I am sure you will be paired with a big who loves and wants you for a little. It’s very unlikely that you will be matched with a reluctant big sister who doesn’t care about you! The odds of that happening are slim to none. The more likely scenario is that you have seen so much big/little loving online, that your standards will be sky high!
I strongly advise you to keep your expectations in control. Extreme expectations for a magical over-the-moon big/little relationship is difficult for any mere moral big to live up to. If you are anticipating 500 splashy gifts and crafts, and all you get is a cupcake and a picture frame you are setting yourself up for disappointment in a major way. Please enjoy all the big/little sugar on my blog, but when the time comes for your “real life” friendship give your new big a chance.
A kind, sweet sister is all you need for a meaningful big/little experience. And that’s what you should be in return. Don’t measure your big’s worth by the number of gifts she gives or how much money she spends. If you bond with a high quality sister, who you enjoy and who has your back, it means more than 20 tee shirts. When you join a sorority, BE the best new member you can, and you will attract a superior big. Every relationship takes two. So be likable, loyal, decent and giving. You should get the same in return! xoxo :)
"Getters don’t get—givers get." ~ Eugene Benge
Q: I’ve had a lot of small problems in my NPC sorority lately and I just am not feeling the sisterly love anymore. I’ve seriously considered disaffiliating, but I’m not sure about the consequences, or even the process. Any advice or help would be much appreciated! Thank you.
A: DON’T DO IT! You will regret it later almost 100% guaranteed. The “loving feelings” ebb and flow over the years. Membership is a marathon, not a sprint. Just like in a romantic relationship, you are not going to hear birds singing every day. There are dull periods, bright periods, sad periods and everything in between. You don’t throw in the towel because the glow has dimmed. Small problems are not worth the pain of permanent disaffiliation and loosing your bonds forever.
The consequences in most chapters are permanent and irreversible. No more college greek life, no alumnae benefits, no legacy status for your daughter one day, etc… It goes way beyond your immediate issues. You must take the long view on this. Your decision today will effect the rest of your life as a former greek.
I strongly advise that you find another outlet for your talents and put some healthy distance between you and the sisters who are irritating you. There are ways to step back without leaving the chapter completely. Join some other clubs, study abroad, make new friends outside your sorority, get involved with the Panhellenic Council, take an interesting internship, work a part time job ~ anything to gain a fresh outlook and a new perspective. Sometimes sisters get stuck in a rut and you just need a kick start in a new direction. You can maintain your status, and save all that you have invested, while you explore NEW experiences on campus.
Also consider taking a new little this fall, to give yourself a renewed sense of spirit. Every recruitment is a new dawn and an opportunity to rekindle your chapter pride. Seek out sisterly friendships with the “nice” girls and push your troubles aside. When you look back one day, you won’t regret staying in your sorority, but you will regret it if you leave. I know you can find away to make it work! xoxo <3 ;)
"Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the "right stuff" to turn our dreams into reality." ~ James Womack
This is in response to letyourlovepour about rushing: I rushed as a sophomore on my campus. I knew there was a new colony starting up that my cousin was in, so I was sure that I would go for that sorority. Even with that knowledge I still went through formal recruitment to give the other chapters a chance since I did not know much about them. I ended up pledging to a different sorority than the one that my cousin was in. Don't be afraid of formal recruitment, it helped me find the perfect match.
THANK YOU for sharing your new colony/regular recruitment experience!! Very helpful. You never know where you will end up when you start your greek life journey!! xoxo ;)
I know we're not supposed to talk about partying or boys during recruitment, but what's a good way to kind of get a sense of which sororities are known for drinking and sleeping around at my school? Someone mentioned certain ones are known for that behavior while others are really against it but that they couldn't mention which.
I think if you are a perceptive PNM you can probably get a good idea of what’s up when you meet all the sororities. I don’t want to promote stereotypes, but the quiet girls who dress very modestly and talk a lot about crafts and their chapter book club are probably not the hotties. Girls tend to look and act like their lifestyle, even if they don’t talk about guys and partying directly. You should be able to tell the difference - in general - between the fast girls and the ones who study in the library on Friday nights. Use your ability to read between the lines at each house. Most girls have a 6th sense about other girls without any words being said!
Also, depending on which style of sorority you prefer, you will hit it off better with certain sisters than others. Each chapter will have it’s on VIBE. One chapter may boast about their trips and activities, while another will brag about their academic awards. One sorority may show off their scrapbooks and the other will display their sports trophies. If you keep your eyes and ears open, you will quickly get a picture of each organization. Put all the “clues” together and you will form a pretty good idea of what each chapter is all about.
