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So I recently rushed and pledged a sorority, and in doing so, I found my perfect big. However, I just learned that our nationals randomly assigned bigs/littles this year, meaning I most likely will not be with my big. This makes me incredibly uncomfortable, and I don't want to drop, but my perfect big was honestly the reason I loved my sorority so much. Having a big who is literally my best friend is something so important to me, and I'm terrified I won't have that. What do I do?

Asked by
candyflossskissses

Having nationals assign big/little pairs is very odd. Relationships can’t be forced by matching sisters in a totally random way. You wouldn’t want to be blindly assigned a sorority on bid day! I can’t see how this can work for most big/little matches ~ with no input from the girls involved. Family bonding should come from the heart by matching compatible sisters. Assigning sisters takes all personal preference out of big/little matchmaking. 

If you are assigned a big, that sister will probably be a buddy who you may or may not click with. High Schools frequently do this by randomly assigning an upperclassman to be a “sister/guide” to the freshman students. The older girl doesn’t necessarily become a close friend, but she can be a helpful role model. This is also very similar to a rush buddy, or a special “pearl/rose/anchor” sister you have assigned before big/little reveal. Your chapter is extending their initial sister assignment system to the complete big/little program. 

But there is a way around it…. You are free to be close friends with whoever you want. Your chapter can’t control who you love and who you spend your time with. Sisters are free to party together, socialize, talk, text and connect in every possible way. You can be assigned a “big sister” who is a nice girl, and you can still go about having a terrific time with all the other sisters you like. If your big/little match is not ideal, for whatever reason, the girls involved do not have to be stuck alone together. You have an entire chapter of amazing sisters to befriend in your own way.

So… if this chapter engineering of big/littles occurs, just take it in stride, be polite and get on with your greek life. It will change the dynamics of big/littles, but you can work with it. And maybe your assigned big will be a really great person. You never know! You can have your dear friends and an “official” big at the same time. Stay positive and see how it all develops! xoxo ;)

big/little problems: announcing twins…

Q: I was just recently given twins, however I don’t know how I should go about telling my littles that they have a twin! One of my friends suggested telling them in a letter during big/little week, but I wasn’t sure. Any advice?

A: I think working the announcement into your big/little week clues is an excellent idea! Word it in a happy, clever way and it will set the stage for a cheerful reveal. You can write a special note, a creative poem, or just include the fact in your clues. If you make the information super positive with an emphasis on family joy, it should be taken in a positive way.

Please don’t apologize or act insecure about your little’s reactions. Twins are a part of chapter life. YOU set the tone as a role model of family tranquility. Establish an atmosphere of family bliss by being 100% thrilled about having twins. Make being twins an honor, a blessing and pure heaven. Your littles will hopefully follow your lead. xoxo ;)

Here are lots sayings for TWINS to include in your crafts and/or notes: 

• Sayings For Twins & Twiddles 

If I'm rushing at a commuter school (no dorming), do you think my experience will be vastly different? Or if the sorority is local vs national?

Asked by
stopcaring-startliving

Your sorority experience IS effected by things like living on or off campus. Or if the chapter has a sorority house or not. And yes, there are some important differences between local sororities and large NPC chapters. All of those things determine the quality and type of greek life you have.

But if you “click” with a sisterhood, you will make the particulars work out. Some chapters don’t have houses, some members commute and other challenges must be overcome depending on the sorority. With member’s love, loyalty and dedication they overcome the difficulties and make the best of their situation. With extra effort you can be a part of a wonderful sisterhood, even as a commuter. Look for the chapter you really like, and the rest will work itself out. xoxo ;)

sorority Q&A: snap bid blues…

Q: I went through formal recruitment, but ended up not getting a bid. However, I got an informal bid a few days later. Most of the girls are being really nice and welcoming, but a few girls in my pledge class are talking behind my back and saying that I didn’t deserve a bid and that I was a “last resort” for the chapter. This really hurts my feelings. Is there something I can say or should I just let it go?

