week through to the end, you may find wonderful sisters who really want you as a member. That may require readjusting your mindset mid-way through the week. When the chapters you thought you liked don’t come through, and others do, you must reorganize your priorities and requirements. Rarely is there a straight path to bid day. If you adjust to what happens each round, you will find greater success! 

Follow your heart, but use your head and be smart about your chapter choices as well. A combination of emotions and good decision making is your best bet for not becoming bid-less! xoxo ;)

"You’ll never have all the information you need to make a decision. If you did, it would be a foregone conclusion, not a decision." ~ David Mahoney Jr.

"I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it’s only a choice of attitude." ~ Judith M. Knowlton

I'm rushing in a month and I'm really nervous about it. I'm already losing sleep over it. Could you give me some of your top recruitment tips that will help to ease my nerves a bit? I would really appreciate it. :)

Asked by
aquarianheart

I have been getting many questions especially about being NERVOUS! It’s normal to be anxious, but please don’t make yourself sick over recruitment. It will be totally fine! Thousands of PNMs go through it every semester and they all survive! Better to be using those hours of worry on making yourself the best you can be in preparation. Instead of sleepless nights, practice some Q&As. Pamper yourself with at-home beauty treatments like a fancy face mask, or a deep hair conditioning. If you are taking positive steps to prepare in mind and body, you will feel more in control. 

I have a post about dealing with PNM nervousness specifically ~ 

• Top 12 Ways to Manage Recruitment Nerves

And also please check out my collection of PNM posts with valuable hints, tips, advice and more! They can ALL be found on my FAQ PAGE under the heading of: “What are some tips for being a successful PNM?” Please scroll down a little from the top and you will see the Q&A with 22 links to posts for helping PNMs! 

Nerves are normal, you just can’t let them overwhelm you. When you meet the sisters, be calm on the outside, even if you’re in turmoil on the inside. If you shine bright and do your best ~ that’s all anyone can ask. The most important thing is to “appear” self confident. Radiate happiness and I know you will make a match! xoxo ;)

☆ top 12 tips for being an ORGANIZED sorority leader! ☆

Q: I’m head of rush for a local sorority and I’m just feeling so overwhelmed with responsibility. Do you have any advice? School hasn’t even started and I’m already having anxiety over it. :(

A: The key to not getting overwhelmed is ORGANIZATION! If you are organized and detail oriented, planning will be more exhilarating… and not so agonizing! As a huge FAN of being organized, I can tell you it works. You need a planner, or your laptop/ipad to keep notes and lists, lists, lists! If you make continuous lists, you can check things off as they are accomplished, remember what needs to be done, delegate assignments, make plans, etc… etc…

☆ top 12 tips for getting recruitment organized: 

