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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 ;)

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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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

It's been a long time coming and I just accepted by bid to Tri Delta today and I am so happy! I have been looking at this blog for a long time, getting ready to recruitment and asking questions! And even though recruitment was strange and surprising, I am so happy at how it turned out! So thank you, this blog has really been a help.

Asked by
hannahlyzethis

!!!!!!!!! CONGRATS !!!!!!!!! Yes, I remember you well and I’m so happy I could help!! You will have an awesome time in Tri Delta. Enjoy every moment of your sweet sorority days!! ❤ ❤ 

Just wanted to say, I recently pledged with Sigma Sigma Sigma on campus and I owe a lot of my success during Rush to your blog for helping me prepare for it! Nobody in my family has ever done it before (my mom's dad was against sororities), and I knew NOBODY when I came to this college, so I was going in fairly blind. But thanks to your blog I really feel like I was just as well-prepared as any of the other PNMs(: Thanks so much! :*

Asked by
arkiealy

!!!!!!!!! CONGRATS & thank you SO MUCH! !!!!!!!! No one in my family had been in a sorority either and I went away to ASU without knowing a soul. So I can really identify with your situation. Enjoy your sorority days as a Tri Sigma and make the most of it!! xoxo ;) 

I went through recruitment as a sophomore this year and now am a Chi Omega (Yay!!!) But I am finding it hard to really connect to my pledge class. Most of them are freshman and already live with and hang out with each other and I have missed a few events because I work. I just feel really distant and missing out on all the great connections they are making... Any advice?

Asked by
yourfitnesspeach

It’s very difficult to work and be in a sorority. I understand it’s a necessity for many students to work, but there will be a down side to it at times. And you are experiencing that reality now. You can still maintain your membership, but you may miss out on some important bonding events. If you are not there, you can’t get to know your new sisters better. To become part of the group and make friends, you need to be present. 

If there is ANY way to minimize your sorority absences in the early days of your new membership I strongly recommend it. Maybe for just a few months, you can switch your work schedule around, and attend as many chapter functions as possible! (For example if you work weekends and miss sorority events, switch to week nights instead.) It may be a strain and you will be extra tired, but if you can get through the first semester with a high participation level, you will be set-up nicely for the years to come. Right now your pledge class sisters are establishing lifelong relationships, and you are missing out. In future years you can work more and it won’t have as much negative impact. But these formative months are vital to establishing yourself within the sorority. 

I know your older age is hindering your assimilation as well. This will improve when you get a big sister and join a family. You may also find you have more in common with your older sisters, instead of the young freshman in your new member class. That’s totally Ok. Make friends wherever you can find them. You are not limited to only the younger girls. I suggest you set a goal of making two or three good friends and establishing a little ‘group’ for yourself. Don’t try to tackle the entire chapter. Take small steps to integrate yourself into the life of your sisterhood. Make some scheduling adjustments at work ASAP and get caught up with your sisters. You will be very happy you did. xoxo ;)

from the sorority sugar fan mail: PNM determination!

After dropping out of formal recruitment TWICE, I finally was able to find my home in an AXO colony today! If you really want it keep trying, and you don’t want to compromise just to join any sorority ~ it can be done. Take your time if you need to find the perfect one for you…. I couldn’t be happier!

submitted by: takemethereee

sorority Q&A: what if you don’t want to drink heavily & hook up?

Q: I just went through recruitment and while I did like the sorority I’m in now, it wasn’t my top pick. I’m not into drinking or making out/hooking up with random guys and I knew a lot of girls in my top pick felt the same. This weekend was my first social and it reminded me of a prom after-party minus weed. There were a lot of people, especially minors, getting sloppy drunk before the social and some who were hooking up at the social. It made me embarrassed to wear my letters and I don’t want to be seen as prudish or anything, but I feel like it wasn’t living up to our policies our founders had at all. Should I just give up on sorority life? Are all sororities like this?

A: Welcome to college! In almost every chapter {and plenty of non-greeks too) there are girls who love to party. And there are sisters who don’t drink and don’t socialize that much. Also, the first year in college is MUCH more party orientated than the following three years. A lot of new students go off the deep end during their freshman year. That changes for most sisters at least by the time they’re juniors. So please don’t toss away your entire greek membership over a typical drinking party during your first semester. It will mellow out. 

I’m not into heavy drinking or random stranger sex either. Lots & lots of risks with that behavior. But it is the way of the world in 2014. If you have different standards, then you have the right to not partake. Don’t sacrifice your own morals to fit in. I recommend these things to help you find your place within your sorority ~ 

  • Immediately look for other sisters who share your viewpoint. They are in your chapter I’m sure. They may be a year or two older, but seek out their company. It’s Ok to not go wild as a new member and keep your dignity in tact.  
  • You will be encouraged to attend socials with your pledge class, but that doesn’t mean you have to do what they do. You can drink soda, or have one beer. And you definitely don’t have to have nameless sex with frat guys. Have fun, dance, chat and then return home with your self-esteem in place. No walk of shame for you.
  • Seek out other activities in your sorority. Get involved in fundraising, volunteering, academics, membership, or any other aspects of greek life that interests you. Not all of your attention needs to be on college drinking parties. Refocus your mind on something that’s more meaningful to you.