A: What your pledge class sisters are doing is not nice, but since you joined “after bid day,” I can see why they have these thoughts. You were part of a Snap Bid situation, which is a normal process of snapping up a PNM who didn’t receive a bid. Since you were available, and the chapter thought you were sisterhood material, they asked you to join. You were probably high on their B-list, but just missed making their PNM A-list. They wouldn’t have snapped you up if you were a mis-match. Chapters don’t pick up PNMs after bid day if they are unwanted and incompatible. 

So please feel secure that you were an attractive PNM to your sorority and they felt lucky to pledge you. It all worked out in the end. Girls join chapters in several different ways each semester. An informal procedure isn’t any less valuable than a formal bid. Your pledge sisters will soon learn that other new members may join during the spring semester and/or in Continuous Open Bidding. How you get involved is not important. 

I suggest you let this situation blow over. There is no point in forcing a confrontation that will only make the gossipers mad and create more problems. Time will provide distance from bid day and the mechanics of how you pledged will become a distant memory. I would ignore the few nay sayers and get on with being a fabulous new member. You may have to try a little harder to fit in than some of the other girls. Look for one or two best friends in your class and get busy having a great time. Step up for a volunteer position, contribute all you can, and prove that you have every right to be there. Don’t let others intimate you or make you feel lesser than. Treat the way you pledged as a “so what.” Now you are all about being the best new sister ever! xoxo ;)

sorority Q&A: planning a senior/pledge class SWAP social!

Q: I am in charge of planning the “meet the seniors” event for our fall pledge class, any ideas of something fun we could do, it’s going to be the first week of November.

A: It might be fun to plan a crafting social event where the two classes “exchange” their creations at the conclusion. For example, everyone paints ceramics or canvases, and then gifts it to a sister in the other group. Selecting the girl to give your creation to could come from a game played after the crafting is done. (Similar to a Christmas gift exchange.)

Or, you can plan a food exchange social, or an ‘item’ swap party. WIth sharing as your main focus, the event will have some needed interaction between the two classes. It’s always less stressful to get to know new sisters when there’s some activity to focus on during the social. 

During the event, include a swapping of ideas, tips and dreams for the future too! This can be done through some sharing time or via a sharing game played during the event. xoxo ;)

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❤ Things to Craft and Exchange: {create & then exchange}

  • Christmas Ornament
  • Memo Board
  • Canvas 
  • Plaque 
  • Wood box
  • Clipboard
  • Painted rocks
  • Greek letters
  • Paper flowers
  • Picture frame
  • Fabric covered notebook
  • Hand tied fleece blanket or pillow
  • Thanksgiving pumpkin decorating
  • Gingerbread Houses
  • Crazy hats

❤ Food Exchange ideas: {everyone brings some & shares}

  • Cookies 
  • Chocolate
  • Candy 
  • Chips & Dips
  • Salads 
  • Ice cream
  • Cupcakes
  • Pies 

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❤ Things to Exchange Ideas: {bring items to exchange with the other group of sisters}

  • Ugly Christmas Sweaters
  • Books or magazines
  • Perfume 
  • Greek Tees
  • CDs or DVDs
  • Costume jewelry
  • Handbags & totes
  • Tumblers & mugs
  • Koozies
  • Stuffed toys

❤ Exchanges from the Heart: {plan some time for sharing & caring}

  • Seniors share their top tips, best advice, funny antidotes and other highlights of their years in the chapter. 
  • New members share their hopes and dreams for the future, why they joined and their best moments so far. 

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big/little one-on-one questions…

Q: This past recruitment my chapter doubled our size, however, the temp bigs only have time for the one or two girls they get assigned. So I’m not on the temp big list until I reach out at least once to every girl individually, what are some good things to talk about with them on these one-on-one outings to see if we’re right for each other?

A: I have several posts with great get-to-know you questions. You can pick some favorites and work them into your conversation, or make a game of it, and draw questions from a box. Select your favorites and have fun getting to know each other! xoxo ;) 

• 50 Fun Big/Little Matchability Questions

• 60 Big/Little Speed Dating Questions

• 70 Super Would You Rather Questions

And here are some of my top tips for picking a little: 

• How to Pick a Little ~ 23 Things to Consider

So ive been a new member in my sorority for about a month now and I still feel out of place. I try going to socials and other events, getting involved in chapter and philanthropy activities, and it just seems like everyone knows each other and goes out and does their own thing without me. any tips? is this normal to feel this bad a month in?