  • Use a Planner. Either electronic or paper, a good planner is a must. Having one place for your dates, days, tasks, assignments and things to do each day is very important. Lilly agendas are my favorite. Use the planning calendar and all the pages to your best advantage. 
  • A Master Recruitment Timeline is vital. Start 4 months out and break down what needs to be done each month, each week and then as rush gets closer, each day and finally each hour. Your master schedule is your blueprint for staying on course when things seem overwhelming. 
  • FIle Folders & Notebooks Help. Even if you like to work electronically, notebooks and files are handy for taming paperwork and keeping samples, invoices, schedules and other information organized. Don’t feel bad about getting the right tools to make your job function. There is no shame in using the business like materials to be professional in your recruitment position. 
  • Make it CUTE. It’s Ok to decorate your notebook with cute stickers and a custom cover sheet. Add decals or graphics to your schedules. Theme your organization materials in your favorite color. Being organized does not mean boring and dull. You will be more excited about using your tools if they are perky and bright. 
  • Enlist a Deputy. Every successful chair has an assistant. Working in a team is more productive. You can share the burdens and have fun doing even the most unpleasant tasks together. It’s also great to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Don’t shoulder all the pressure of recruitment on all alone. Get a help-mate ASAP.
  • Assign Tasks to Reliable Sisters. The more you can delegate the better you will feel. If you organize your team, give them work to do and then follow up on the results, you load will be lightened. Monitor your helpers, but don’t micro manage. Pick the right people and your life will get less stressful.
  • Organize Your Space. You will need a spot (hopefully a desk) to be your recruitment HQ. A place where you can keep your files, notebooks, agenda and other planning materials. A place where you can review your to do lists, make phone calls, use your laptop, send messages, etc… Handling a complex project cannot be done on the fly from the coffee shop or in between classes on a campus bench. That’s find for quick updates, but to fully concentrate you need an organized space. 
  • Visual Reminders are Very Helpful. In addition to your planner, a cork board or memo board with post-it notes, samples, lists, diagrams and reminders is extremely beneficial for visually cueing your memory. I’m a very visual person, and I like to SEE what needs to be done. It’s also inspiring to have a print out of the bid day tee shirt design, party colors, photos and the weekly schedule displayed where they can inspire and motivate you. 
  • Combine Similar Activites. For maximum efficiency, combine tasks instead of running all over the place. Make all of your phone calls at one time, Do all your errands on the same day. Send emails at one time. Do all your shopping for party supplies in one trip. This will reduce headaches and keep you from becoming scattered. 
  • Make Decisions. As a leader you must make decisions and move things off your plate. If you dither and hesitate, many things on your ‘to do’ list will languish there undone. Committing to firm decisions is a must for making progress. Be informed and then be decisive. Nothing hurts a well organized project more than indecisiveness, multiple changes, and second guessing. It’s also expensive and frustrating to have things up in the air, or redone over and over. Make a wise decision and stick with it. 
  • Be Flexible. Recruitment will not go as planned. Be ready for the unexpected. Your stress will be reduced if you actually anticipate things not going perfectly. Don’t be pessimistic, but do be realistic about sudden problems popping up and the need to solve them as they occur. If you bend with the winds of change, you will maintain your sanity. Stay calm and tackle one issue at a time. 
  • Take Some Time Off Here and There. Planning recruitment can swallow you up. The project is all consuming. Don’t let it take over your entire life. Plan an afternoon off and sip a latte in the park. If you’re smothered by your sisters 24/7, carve out some “alone time” to just sit and relax. Watch a movie and eat popcorn. Whatever you can do to take break from the ongoing responsibility with refresh and revive your spirits. 

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

☆  More posts about planning recruitment: 

 Formal Recruitment Master To Do Checklist

big/little problems: life goes on after a change….

Q: I joined my sorority last fall at the school I was attending and it was great! I loved all the things we did and events with my big and family! However, due to a really unfortunate turn of events second semester I didn’t return to the school this year and am currently attending community college for now. I still talk to my big but it’s hard to visit because the school is about an eight hour drive from where I live. AND she might be getting another little. Any tips on how to stay close/what to do?

A: Sometimes unforeseen and unpleasant things happen in life that are totally out of your control. Change is thrust upon you. Which results in limited solutions to your new problems. You can stay in touch with your big, and your other sorority sisters, but their lives will be going forward at your former college. Sadly without you there. The truth is painful, but your big wants a new little so she can fully enjoy the years she has left in the chapter. That wish is nothing against you in any way. But when you depart, the world inside your sorority keeps on going… full speed ahead.

Long distance relationships have their limitations. But with social media, it’s easier to stay connected than it used to be. You can keep friendly contact with your sisters, but at the same time, you will need to make the most of where you are now. Somehow you must make the best of your community college, meet new friends and get involved with a hobby or activity you like. If you become happier in your own life, you won’t feel so depressed about missing your sisters. If you have returned to your hometown, maybe you can reconnect with some old high school friends. If you maximize your personal good times, it will ease your longing for greek life. 

