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
I have been talking to one of my friends who is very interested in joining my sorority lately and I really think she is going to do it this fall. I almost want to be her big, but would it be better for her to have another person as a big who she doesn't already know that well, so they could spend more time together getting to know each other? I'm just unsure about that...
I suggest you wait and see how things play out. If your friend becomes extra close to a sister during rush, then it may become obvious who her big should be. But if she doesn’t have an extra special someone, then you can certainly step in. Sometimes “stranger” bigs don’t really work out. So I would advise against that. It’s a big risk, just for the sake of trying something new. I think you would be a better big than a girl she doesn’t know at all.
Keep an eye on how her relationships develop (should she pledge your chapter) and determine what’s in her best interest when the time comes. It’s nice to have an old friend as a potential big and back up if needed. She may even strongly prefer you to be her big. Her preference should be taken into account too. On the other hand, a new friendship could blossom, and you should then step aside. Play it by ear and do what’s BEST for your dear friend. xoxo ;)
Q: What are some clothing basics every sorority member should have?
A: Since sororities are all about being sociable, fashions are required for many different of events. Here are some basics most chapters require:
❀ Building a Stylish Sorority Wardrobe: ❀
- One of the first things many chapters require is a white dress for your pledge ceremony, new member events and initiation. A white dress is a must for most sororities!
- After you are initiated, you will most likely need a classic black dress too. Black dresses are worn for rituals and recruitment. Almost every chapter wears black for their dressy special events.
- Some chapters focus on their specific sorority color for special occasions. For example, if you are an Alpha Phi you will need a red dress and frequently Kappa’s wear blue frocks. These special colors will be worn for recruitment, chapter portraits and events such as Red Dress Gala.
- Recruitment wear is a must for the years you are in the sorority. There may be specific requirements such as colored jeans and white tops, white shorts, matching dresses, matching skirts and other apparel purchased especially for rush. Even if your chapter doesn’t dress alike, you will need ‘nice’ dresses and separates for recruitment events.
- Social wear is something you need when your greek life begins. There will be semi-formals, fraternity cocktail parties, weekend trips, luncheons and chapter celebrations which require cocktail dresses. A collection of classic, sunday brunch, dressy dresses are a must.
- Formal fashions are also important. A sorority girl will attend her own chapter formal and probably several fraternity formals each year. Having some long gowns, or fancy short dresses, in your wardrobe is an excellent idea. Sisters can swap dresses for formal events to save money.
- At most universities, gameday wear is very important. Sorority sisters dress in special gameday dresses, school colors, or preppy dresses appropriate for tailgating and attending the game. Chevron print shifts and cowboy boots is a favorite combination. Chapters will have sorority buttons printed to wear with your gameday fashions. It’s a fun look for pre-parties and going to the game together as sisters.
- Casual wear that’s a step above a pair of norts and a greek tee shirt is a necessity. There will be greek events that call for ‘nicer’ casual clothing such as white shorts, colorful shirts, sundresses, cute skirts, nice jeans, pretty blouses, jackets, sweaters, etc… Fundraisers, panhellenic events, parent’s weekends, tabling, greek socials and lots of other campus activites are examples of times when you will dress a little better than sweatpants or leggins.
- Costumes are a must for themed exchanges. When you go away to college, it’s a good idea to pack a few costume basics that you can work with for greek life theme parties. Animal accessories, tropical prints, school girl uniforms, flower power and western apparel are all common mixer themes you are sure to encounter. Costumes for big/little reveal are also a possibility. Be prepared to create some costumes while on campus as well.
- Greek wear is something that’s required of members for chapter events, so look forward to buying lots of sorority tee shirts, tanks, sweatshirts, jerseys and more. Some tee shirts are mandatory and others are purchased because you can’t get enough of your amazing sorority sugar. You will also collect shirts for formals, greek week, derby days, greek fundraisers, fraternity events, recruitment, graduation and more. Greek stitch letter shirts are another important part of a sorority girl’s wardrobe. By the end of college you will have enough greek tees to make several tee shirt quilts!