Asked by
vsmdel

Your sorority recruited you for some reason. The active sisters liked you enough to offer you a bid. So there are friends in your chapter somewhere! You must find some like-minded sisters to hang out with… 

Please consider these things:

  • Who were the sisters you spoke to the most during rush? Try to connect with them. They may be able to help you with your socializing. 
  • Make one or two friends in your pledge class. Don’t try to conquer the entire chapter at one time. Focus on just ONE sister to be your pal in the beginning. That single bond will lead to other connections. 
  • Observe what others are doing and copy them. Not every new member knew the other girls before joining. But now they are doing something different than you are. See how they connect and try to get in the “loop.”
  • Where is your Big sister? By now you should be part of a big/little pair and have an entire family to help you integrate into the chapter. Your big is your strongest bond within the sorority. She can be key helping you in the early days. Families are established for the purpose of providing closer friendships and security for new littles. Take advantage of your family bonds ASAP.
  • Take the initiative. Instead of hanging back and feeling victimized, you may need to step up and be more assertive. When you attend events, jump into the action, speak to other sisters, get involved. Being a part of the scene takes more effort than just showing up and watching what’s happening from the sidelines. 
  • Manage your expectations. You are expecting a lightning bolt of true love to strike after only one month in your sorority. Real relationships take much longer than that to develop. It may be a year or two before you feel over the moon about your chapter and completely at peace, accepted and involved. Membership is a growing experience. Your personality may need a different approach in order for you to really feel part of your sorority. It takes time to figure out what works for you personally. 

Stay positive, stay patient, try new things and use your big/little family to help you become more comfortable. Greek life is a marathon, not a sprint. With the right attitude and energy I know you can make your chapter your home. xoxo ;)

"Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dream closer." ~ Marcia Wieder

"Action conquers fear." ~ Peter Nivio Zarlenga

Hi! I'm going to a Greek Opportunities Call Out meeting today for information of rush and I was wondering what to wear. I have an exam tomorrow so I'll attending the meeting in the middle of studying today. Would a long shirt, leggings, a vest, and riding boots be okay?

Asked by
hoosierstateofprep

That sounds perfectly fine. For a casual panhellenic session, it’s Ok to be “nice” and relaxed looking. You just don’t want to show up in torn sweatpants, a ratty tee shirt and sloppy slippers. There is casual and then there is scruffy looking. During recruitment time, there are always eyes upon you, so looking appropriately ‘collegiate casual’ should be your goal.

A PNM can look totally classy in the simplest outfit, (crisp white shirt and jeans for example), as long as she is tidy, clean and presentable. The on campus fashions that you described should be attractive and appropriate for your day of testing and the greek meeting. Have fun! xoxo ;)

So my formal is in a month but we needed to know our dates by next week so I got set up with a friend of a friend who I've never met. We texted a little about it and he seems excited and we plan on actually meeting this weekend but I'm not sure how I'm supposed to treat a set up date for formal? Like Do I still need to ask in a cute way and do a cooler or would that be too much?

Asked by
o0hwhaleee

I totally understand where you are coming from. All the “fuss” seems a bit much for a stranger. Since you are set-up already, I think you are past the over-the-top asking phase. But you might consider a low key way to ask when you meet him this weekend.

For example, bring a box of 7 cupcakes or cookies with the letters F-O-R-M-A-L  and a ? spelled out on the top. Or an extra large candy bar with a ‘ask’ note attached. Something small scale, but it still gives your invitation a little zing. You don’t need to decorate the front lawn of his fraternity house or hire a plane for sky writing! 

As for the painted cooler, I think it depends on what everyone else does. If the coolers are presented and used the night of formal, and your date is the only one who doesn’t receive one, then it would be awkward. It depends on how “public” the cooler gift giving is. If it’s not a group thing, then you are not obligated to paint one. You could consider giving something smaller like a painted bubba keg or flask. If party favor type gifts are the norm in your sorority, then you may have to follow through even though you don’t know your date well. The social situation dictates what you do in this case.