I HOPE you have plans to return to your original college sometime soon. If finances are an issue, consider working to pay part of the bills. Reuniting with your sisters would be ideal. But in the meantime, be unselfish, loving and kind when it comes to your big enjoying her days in the chapter without you. By wishing her the best ~ your heart will be in the right place. You want HER to be happy, irregardless of your own personal situation. That’s what true friends wish for each other! xoxo ;)

"Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again." ~ Og Mandino

rush talk: formal & informal recruitment problems…

Q: Last year as a sophomore, I came out for Spring Formal Rush. My school is smaller and only has 3 sororities, so rush works a bit differently (Mon, Tues, Wed you go to all 3 houses, then you get prefs for Thursday). I knew rather quickly which sorority I liked the best and felt comfortable in. One of the seniors in the sorority said she felt I was only going out for Greek life because my boyfriend was in a fraternity. This couldn’t have been more false, many of the sisters knew that and a large argument broke out amongst the sorority.

One of the sisters who I am closer with later told me that I should come out again in the Fall and another sister said the same thing earlier this semester as well. So I was planning on attending Fall Informal Rush ~ (you can go to whatever house you like and however many as you like) until I was just told that a standard was called and I’m not able to come out again for a full year.

This would make me a second semester Junior rushing in the Spring with all the Freshmen. I’m a little confused as to what a standard is, so I looked it up and I’m still really confused how it would apply to non-sorority members. I really wanted to come out this Fall because I thought I had a chance, but the Spring seems like I have less of a chance and I’d waste time going to the other houses again. We were told we could come out in the Fall as long as we didn’t get a bid and reject it, which I didn’t even receive a Preference. Please help me figure out what I should do and help me understand why a standard would be called against me.

A: Joining a sorority shouldn’t be this upsetting! It is panhellenic policy for a PNM to wait 1 year to rush again AFTER being offered or accepting a bid. If you get to the point where a sorority extends a bid, even if you don’t open the envelope, it can be considered “receiving a bid.” That is why PNMs often drop out of recruitment right before the preference round. That leaves them free to attend informal rush the following semester. 

That seems to be the situation you’re in, except you say that you never got to the bid point in your formal recruitment!? Yet, from what the sorority is saying and doing, they are acting as if you did. For some reason they have decided you must wait the full year to rush. I don’t know what else that decision could be based on. Maybe you didn’t officially withdraw from formal recruitment? Since your 3 sorority system is handled a little differently, possibly there is some PNM technicality that you’re missing. For example, you didn’t formally remove your name from the PNMs roster when you dropped out, and the sorority is basing their ruling on that. 

I strongly advise you to contact your Panhellenic Council and ask about the policies which are effecting your recruitment. I hope you have a governing council that will validate the actions of this one sorority. But whatever the reasons behind this chapter’s behavior, I have some serious questions for you to ponder before you rush again! 

  • Do you REALLY want to be a member of a chapter that goes to these lengths to not have you as a sister?
  • Do you want to keep pushing into a sorority where there are arguments, meetings and policies taken against you?
  • Could you be missing some good qualities in the other two sororities which might be a better match for you?
  • Are there a few nice sisters in one of other sororities who you could befriend, even if you don’t love the entire chapter?

With your small greek community, rushing as a Junior should not be too much of a problem. But please give some consideration to the other sororities on campus. Being WANTED and adored as a new member is important. Hopefully you can sort this out and go greek with a house that loves you for who you are and strongly wants you as a sister for life.  xoxo ;)

I tried looking around on your blog (which is so cute btw) and I couldn't figure out what PNM stands for.. I'm planning on rushing this semester and I don't want to seem like I don't know what is going on! So, what is PNM?

Asked by
oh-heyy

You need the sorority sugar Ultimate Grand Supreme Glossary of Sorority Terms! There is a link on the top navigation bar of my blog homepage, or link here:

http://sororitysugar.tumblr.com/glossary

The Glossary and FAQ page are excellent places to start if you are not familiar with greek lingo. When you rush, you are not expected to know everything about sororities, but a few basics will help. You are/about to be a PNM, since you’re getting ready to rush. Here’s the official definition: 

Potential New Member (PNM): A college woman who is participating in Panhellenic formal, informal, or open membership recruitment. 