- You will need shoes for all of your different greek events. Beyond flip flops, the basics include: nice sandals (like Jack Rogers), ballet flats, loafers/boat shoes, leather boots, athletic shoes, medium heels and high heels. Many chapters wear nude pumps with their recruitment dresses and they are very versatile for sorority events. A classic pair of nude pumps is a good investment.
- Jewelry and accessories can be simple, versatile and go from event to event. On my list of sorority appropriate accessories are: a good quality handbag, a good quality tote bag for laptop and books, I.D. wristlet, cute crossbody bag, statement/bubble necklace and several pairs of pretty earrings. Necklaces, rings and bracelets are perfect for greek designs! When you join a sorority, these pieces will probably ‘go greek.’
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After you rush as a freshman, if your college has sorority houses, do you keep living in your assigned freshman dorm room or do you move into the sorority house, or how does that work? Thank you!
It all depends… Some sororities have new members move in right away, but many chapters postpone living in the house until your sophomore or junior year. They each have their own policies regarding living in the sorority house. Most likely you will stay in your dorm the first year and then make a change later. xoxo ;)
Hey there! I'm a founding sister and this fall we do our first formal recruitment. I desperately want a little, and scared since there's 70+ girls without littles who want one as well, and only 40 or so to go around. What tips do you have for putting myself out there to our new pledges?
Sometimes there aren’t enough littles to go around and it can be disappointing for potential bigs! The action really starts during recruitment. That’s your first opportunity to meet all the candidates for future littles. Be outgoing, super friendly, warm and welcoming during rush, so you make as many strong connections as possible. Get ahead of the pack by being a super recruiter. If you bond with lots of sweet PNMs, one of them could be your extra special little one day.
After bid day, continue to cultivate the favorite friendships you made during recruitment. Be assertive and ask new members to socialize, attend parties, have dinner, go to chapter events together, etc… Draw your fave new girls into your core group of active sisters. I would suggest you focus on several specific new members to give yourself a few options. Pick the most likely candidates and shower them with love. Don’t act desperate, but don’t sit back and wait either. You must extend the hand of friendship and be proactive in developing some special relationships. “Courting” a potential little takes effort. Being passive, and just keeping your fingers crossed, won’t work if the sisterhood competition is stiff.
When big/little assignment time arrives, you want the chapter to know that you and _____ or _____ are such a cute pair, you naturally go together better than anyone else! Build these types of bonds early on and it will help you when matchmaking happens. By making your top choices visible to the chapter, they will immediately think of your favorite picks ~ rather than wonder who in the world they should match you with. Or worse, you’re invisible, and they leave you out entirely.
Ways to bond with new members after bid day:
- Personally welcome all the new members on their Facebook pages right after bid day.
- Tailgate & attend football games together.
- Invite your fave girls to some fraternity parties.
- Eat together on campus.
- Offer to help with things freshman need to know/do.
- Sit by your fave new girls at chapter meetings.
- Volunteer to help with new member events and meetings.
- Ask your fave girls to grab a coffee, yogurt, or piece of pizza.
- Invite your targeted little candidates to socialize with your group of closest sisters.
- Help with the new member retreat.
- Offer academic study help to new members.
- Help your fave new members with costumes for the first theme exchange of the year. Go together.
- Randomly leave a little “thinking of you” treat in your potential little’s room.
- Comment on your closest new member’s social media sites. Like their posts and become a part of their circle of friends.
- Show interest by inviting a special new member to a concert or other special event on/near campus.