Your goal should be to find a nice way to participate in your formal traditions without going overboard. Doing things in a lighter way is acceptable in your situation. As long as you are gracious and thoughtful of your date, you should be Ok. xoxo ;)

Hey! So I'm a new member at my sorority and we're getting to the half-way point of our new member period, so big-little is just around the corner... I wanted to know if you thought it would be to outrageous for a new member to ask a sister out for coffee rather than the other way around? I've really only gotten to know two of the sisters (and not very well at that) and our lists are due next week. Could you help? Or do you have any other suggestions for getting to know sisters? Thanks!

Asked by
princess-of-jamnovia

Usually chapters will host some casual sisterhood events where potential big/little can mix and mingle prior to big/little match-making. If your sorority doesn’t offer ways to meet sisters, I think it would be Ok to ask an active for coffee. (Potential bigs should be asking possible littles out for coffee too.) Sisters need to connect somehow!

Also look for opportunities such as a tailgating party, sports event, fraternity party, all-greek fundraiser, volunteering day, etc… Even if the activities are not specifically for big/little interaction, they can be a chance to rub elbows with more sisters. Attend all the chapter and greek events you can, so you’re out there meeting lots of potential bigs. xoxo ;)

big/little problems: not happy with the quality of big/little gifts…

Q: So today is the last day of big little week and I don’t even want to go get my last basket, let alone find out who my big is, because my gifts have been awful and everything from 2011, as if she was cleaning out her house. How do I tell my sorority that I don’t want to participate in big little? I’m not getting the big I even wanted, I’m getting a random. Who claims to be “working hard” when it shows no effort.

A: First of all you do NOT know who your big is yet. There is lots of “fakery” during big/little week, tricks and false clues. The ‘bad’ gifts could be to fool you and keep you guessing. So until you experience reveal, you don’t know for sure. But even if you don’t get the big you wanted, you do NOT drop out of the big/little program. That’s not what a decent sister does and I don’t think it’s even possible. You may not love your big, or spend lots of time with her, but you need to be respectful. As a sister in the same chapter you do have to be polite, kindhearted and classy. Fabulous families don’t always fall into your lap. You may have to work hard for yours.

IF-IF-IF your big is not to your liking, please give her the benefit of the doubt. You are not a princess “entitled” to expensive gifts and crafts. Maybe she’s doing the best she can on a limited budget, a busy class schedule and other life circumstances. Many chapters have a tradition of recycling sorority sugar from the past, so getting items from 2011 is not unheard of. Passing down tee shirts and keepsakes is the norm in some chapters. But even if your future big is not the gift giving kind, not crafty, not rich, not flashy and not your “type” you are still SISTERS and you may find a real friend, if you give her a chance. Would you want someone to dump you before they even met you? 

Reveal means keeping an open heart and an open mind. Just like bid day, you may be thrilled or slightly disappointed. It’s what you do next that counts. You are not “owed” anything in your chapter. It’s your job as a new member to make your own friendships, give back to your chapter, explore new possibilities and grow as a person. Thank your big for all her efforts and give your new family your all ~ no matter who they turn out to be. Your character may be put to the test. Time to be less selfish, less self centered and less self focused. Dig deep and see what you can learn and who you can become with your new big by your side. xoxo ;)

"Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come; you have to get up and make them." ~ Madame C. J. Walker

"Don’t be reluctant to give of yourself generously, it’s the mark of caring and compassion and personal greatness." ~ Brian Tracey

big/little problems: dealing with an unlikable little…

Q: I got a little that I hate. I knew her in high school and we were decent friends but in college she went downhill and is not someone I want to be around. No one in her pledge class likes her and I don’t know how not to be witchy about this.

A: Aghggh! Life lesson time. At the very least you must act decent and polite. Just like dealing with a co-worker you don’t like, or a lab partner who drives you crazy, or your best friend’s boyfriend who you can’t stand ~ sometimes you have to endure people you’re not fond of. All through life you will be put in close contact with others who aren’t your style. Many situations require that you be nice anyway when you’re in the same organization or the same job. You don’t have to feel warm and fuzzy towards your new little, but your actions need to be kind and minimally generous. What you DO is more important that what you think or feel inside. 