Will you know everything before bid day? No! But that’s where the chemistry of the sisters you meet comes in. The sisters will be sensing your personality and choosing new members who will party like they do ~ or not. Trust the system and your own instincts. If you are not the type to join a certain sorority, they won’t invite you back. It has a way of working out. xoxo ;)
P.S. If by chance you do find yourself in a party crazy chapter after bid day, (and this is not your style) please know that you do NOT have to drink heavily or sleep around to be a sorority sister. There will be girls in every chapter who don’t do those things and some that do. Blanket stereotypes don’t cover every member. Continue to be yourself wherever you pledge. And seek out like minded sisters!
Q: My school hasn’t really given me any information on Recruitment except for the dates. My school is fairly small so I assume I don’t need any rec letters. I haven’t received any type of registration, but I figured that’s mainly for larger schools. I know what to wear on recruitment days only because I’ve done online research but since rush isn’t until Sept. 3, I have time to figure it out I guess. I just feel like there’s some information I’m missing.
Does recruitment usually take place on the weekends or how do they keep recruitment from interfering with each PNM’s class schedule? For example, on my school calendar it says recruitment day 1 takes place Friday September 5th @ 9 am and I’m sort of confused because I have a class at that time. Do people skip class for recruitment or how does that work? Thanks!
A: First things first ~ you MUST register for recruitment somehow. The chapters need to know each PNM coming through individually. Even the smallest formal recruitment should have an application form, a way to sign up and a process for submitting your photograph.
As for the dates, usually recruitment is held the week before classes start in the fall, or right before classes begin again after Christmas break leading into the spring semester. It is odd that your school would schedule rounds during class time. A recruitment held during the semester, might schedule events in the evenings or weekends, so they don’t conflict with classes. It’s all rather confusing. But to answer your question ~ yes I guess you will need to skip class to attend rush. If you are not meeting the sisters, they cannot evaluate you for membership. You must “be there” in order to rush and receive a bid.
I am beginning to wonder if this is an informal recruitment instead of a formal one? Informal (or COB) is more casual and possibly your campus defers formal rush until the 2nd semester. It’s a possibility you should double check! Often the freshman must wait until spring to participate. The fall is for older PNMs and transfer students. Maybe this is the case.
Please revisit the Panhellenic Council or greek life website and social media for more details on all of your concerns. Visit the social media of each sorority individually for more hints about what the heck is going on. I don’t want you to miss out because of poor organization or poor communication. Email the Panhellenic leaders in charge of rush and ASK about the information you are missing. If rec letters are not needed, that’s Ok, but you should confirm the other things like your registration first and foremost! xoxo ;)
So I'd like to eventually run for sorority president for my chapter but I'm not totally sure where to start. I read the president tag on here (thank you for that!) but I was hoping for a more detailed look at what I could be doing. Do you have club suggestions that I should get involved in on campus or what type of extras bits I should be doing within my sorority? It seems it would make sense to work my way up in the exec board but I'm not sure how to get into that either. Thank you! -Freshman
Some sororities have elections for offices and others have nominations, so exactly “how” you get to an e-board position will vary. Examine your own chapter’s procedures and see what the path to leadership is. Observe how other girls do it. I have found that taking a position that’s not very popular, is a great way to get your foot in the door. Standards or Fundraising may be less in demand than being Recruitment or Formal chair. Volunteer or run for a position that is challenging. Then prove yourself to be exceptional. That’s the best way to get noticed!
For example, you may find that soliciting for fundraising donations is something others aren’t comfortable doing. If you break all fundraising records, you will be praised by your chapter and get lots of pats on the back. That’s just one way to stand out in an organization. Take your pick of positions that need a strong sister in charge. After your initial success, you can start moving up the ladder to the presidency.
On campus, you can get involved with other groups that offer leadership opportunities. Become a campus ambassador, run for student government, or take on leadership in a special interest club of your choice. Leadership experience is worthwhile, wherever you get it. You can use the experience to boost your sorority resume when the time comes. Explore the possibilities at your school and see what other groups offer positive experiences. Have fun sharing your talents! xoxo ;)
There is a fine line between being a “know it all” and being appropriately informed. You don’t want to be a complete dummy when it comes to the sororities ~ but you also want to be open to learning more during recruitment. The chapters work very hard to share their personality, experiences, facts and membership details with the PNMs. If you respond by saying “Oh gee, I already know all about your philanthropy” it will not go over well. LET the chapters educate you on what they’re all about. You also need some questions to ask the sisters. So it’s proper to appear inquisitive.