These are just a few ways to show how much you care and express your interest in the most compatible new members. Once you get started, you will naturally find more ways to bond and connect. Share fun experiences together, laugh often and make memories. You are sure to build a lasting relationship and hopefully become big/little one day! xoxo :)
After you receive a bid, you are welcomed to the chapter as a “new member” or “pledge.” You immediately start attending meetings, socials and events with your pledge class and the entire chapter. Right away you are a part of the group. You would have to do something very bad to have a bid revoked. If you acted totally out of control and violate the sorority standards of behavior, it would be possible for you to be asked to leave or seriously discipled. But usually new members are on their best behavior and this does not happen.
The sorority will not just change it’s mind and take back a bid on a whim. The entire chapter voted on your membership and each new sister is hand-picked to join. The first few months are filled with happiness and excitement. You will get a big sister, learn all about greek life and chapter history and move forward to full initiation. As long as you follow the rules and behave normally, you will certainly cross the finish line with your class. xoxo ;)
Since ALL initiation traditions are very private within each chapter, I can’t give too much advice on it. Initiation is the most secret of all greek life. I’m sure your week will be filled with sentimental surprises, meaningful events and heartwarming experiences. I don’t know why you would be nervous about it? You should be overjoyed to finally be reaching the initiation finish line and thrilled to take the next step in your sorority life. I believe your week will be positive, not threatening in any way.
I can’t speak for the private practices of every chapter, but I honestly don’t think you will have to “survive” initiation week. You should enjoy it and probably shed a few happy tears. At least I hope this is the way it will go! xoxo ;)
I am a student athlete on campus and also in my new member process. Since I am on a scholarship for my sport here, it obviously has to come first. However my pledge mom said I should reconsider staying in the sorority next year if I continue to do my sport. I don't know what to do or how to manage it. Because there will be things I will just have to miss. I don't wanna get in trouble, but I don't want the girls to get mad at me for missing our either. But I also don't wanna drop cause I love it.
Being in an active sport AND in an active sorority can be very difficult. That’s why many athletes are not greek. Their team becomes their fraternal organization. Often times star players socialize with greeks, but they are not members due to the demands of their team schedules. Both organizations have mandatory requirements and there are only so many hours in the day. Something has to give!
That said, many team members do make it work with their chapters, but it will take some special arrangements with your sorority. Most chapters are proud of their member’s sports accomplishments and will make individual accommodations for their athletes. But these things must be “hammered out” with your chapter leadership. I recommend that you speak with your Pledge Mom again and include your Membership Chair and maybe the Chapter President and/or Advisor to see what you can work out. If your e-board is telling you there is a problem, then you need to confirm this before leaving greek life. Just make sure this advice is not coming from only one girl, (your frustrated Pledge Mom), and it’s a sorority policy instead. Get all the facts before making a decision about your membership.
Sororities are a big commitment. There are requirements for membership which all girls must meet. It makes it very hard on your leadership when you miss important events and every other member is in attendance. Usually chapters will be flexible under special circumstances, but you need to be up front about what you can and cannot do. Fingers crossed that you can come to a compromise and stay in your sorority. Only by having a sit down meeting with your officials can you work this out and explore the possibilities. It will be like holding down two jobs, but if you have the energy and your chapter is accommodating ~ it can work out! Good luck going forward. xoxo ;)
Q: So I’m pretty sure the girl who was my number 1 choice for my big isn’t my big and while i obviously love my number 2 choice i can’t help but feel bummed that its not my number 1 and i find myself looking for reasons proving that maybe I’m wrong. i obviously won’t know who it is until reveal but any advice so I’m not and/or don’t look bummed if its NOT my number 1 choice?
A: Many girls don’t even get their 5th choice big! You will be very lucky and blessed to get your #2 choice if that’s how it works out. There are only so many big sisters available, lots of potential littles and every semester it’s a challenge for sororities to mix and match using this complicated system of pairing sisters. More than one little may really want a particular big sister, and her preferences matter too! Your #1 pick may have bonded with a different little. It’s very complicated and you never know how it’s going to shake out.