I also believe in there being a “reason for everything.” Maybe you were placed in this position to be a good influence on your former friend! She used to be likable person and has gone down the wrong path. You have an opportunity to be a positive role model for her starting today. Help her find her way back. Be a fine example of what it means to be a XYZ sister in thought and deed. Live your creed, show your spirit and be such an extraordinary example of goodness, she can’t help but be positively influenced.

Find out why she is disliked by her pledge class and help turn her around. A big sister is meant to guide and assist the little in becoming her best self. Make your little a ‘project’ with the goal of helping her blossom as a person and as a sister. Sororities exist for members to GROW through the years, not just remain the same. This is your opportunity to share the best you have inside and make a difference in your chapter. Accept the challenge, instead feeling defeated before you start. At a minimum you need to do what’s required, but I hope you will see what happens if you let your light shine. Miracles can happen! xoxo ;)

"At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

"Strength of character means the ability to overcome resentment against others, to hide hurt feelings, and to forgive quickly." ~ Lawrence G. Lovasik

❥ creating big/little CLUES for clue week! ❥

Q: I was wondering if you have any ideas for cute or different clues I could use for big sis reveal. I want to give interesting facts, but not give myself away to easily. Thanks, your blog is really helpful.

A: Writing clues beyond “hometown” and “hair color” is challenging. And I am not a fan of giving only false clues. Totally lying is easy, but not very clever. It’s more fun to be sneaky and channel your inner Sherlock. These are some ideas to launch your big/little clue brainstorming…

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❥ 25 Tips for Creating Big/Little Clues: ❥

  • Nickname clue. Write a clue/share a picture of a crown if your nickname is princess, or a cookie if your nickname is sugar.
  • Family you’re in. Write a clue/share a picture of a cowgirl if you’re in the bandana family. 
  • Food from your nationality. Give a pizza if you’re Italian, sushi if you’re Japanese, a croissant if you’re French, etc.   
  • Write a movie clue. Site a movie where the lead actress has the same name that you do.
  • Leave a nature clue. Hint about about your hometown or region. For example, a cactus from your desert city, orange from a citrus growing area, or sand from a beach town. 
  • Share the “meaning” of your name. Google the meaning of your name, which could be graceful lilly or short nose, and use it as a clue.
  • Describe your first or last name. For example if your first name is Alice a clue could be "through the looking glass." If your last name is Irish a clue could be "lucky charms, magically delicious."
  • Describe or give symbols of what you love. Write clues, share photos, or give small gifts of your favorite things. If you love flowers = floral perfume. If you ride horses = horseshoe. If you love to bake = cupcake.
  • Things your little would never guess. Your shoe size, ring size, father’s occupation, favorite color, favorite food, number of pets you have at home, boyfriend’s name, etc. Personal facts that are true, but generic at the same time.
  • Favorite song trivia. Work a line from your favorite song into a clue. Or the name of your fave band. 
  • Multiple choice clue. Give your little 3-5 personal facts and tell her only one of them is true. 
  • Multiple choice “test.” Write several multiple choice Q&As for your little to ponder. For example, "After college my dream is to live (a) at the beach (b) in NYC (c) in Paris (d) in my hometown." You can provide the “real” answer, or keep her guessing.
  • Use clues that are true for many sisters. If lots of sisters have blonde hair, it makes a great clue. But if you’re the only blonde in the chapter, don’t use it. If many girls are from the same state, or play the same sport, those are good clues.
  • Use a decoy. Pick another sister who you have things in common with and use her as a “substitute” in your mind when creating clues. By describing things that apply to both of you, it keeps the clues mysterious for your little. For example, you’re both tall and you both grew up on a farm. 
  • Fake out your little. Leave a false clue that points towards another sister. For example “accidentally” use a notepaper with another sister’s monogram on it. Pretend to have a minor slip-up and your little may think she’s discovered a juicy mistake.
  • Sorority clues are cute. Relate your clues to your sorority. For example, "I wear a XYZ blue coat," "I prefer pearls," or “I have three red dresses.” Most of the sisters in your chapter probably have the same sorority specific things. 
  • Give clues in pieces. Each day give one letter, a word, or puzzle piece that at the end of the week will spell out a word or saying. Magnetic words/letters are ideal for spelling out a quote or single word clue. Scrabble squares are also fun for this idea.
  • Do the opposite of what your style is. If you are artistic, leave boring, plain clues. If you are crafting challenged, have someone else create a design masterpiece for you. Don’t let your presentation give you away. Fake your little out with “how” you give your clues and gifts. 
  • Use an assistant. To keep your new little guessing, arrange to meet her for dinner or drinks while another sister (GBig) decorates her room and leaves some misleading clues. When she returns to her room, she will know she was with you at the time, combined with the clues that seem to point to someone else. Hopefully this throws her off track. 
  • Rhyming is right. Get your creative writing juices flowing with the use of big/little rhymes. Once you start, it’s hard to stop. For example, “Welcome to XYZ big/little week/ I wish I could kiss you on the cheek / We’re going to have so much fun/ I already love you a ton!” 
  • "If I was in…" clues. Use your favorite movies or TV shows to create fun clues. For example, "If I was in Harry Potter, I would be a Gryffindor." or "If I was in Friends, I would be Rachel." 
  • Get weird. Share the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten, the weirdest place you’ve ever been, the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen, the weirdest date you’ve ever been on, the weirdest thing you’ve ever worn. 
  • Your most embarrassing moment clue. It’s very unlikely that your most embarrassing moment will be known by your future little, so using it as a clue is both funny and creative. 
  • Animals traits make good clues. Write a clue/share a photo that matches your personality ~ proud like a lion, clever as a fox, wise as an owl, busy as a bee, cool as a cat, fast as a horse, cuddly as a koala, quiet as a mouse, gracious as a swan, etc…
  • Fun “hates.” Big/little clues should be mostly positive, but a few “I hate ___” are another way to give hints about your identity. For example, "I hate broccoli." or "I hate cats."