During rush, if you’re not surprised when learning the facts about each chapter, act enthusiastically interested! The way each sisterhood presents themselves is very important for making your rankings. Let your pre-rush research slide to the back of your mind, relax and open up to what new information is presented to you during the week. Advanced research is about the mind, while recruitment is more about the heart. Combine your new impressions, with what you already know, and you should make excellent PNM decisions! xoxo :)
Please visit my FAQ Page for links to posts on questions sisters may ask PNMs and some questions PNMs can ask sorority members as well. If the sisters are creative, they will ask you about things which reveal your personality, like who you would invite to dinner, or what’s your favorite book made into a movie.
Before recruitment, it’s a good idea to review your own personal preferences and life experiences, so they are at the forefront of your mind. You can even write them down to help you remember (or study your PNM resume.) Often, when you’re nervous, it’s difficult to answer questions ‘on the fly.’ It’s easy to forget what you had for dinner last night, let alone what you did during the first semester of your senior year in HS. Review your own accomplishments before rush starts! These are some of the typical categories you should brush up on:
- Your leadership accomplishments
- Your favorite things like food, books, movies, people & places
- Role models in your life
- Your family, especially any quirky stories
- Your hometown - unique details are good
- Why you chose your college
- Your major and academic interests
- Hobbies & activites - anything a little different will make you more memorable
- Sports accomplishments
- Your history of living in different places or interesting vacations
- ALL of your likes & dislikes
- Your friendship experiences
- Volunteering & charity involvement
- Your dreams & goals
- Why you want to join a sorority
- What you have to offer a chapter
- Anything that makes you unique!
Practice by answering some “Questions for PNMs” and you will get comfortable thinking on your feet and being super charming! xoxo ;)
• 101 Creative Conversation Starters for Sisters to Ask PNMs
• 33 Questions to ASK PNMs
• 25 Interesting Questions to Ask PNMs During Rush
• Big/Little Speed Dating Questions (good for PNMs too!)
The best way to show interest is to naturally engage with the sisters you speak with. If you gush too much, and tell a chapter you’re super interested, you may seem overly eager or desperate. Sure enough, you will be cut the next day if you come on too strong. The chapters like to make up their own minds. Let the sororities pursue you a little bit. You should be a desirable PNM who the chapters are trying hard to “snag.”
Let the ‘courtship dance’ of recruitment take it’s course. You don’t need to force anything. Through your natural smiling, enthusiasm, interest, questions and responses ~ the chapters will be able to tell you are appropriately interested. Your goal as a PNM should be to show positive interest in EVERY sorority in the first few days. You never know who will invite you back or not. So during the first and second round, you must be really attentive and excited about all the houses. Sparkle during every round and let the rest fall into place.
When you get to the Preference Night round, then you can express deeper interest in your final 2-3 chapters. Keep your options open and share your happiness with ALL of your final choices. A PNM does not know 100% what will eventually happen on bid day. So be loving and enchanted with your final sororities through the very final minutes of recruitment! xoxo ;)
I was interested in rushing Phi Sigma Pi, the national honor fraternity, but I am already a member of a Panhellenic sorority. Phi Sigma Pi has their own philanthropy and they have formals, etc. Would joining an academic frat be very time consuming especially because I'm already in a sorority? Would it be okay if I joined but focused on my sorority during Greek week and other Greek events?
It IS possible to belong to both groups, it’s all about how much time you have. You will have mandatory obligations with both greek organizations, plus your classes, plus any internships or employment and a few hours for socializing. As long as you are skilled at time management, you can juggle all of these things.
With a busy calendar there will be some sacrifices and conflicts though. You may have to miss a meeting to attend big/little reveal. Or miss one formal because you are committed to a big fundraiser that same night. When you have multiple memberships, there are bond to be scheduling challenges. "Doing it all" means accepting that you will miss some events along the way. Confirm the time commitment needed for the honor fraternity before you join, think about your lifestyle and see if you can balance everything. You still want to honor your sorority promises and not be stretched so thin that you falter in your endeavors. Be the best you can be in all areas! xoxo ;)
"If a task is once begun, never leave it till it’s done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.” ~ Anon
Hi there! I'm going to be a senior in high school and I just recently thought that I would want to join a sorority. I plan to go to Arizona State next year. I was just wondering what I need to do to rush. I know one girl was telling me about a letter she needed but I didn't understand that at all. I'm a smart and outgoing person and I'm student body president, so I wouldn't have a problem fitting in. But I just don't understand the steps of rushing.