What to do at reveal? Scream, smile, hug, jump up and down and act overjoyed no matter who steps up as your new big. You owe it to the other sister to be appropriately thrilled. Consider yourself extra special if you get your 2nd or even 3rd choice, let alone your 1st. In life we don’t always get what we demand. There are other people involved and their requests count too. Leave it up to fate, be happy with the sweet sister you are assigned and make your big/little relationship the strongest in the chapter. Resolve that you are going to be grateful for whoever you get as a big and count your blessings every day. xoxo ;)
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Q: I’m in the pledging process and my pledge class is having a hard time communicating. I feel like everything I’m saying is falling on deaf ears (I’m not annoying either, everyone is communicating in the same chat, I’m just ignored.) It’s honestly stressing me out because we all need to work together and I feel like some of us are doing more work than others. It’s like, why am I even here? Why am I even talking? I feel like I’m wasting my energy honestly.
A: My first suggestion is to CHANGE the style of your communication! If your class is trying to work out details, make plans and organize things in an online group chat ~ maybe you need to meet in person instead. Things are understood better if you can see a sister’s face and hear the tone of her voice. Reading the written word does not always get the point across when dealing with a large group. And your suggestions are not being “heard” in text form. Online reminders and updates are great, but for more in depth conversation and decision making your pledge class should find other methods of communicating. If things aren’t working ~ make a change!
Also, if there is no response to your suggestions, maybe your class does not agree with them. It’s possible that you are trying to force some ideas on your sisters which they are not responsive to. It’s hard to tell in a chat format, but it’s something to think about. You can’t make other members do things your way…
As for "some members doing more than others" ~ WELCOME to every club, sorority, committee, or group you will ever belong to! About 20% of the members do all the heavy lifting. You will find this to be true your entire life. So if that part of chapter life bothers you, please step back and don’t get so involved. If you can’t give of your time and talents without expecting total compliance or total participation ~ then just relax and be a regular member-at-large. Not everyone is cut out for leadership.
But if you do want to lead, then accept that leaders volunteer extra time, feel extra stress and work extra hard to manage their team. If you can give patiently and generously, you can help your pledge class. Yet if you always feel like throwing in the towel and stomping your feet when you don’t get your way ~ another chapter game plan would be better for your personality! Only you know where your comfort level is. I hope you find it soon, so you can be happy with your sisterhood and not build any resentments. xoxo ;)
I just joined a sorority at my college (I'm a freshman) and I'm currently doing my weeks before pledging and getting initiated. So far, I dont know if i feel the "sisterly" feeling everyone else seems to put off. Dont get me wrong, every girl in my AST is sweet as sugar. But I just don't know if its because I'm knew if I dont feel a bond quite yet. =/
It takes TIME - TIME - TIME to make close connections in any sorority! And everyone progresses at a different rate. Some girls are crazy for their chapter on bid day forward and others take awhile to warm up. It depends on who you connect with and when. That extra special sister could be right around the corner ~ just waiting to make friends. Or possibly you won’t feel ‘closer’ until you serve on a committee with your sisters, or bond over tackling a challenging fundraiser. Sisterly feelings are not just superficial, they take time and lots of interaction to be truly authentic.
Think of it this way ~ would you be disappointed if you didn’t love a guy madly and want to marry him after only a few weeks of dating? No! Love at first sight is fun but ‘real” chapter life is more like growing in a loyal marriage or a serious romantic relationship. True friendship develops out of shared experiences throughout the years, not just a few weeks. Give your sorority time to bloom and do your part to reach out more often. Focus on what you can give your sisterhood and how many ways you can serve the chapter. The strong sisterly feelings are sure to follow! xoxo ;)
Q: We had our bid day yesterday & ended up with most of the girls we didn’t want. They are so weird. More importantly though, I am up to take a little this semester & I DO NOT want ANY of them. Can I refuse to take one? There are less people up for littles than littles available. And don’t say get to know them better. I want to wait for the perfect one. Can someone be forced to take a little?