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So my chapter's big little reveal is on Thursday and I was wondering if you had any ideas on how to go about taking twins. I'm taking my #1 and a girl I've never talked to but I was her #3. People say we're going to get along but it's hard to know what she likes... Tips?

Asked by
abbieland7

If you keep things EQUAL you will avoid a lot of problems! Give the same amount of gifts, spend the same amount of time and spoil your twins in the same way. If you follow that top tip - the conflicts will be kept to a minimum. Avoiding jealousy, possessiveness and competition is also important for a big with twins. As the leader of your little threesome, you set the tone for everyone. If you are a generous role model and treat your twins with love, happiness and kindness, you will certainly create a blissful family. Not knowing one little very well, will soon be past tense. Just proceed as if you already are close to both sisters. 

Don’t worry about what your little likes. Give gifts and treats that you like and you want to share. As for doing things together, just have fun and you will quickly learn what everyone prefers. As long as you lead with style and grace you can’t go wrong. New friends are always excting ~ enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! xoxo ;)

big/little problems: there are alternatives to an unhealthy big/little partnership…

Follower Follow Up:

To the Big with a toxic Little: 

Big/little relationships ‘gone wrong’ does happen! My little and I were great, at first. But she and I are really different. She is a big partier/drug enthusiast and I have never been such. At first I had a really hard time accepting that I couldn’t have the big/little flowers and sunshine relationship so many others have, but it got to a point that she tried to get me into stuff I wasn’t comfortable with. That was when I realized I had to let go of trying so hard to keep a relationship that was bad for me.

It’s hard to come to the realization ~ but speaking from my own experience, it’s been a weight off my shoulders since I let myself find real relationships with other sisters. And she has done the same. If you’re lucky enough to be in a loving big/little duo, that’s wonderful. But it’s not always possible for some pairs.

Remember there are hundreds of other sisters around you who can give you the love and hope that ‘sisterhood’ is suppose to offer! That’s much better than being in a duo that’s unhealthy. Don’t feel bad about not being able to be there for your Little as much as you’d like. You tried everything you could. You’re not the first to have this problem and you won’t be the last. Just keep your head up and remember why you joined your wonderful sorority and don’t be hard on yourself for looking out for YOU. xoxo ;)

submitted by: Anon