There’s lots of information on my blog that will help you become more comfortable with rushing and my homepage has the links to the info pages. Also check out a NEW PAGE which I started the other day ~ it’s called RECRUITMENT ADVICE BLASTS! It’s a collection of popular Q&As especially for PNMs. There are short questions and answers on topics that PNMs ask about often on sorority sugar. It’s another reference page in addition to my FAQ page . Lots of good stuff! xoxo ;)

Due to family circumstances, my little needed to transfer schools and wants to join the chapter at her new school. She reached out to the president to set up a meeting, but she heard from people that the chapter has already made their mind up about her and she's nervous about what the final decision will be. It would break my heart to see her not be accepted into this new chapter, is there anything else she can do other than wait ?

Asked by
mercywithani

I didn’t know transferring could be that “scary!?” Usually there is a transfer from to fill out and it’s a pretty basic procedure. NPC chapters DO need to vote on a transfer before the sister can actively participate, but that’s commonly just a formality. I guess this chapter is taking it very seriously. Unless your little is in “bad” standing, I don’t believe the new chapter will turn her away. As ‘sisters’ they need to accept transfer students after a routine chapter vote. 

If your little has any more trouble, I would suggest she contact her ‘old’ chapter and ask about the procedure. Maybe the new sorority is waiting on some paperwork that has not been submitted. She could also contact your national HQ if things don’t work out, and she can’t get a straight answer. She has a right to all the facts and to know what happened. National HQ will not take too kindly to an active collegiate member not getting into a transfer chapter, unless there is a very good reason. Please make sure your little is treated right at her new school! I wish her luck with the sisterhood when she does get accepted. xoxo ;)

I'm really excited to Rush next week! Thank you so much for your amazing blog! I have two questions. So my school has booths with the different sororities and I feel nervous to approach them. What kinds of questions should I ask? And secondly, people keep asking me about how "hard I'm going to party" and "are you ready to get hazed?" This kind of worries me. Could you give me advice on how to deal with these people?

Asked by
queenchunli

Your recruitment sounds different than the style I’m used to! Many campuses have booths for Meet the Greeks prior to formal recruitment, but more organized rounds follow that event. I’m not sure if your entire recruitment is handled only though information booths, or if you move on to more events with the different sororities? Either way, you should prepare some questions ahead of time revolving around what you’re most interested in. Maybe you would like to know about their sisterhood events, philanthropy projects, all-greek activities, or what being in the chapter means to them. When you approach a booth, the sisters staffing it will be prepared to share information with you, so it won’t take too much prompting. 

As for the partying and hazing questions I hope those are coming from independent friends and not sorority sisters! Members are normally not allowed to discuss those issues during recruitment. They should NOT ask you about inappropriate subjects. You do not have to party hard, or withstand any form of hazing, to be in a sorority. You can still be your own person and be totally safe. All NPC chapters are firmly against hazing. It’s a rare occurrence, if it does occur. Sororities are all about spoiling their new babies, showering them with gifts and having fun together from day one. 

PNMs are often faced with contrary opinions from friends, family and other students on campus. Just kindly tell them you are going to look carefully at all your sorority options and make up your own mind! Remain positive and optimistic about making a chapter match. Tune-out the negative chatter and just focus on your personal journey towards bid day. xoxo ;)

If needed, here are some sample questions to ASK when you meet the sisters:

• Top PNM Questions to Ask During Recruitment 

• PNM Recruitment Questions to Ask By Category

• 20 “Safe” PNM Questions to Ask During Recruitment

rush talk: PNM with a broken foot…

Q: I love and have followed your tumblr for quite some time now. I have a serious question! I’ll be a junior this fall and have decided that I finally want to join Greek life! However, I broke my foot this summer and I’ll be in a cast all of September (which I think is most of rush?). I’m afraid the girls won’t want an injured sister as a new member. — gypsy-summer-s0ul

A: Physical injuries happen and I don’t think it will hurt your PNM chances at all. Many sporty sisters deal with broken bones, so you will not be seen as unusual. In fact your cast will be THE topic of conversation with every person you meet. So prepare a catchy story and be prepared to repeat it 99 times. Make your broken foot story funny and memorable. You will be remembered during rush for sure. This can work to your benefit at as a PNM. Make the most of it. And if needed, you can assure the sisters that you are ready and able to participate in every new member event. You won’t let a little thing like a broken bone hold you back! ;)

Before going through recruitment, would it be a good idea to ask the fraternities on campus what they think about the sororities and who they think have a good sisterhood, who participate in a lot of greek events, etc?