You sound like an excellent future sorority girl! You have all the qualifications. Once you confirm your acceptance at ASU, then you can research their recruitment policies. Each school is a little different, so wait until you know for sure where you will be attending.
Your friend was telling you about recommendation letters which are needed at some universities. A good place to learn the BASICS of sorority recruitment in general is the sorority sugar HOMEPAGE! Take a look at my top navigation bar and click on the links to the Glossary of Terms and FAQ pages. There you will get an overview of the what it takes to rush.
Basically you register, get rec letters mailed in on your behalf, participate in a week of recruitment events and then finally join a chapter on bid day. Once you register, you will be provided with a Recruitment Handbook and lots of information about “how to do it.” You can also visit the websites and social media of the Panhellenic Council and individual chapters at ASU when the time comes.
You will start the process late spring 2015. So until then, keep your grades up, participate in lots of activities in HS, volunteer and make the most of your student government leadership. You will be an ideal PNM when you go away to college! xoxo ;)
Hey! I have a question. I am not part of a sorority nor will I be part of one (the Greek system doesn't exist in my country), however I am fascinated by it. If a "pledge" doesn't get into any sorority, can she try once more the following year? Does it happen often? I only know what I see in the movies (some portray Greek life terrible, others make sororities more real, according to what I see in tumblr), is there rivalry between sororities within colleges? sort of like in the movies?
"Real" sorority life is not much like the movies at all. Sometimes the parties are crazy at college, but there is lots of normal day-to-day living in sorority houses than what you see in the media. It’s much more about sisterhood, crafting, retreats, studying and some socializing too. Most campus leaders are in greek life. They are students who are going places and doing things. Not the crazy types you see in movies.
To answer your questions:
- If a PNM accepts a bid to a sorority, “pledges” and then drops out, yes she can rush again a year later. If she drops out of recruitment before bid day, then she can rush again sooner. Only after initiation, are the doors closed to other options.
- It is rare that a PNM goes all the way through rush week and ends up totally empty handed. It does happen, but it’s not the norm.
- Yes, there is competition between sororities, especially during recruitment, when they’re all trying to attract the best PNMs. Chapters also compete in sports and other events. So yes, there are some rivalries. But usually each chapter is different enough, that they don’t compete head to head in every way.
Q: I’m my chapter’s new marketing chair, so basically I’m in charge of social media and marketing our chapter to the rest of our school community, which is especially important for fall recruitment. It’s a new position in my chapter so I haven’t really had anyone really tell me what to do or how to do my job. Do you have any tips or advice? I also have a small budget to spend on Marketing and I’m not sure what to spend it on!
A: Marketing is becoming more and more popular with sorority chapters. For ease, break it down into two categories ~ electronic and in-person. Below are some examples of things to become involved in to promote your chapter to other greeks, your college community and PNMs. Some things don’t cost anything but time. I would spend the budget on promotional give-aways, tent & tabling equipment, displays, a quality banner, and other visual necessities.
✰ Chapter Marketing ONLINE: ✰
- A chapter website updated annually.
- A page or listing on the Panhellenic Council/Greek Life portal on the University website.
- Listing and information on the Panhellenic Council website.
- Listing and information in the Recruitment Handbook.
- Chapter Facebook page updated regularly.
- Chapter Tumblr blog with creative photos of your sisterhood.
- Chapter Instagram with occasional photos.
- Chapter Twitter with membership & recruitment announcements.
- Inclusion in any campus-wide websites or social media where you can reach non-greeks too.
- Submit photos and content to your National organization to be included on their social media and magazine.
- Interact with your National facebook page.
- Make contact with local media, to get your sorority noticed in the community for your big fundraiser or gala event.
- Consider a electronic newsletter for your chapter through a site such as Constant Contact.
- Maintain several chapter email date bases for communicating with other chapters, members and PNMs.
- Update your sorority graphics and social media images. Make an attractive Facebook cover photo, Tumbler icon and ”go greek” designs. Get creative! Browse the sorority sugar blog and Instagram for ideas.
- Encourage your members to personally promote the chapter online, be guest bloggers, pin photos on Pinterest, post photos on Facebook and become individual social media ambassadors for the sorority.
✰ Chapter Marketing In-Person:
- Host a display table at any/all Freshman Preview events.
- Hold open houses when other chapters do.
- Be a part of Freshman Orientation.
- Volunteer to help with Move In Days (in your greek shirts).