I know you are still dreaming of your #1 choice sorority. But you don’t know what it would have been like on the “inside.” Each chapter has it’s own challenges and crazy greek parties are the norm on most campuses. Let those who enjoy it cut loose, and for you, there should be no pressure to partake. Learning to maintain your own personal standards, in a world of temptations, is a very valuable life lesson ~ greek or not.

Make the most of the significant parts of your sorority and leave behind the aspects you don’t enjoy or respect. Maybe you will be a positive role model for some of your pledge sisters when they realize that the hard partying lifestyle is not all it’s cracked up to be! xoxo ;)

"It takes great courage to faithfully follow what we know is true." ~ Sara E. Anderson

I'm so conflicted& upset I don't know what to do. I got into my last choice chapter. I've tried it out & I've met a few nice girls (6/a lot) but I really don't see myself connecting with others since we're so different. They're a bit weird/quirky. Their chapter really doesn't fit the "sorority image" which is what I actually wanted. I know I should leave before initiation (I already let them know I can't) but I feel guilty and sad. I had a big assigned who seemed great but it's not what I want:(

Asked by
ashleyssmile

Sometimes it’s very hard to tell when a chapter is truly a mis-match and when it has potential to be rewarding. It can take a year or two to feel at home and grow to love your sisters if you start out from a low level on bid day. I think your conflict comes from your sorority not having the “image” you wanted. They also don’t fit your “self-image.” If you can’t get past that, then you are probably right to leave. That doesn’t mean things will be better when you’re not greek any longer, or better if you rush again next year. There are no guarantees for future happiness with the chapters you didn’t make a match with the first time.

Sometimes a ‘nice’ sorority is perfectly acceptable and a beautiful place to grow emotionally. You have made friends and even like your potential big. I think that’s amazing! If only you could look past some of the superficial judgements, you might be able to continue your membership. No one adores every member of their sorority! Some sisters can’t stand each other. So if you are looking for total harmony, you probably won’t find it. A smaller group of good friends within a chapter is common. You are feeling sad, because you will be leaving some friendly girls who could become close sisters, if only……..

Let me share a sorority story ~ A friend of mine is currently active in a sorority. I’ll call her Tory. Last year she was sobbing and crying on bid day because she got a bid from a sorority she didn’t want (her 3rd choice after Pref.) Tory’s top pick didn’t come through and the girls in her pledge class are really not her type. After several good cries, she stuck it out and a year later, she’s just starting to appreciate her chapter more and beginning to feel at home. She’s still not crazy about her pledge class, but she has made good friends with her older sisters. And when she sees how “rough” it’s been on her friends who got into the “top” chapters, she appreciates her nice chapter more. She knows now, had she gotten her #1 choice, she wouldn’t have fit in and she wouldn’t have been totally accepted.

The chapter where Tory accepted a bid has turned out to be the ideal place for her after all. It took over a year for her to realize this. She is getting more involved at her own pace, her feelings have grown and she now says "I’m glad I’m a XYZ." Most importantly she has finally developed pride for her organization. She didn’t let one group of girls in her chapter stop her overall opinion from improving. She made the best of things and in return has grown to appreciate her sorority much more. After the bid day from hell, you would never guess this could happen. But it did! And it does for many girls.

Soooooo, if you decide you can get past the quirkiness of some of your sisters, readjust your expectations, enjoy the members you do like, you don’t want to forfeit your greek membership and you’d rather avoid an uncertain future recruitment…. let me assure you it IS POSSIBLE to bloom right where you are! Giving your sisterhood a chance is an option. Please just think about it before you depart!  xoxo ;)

Just wanted to say I got my bid for a local chapter today! They were so welcoming and were so interested and what not that I was a Wiccan and looking to join! I'm so happy thy picked me! I'm so proud now to say I am a new member of Chi Delta Epsioln! I can't wait to see where I go from here!

Asked by
howlingwindswirlingstorm

!!!!!!!!!! ❤ ❤ !!!!!!!!!!! Congrats and I wish you all the best on your greek journey. Fantastic! xoxo ;)

Just wanted to thank you for everything you and your blog have done for me! I messaged you recently asking about a bid I received during informal recruitment and really thought about my options. I'm so happy to say that I'm now a new member of Delta Gamma!!! I'm so excited to experience Greek life and a sisterhood for the rest of my college life. Thank you so, so much.

Asked by
rosaliae

!!!!!!!!!!! DO GOOD !!!!!!!!!!! You made a wise decision! DG is a strong organization and you will get many rewards out of your membership!!

 For Hope. For Strength. For Life. ⚓ 

I just wanted to tell you about my recruitment experience! I've been following your blog for a while and I was so excited to rush. I was dead set on a different house- they're the prettiest girls on campus. Well the first day, when I visited their house along with the 5 other houses on our campus, I was CRUSHED because I did not have the connection I wanted with them. Come pref night, I knew i wanted to be a Phi Mu. Now I am a Phi Mu and I am so so happy with my decision! :)

Asked by
retrieve-mee

Proving you Never Know until you rush how things are going to turn out! Recruitment is an adventure, not a planned experience with a predetermined outcome. I am sooooo glad you found a wonderful sorority home in Phi Mu and thank you for sharing your recruitment story! xoxo ;)

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