Asked by
mindyminowa

If you want to know who the HOT girls are, the girls who party till dawn and the girls who are totally boring to frat guys ~ ask away. But you will probably NOT get an accurate sisterhood assessment from the fraternities. They see things differently than female PNMs do. Their priorities are opposite than yours. You will probably hear a lot of greek gossip in their answers too. 

Asking fraternity members about which sororities are “good” is similar to reading the greek rank website. You will get some insights, but also a lot of rumors and biased opinions. I don’t think any fraternity guy can really evaluate the private sisterhood bonds of sorority members. They can provide some general stereotypes, but I don’t think you should use that information for pre-judging chapters before recruitment. You will probably hear things like, "XYZ girls really like to party." and “ABC sisters are all back-stabbing witches.” (But with much more colorful language.)

If a sister broke the heart of a fraternity brother, then the entire sorority may be painted in a bad light. If a sorority bailed out on a frat mixer, their chapter name could be mud. Another sorority may have supermodel sisters and be worshipped by all the fraternities ~ but in truth they’re very cliquey inside their sisterhood. Your criteria for liking or disliking a sorority is different than the guys dating them. Browse chapter websites and social media if you want to get a preview of sisterhood activities. And take fraternity opinions with a grain of salt. YOU have to live with your future sisters ~ not the guys on frat row! xoxo ;) 

rush talk: dealing with an unhappy summer…

Q: Without exaggerating this has been the worst summer of my life. I had an awesome job lined up but had to leave it when my parents got divorced. They had to sell our house and most of my time has been spent packing. There was no money left for us to go on any vacations, and my friends were away all summer. What do I say during recruitment when sisters ask what I did all summer? I don’t want to sound like a loser and say I did nothing, but the truth is pretty grim.

A: I am so sorry to hear about your family problems. I feel for what you’re going through. I have dealt with the same experiences myself. I know how emotionally upsetting so many changes can be. Sometimes bad things happen and there is nothing you can do about it. Thankfully fall semester is here and you can look forward to something wonderful like joining a nice sorority. 

There is a way to speak about your summer without going into the unhappy details. Rush conversations are meant to be (mostly) light and breezy, so you should refrain from sharing your heartbreak with sisters you just met. Many of the girls you speak with won’t be your future sisters, so there is no need to dump your family problems onto them.

The best way to handle your situation is to brightly focus on your big MOVE! You can portray it as a positive event. If asked, say something like, "My family made a big move this summer to a new town/house/state, so I spent a lot of time packing, unpacking and exploring my new city. It was a lot of hard work, but I love where I live now." Then continue talking about your new house, the new area, or launch into a funny story about something crazy you experienced during the move. 

A family move is your major event of the summer. If your family had planned to happily relocate, it still would have taken a lot of time and caused many changes. So it’s perfectly acceptable to say that was the centerpiece of your summer. Maybe you can also share a couple of other things that you did ~ such as visiting the beach, riding your bike everyday, starting a blog, etc… Anything that rounds out your summer profile. As soon as the topic is covered, you can move the conversation towards looking ahead, not back! 

You don’t need to be ‘secretive’ during rush, but there is a time and a place for sensitive discussions of private issues. When you pledge a chapter, and bond with sisters you trust, I hope they will be supportive in every way as you in deal with your new family situation. That’s what sisters are for! Just hold off on the deep discussions until you are a sister. Look for a sorority that will lift you UP and be there for you during your challenges! xoxo ;)

"Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging." ~ Joseph Campbell

"When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure." ~ Peter Marshall