- Host a display table at Meet the Greeks.
- Host a “give-away” table on campus several times a year where you give away donuts, popcorn, or cookies for positive PR.
- Partner with the Dorms on spreading chapter information.
- Advertise in the school newspaper, magazine and other campus publications.
- Join the Panhellenic Council in advertising in the Alumnae Magazine.
- Organize highly visible fundraisers that create buzz and get noticed. Include all students in raffles and contests.
- Volunteer for campus-wide events, serving as ushers or helpers in your greek apparel.
- Hand out promotional materials like sorority pens, stickers, decals, buttons, magnets, plastic sunglasses, foam fingers, etc…
- Wear sorority buttons for tailgating and game days.
- Purchase a sorority tent with your chapter name printed on it for tabling events.
- Freshen your large lawn letters with new paint. Display them at every opportunity.
- Update your chapter apparel and make sure everyone is maintaining sorority standards while in their greek letters.
- Attend sporting events and competitions in your chapter apparel.
- Wear your letters on campus every Wednesday.
- Extend an open invitation to alumnae to participate in chapter activities and help spread the word about everything your sorority does. Enlist them to spread positive word of mouth.
- Make announcements on the campus radio or TV station.
- Partner with other greek chapters on fundraisers to elevate your profile.
- Hand out flyers and/or treats where female students congregate on your campus, or around campus. Don’t forget the favorite off-campus hang-out spots.
- Hang banners and signs where your target audience will see them.
- Host bake sales, holiday sales and other small events throughout the year to keep your name visible.
- Get local sponsors for your next philanthropy fundraiser and include their logos on your event tee shirts and banners. Share the shirts with your community partners.
- Always have sorority promotional favors ready to hand out at every luncheon, event, or project. Give them to your charity partners as well.
- Have a presence at greek sporting events and fly your sorority flag proudly.
- Accept social invitations from other greeks and ATTEND, Keeping your social obligations and being involved in the greek community is very important for your chapter reputation. Isolation is not viewed favorably by other chapters.
- Support fraternity events and cheer them on.
- Compete in greek week, greek sing, lip-sync, marathons, etc…
- Establish a roster of member’s High Schools. Use the HS list to network with incoming freshman who might be qualified PNMs. Use your sister’s connections to their best advantage. Same goes for alumnae.
- Work with your members who are Campus Reps to hold trunk shows at your sorority house. Welcome all shoppers warmly. Invite non-greeks too.
- Partner with your local Lilly Pulitzer store (or other favorite dress shop) for a girl’s shopping event. Invite non-greeks and/or other sororities.
- Capitalize on your philanthropy connections and the national marketing they can offer. Make sure your volunteering is publicized as well as your fundraising. Tap into any PR resources your charities have.
- Utilize your national headquarters’ publicity connections as well. Get your Advisor involved with your new marketing efforts.
- Partner with your Panhellenic Council on some marketing efforts to save money. If all the chapters participate, everyone spends less.
- Encourage individual members to represent the sorority when they are serving as campus tour guides, working in the book store, attending club meetings, singing in the choir, playing sports, cheerleading, serving in student government, competing in pageants and everything else they do outside the chapter. Each activity is a chance for positive chapter promotion.
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Links to MORE helpful sorority PR/Marketing posts:
• Top 20 ways to Promote Going Greek!
• Top 10 Sorority Public Relations Tips!
i'm rushing as a sophomore and at my school, we have 5 sororities and i'm worried it's going to be super competitive to get into one. i didnt do formal recruitment last year (personal reasons) so i have no clue what to really expect. do you have tips on how to stand out (other than the classic "just be yourself" response)?
Lots of people talk about “standing out” during rush, but that’s not exactly how I look at it. You can stand out by wearing neon yellow. But the real goal is to “CONNECT” with the sisters who are the best match for you! You don’t need to stand out like a shining beacon. It’s much better to bond, laugh, feel close and genuinely be touched by the sorority sisters of your choice. Making quick friends and finding things in common is the romance of recruitment. That’s why you so frequently get the advice of “be yourself.” Only by showing your true personality, can you draw the “right” sisters to you. Connecting with a sisterhood should be as authentic as possible.
So for formal or informal recruitment your PNM role is the same… Offer all you have to give, offer your experience and interests, offer your sweet personality and at the same time look for your chapter “mate.” Recruitment is basically speed dating for girls! You will be romanced, you may cry, you will be moved, emotions run high and in the end hopefully the two forces come together in a greek match. xoxo ;)
"Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love." ~ Mother Teresa