A: Yikes! Please don’t take a little out of this pledge class for the sake of the new members! If they are so horrible, your chapter should not have offered them bids. Better to be below quota, than have a group of misfits on your hands. Your sorority should also seriously examine their recruitment procedures if you are ending up with new members no one wants at all! That’s not how rush should end.
I assume that your chapter bylaws do not compel you to take a little. I don’t think your organization can force you to do so. It’s a shame you can’t see a one or two redeeming qualities in the new girls, since there are not enough bigs to go around. But I don’t think you can be absolutely made to take one. Please check with your e-board, or review your own sorority bylaws to make 100% sure.
I believe you when you say the new members are awful in every way, but please give some thought to your own character. I think it’s time for a bit of self reflection. Whether you like it or not, these girls will be your lifelong sisters soon and you must muster up some patience and tolerance for them. Maybe you could be a role model for helping them GROW and mature. Possibly your “better” personality will rub off on them and help them move away from being so weird. Think about how you can improve your chapter’s new class, instead of just criticizing them. It would be great if you could be a part of the solution in some way!
And please know that the search for perfection can be a frustrating and lonely road. As you hold out for the perfect little, make sure you work on perfecting yourself in every way too. When the time comes, you need to be so perfect that your targeted little will want to choose YOU in return! xoxo ;)
"You cannot afford to wait for perfect conditions. Goal setting is often a matter of balancing timing against available resources. Opportunities are easily lost while waiting for perfect conditions." ~ Gary Ryan Blair
"The pursuit of perfection is always linked to some important deficiency, frequently the inability to love." ~ Bernard Grasset
Q: I recently went through recruitment as a sophomore and I am now in a sorority. I can’t imagine a better group of women to be a part of! The only thing wrong is one of my fellow pledges. I convinced one of my suite-mates to go through recruitment with me. We ended up getting bids from the same sorority, but she had always spoken out against Greek life before recruitment. I’m happy that she feels she has found a place in our sorority, but it’s a struggle to see her put NO effort in thus far.
We have had mixers, sisterhood events and movie nights and she hasn’t even been to the house since our pledge ceremony! I’m frustrated to have someone in my pledge class act like they care so little about our sorority. While I strongly believe that friendships should be maintained (my best friend is in a different sorority and we are closer than ever!) I can see that she is putting no effort into becoming friends with any of our sisters. I’m not sure what to do!
A: So sad that your suite-mate cannot see the benefits of chapter life right before her eyes! I think this is a case of her being “talked into something” that she really didn’t want to do. She was always anti-greek, but somehow ended up giving it a try and now she has reverted back to her old ways. It’s like someone who goes on a diet or starts an exercise program for awhile, and then relapses back to their old comfortable ways. After pledging, your friend has not been drawn into the loyalty of sisterhood. And since she is putting absolutely nothing into it ~ I doubt her membership will catch fire. It’s unfortunate that she took a spot from another PNM who would have loved it like you do!
If your friend can’t see any value in your sorority, your options for helping are limited. But I suggest you have a heart to heart with her before things get worse. Maybe something or someone has turned her off since pledging and you can draw her back in. Also, you can speak privately with your New Member Director and talk to her about ways to help your suite-mate connect. Some girls need extra encouragement and personal attention in the early days. Patience and time may bring her around.
In the end, this will go one of 3 ways:
- She can get with the program, realize her error and start being an involved member.
- She can remain a distant, uninvolved member but still participate at the minimum level.
- She will drop out.
Whatever she chooses to do, you are not to blame and you shouldn’t feel bad! Sorority life may not be for her after all. YOU should go forward loving every minute of your sisterhood, show her a happy example of what’s possible and at the end of the day live your life to the fullest ~ no matter what she decides! Don’t let her behavior dull your shine. Not everyone is cut out for being greek. Please don’t be aggravated by her any longer. Turn your attention to your positive, involved sisters and don’t be brought down by things you can’t control! Be happy!!
Remember the 12th century proverb ~
"You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink"