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rush talk: going geek is not for wimps!

Q: I just got an email from panhellenic with the details for recruitment. PNMs have to be there at 7:45AM and don’t get released until midnight and then have to be back at 7:45 the next morning and we go until 10PM! There’s an hour and a half break around 2pm but that’s it! Do you have any tips for staying animated and happy throughout these long hours?!

A: Going until Midnight is a very long time! But the good news is, the days get shorter as the week goes by. You visit fewer and fewer sorority houses and it gets easier. The first couple of days are always the longest and the most exhausting. The sorority sisters are keeping even longer hours than the PNMs if it makes you feel any better. 

The #1 thing that will keep you going: ADRENALINE!! Recruitment is so stressful and exciting, your adrenaline will be pumping. Every time you reach a sorority house, hear that chanting and clapping, your nerves will be on high alert and your heart will be pounding in your chest. Here are some tips to keep you going ~

♥ LONG HOURS PNM SURVIVAL TIPS: ♥

  • Drink water and stay hydrated. 
  • Keep some protein bars, nuts, crackers, or dried fruit in your handbag for snacking between rounds. (Check your teeth afterwards.)
  • Eat breakfast before you arrive. Do not start the day on an empty growling stomach.  
  • Eat a solid lunch. This is NOT a time to diet and become light headed from hunger. Eat dinner too when you can. You need fuel to make it through a 16 hour day. 
  • Avoid too much caffeine - it will make you jittery when combined with your stress level.
  • Listen to music with your earphones during your down time. 
  • Chat with the other PNMs in your group. If you are having a good time, it will keep you perked up.
  • Put your head down and nap briefly during your 1.5 hour break. But only a short cat nap. Any more than about 10-15 minutes and you will feel groggy. A few winks can be refreshing. 
  • Run cold water on your wrists. This really helps when you are hot and tired.
  • On your break, take off your shoes and give your tired feet a much deserved rest. 
  • Don’t drink alcohol. It may be tempting after 10 hours of recruitment, but it will make you tired and loopy for the nighttime rounds.. Booze and rush DO NOT mix. 
  • Chat with your Rho Gamma/Gamma Chi. It’s a good idea to get to know her during rush. 
  • On your break, watch a favorite TV show, play games, or browse your fave websites on your phone/iPad.
  • Don’t fight the schedule. If you are angry and frustrated from waiting around, or the long distances between sorority houses, you will feel worse than if you just surrender to the process. Accept the hours and just know you will have some very long days at the beginning of the week. 
  • When you finally return to your room, don’t get wound up complaining  to your boyfriend about the day’s events, don’t start watching a movie, don’t chat with your mom and don’t down a bottle of wine… Just go to sleep as soon as possible! When you are immersed in recruitment, there is NO time for the outside world. Your rest is more important than anything else to keep you strong and healthy all week. 

I'm really embarrassed about asking this, but I withdrew from rush last year on preference night because I couldn't afford it (since I was paying for it myself). Now I'm rushing again (now that I've saved enough money) and am super excited! If a sister asks me why I dropped out of rush/ why it didn't work out, should I just be candid and say that it just wasn't a good time for me financially? Thanks for your help!

Asked by
camisology

Nothing to be embarrassed about. I admire girls who work hard and pay for part or all of their sorority membership. It will help you value greek life even more.

Many PNMs leave their first recruitment for a variety of reasons. You probably won’t be asked about it a year later. But if you are, I think a broad positive statement is best. You can say lightly something like, "For several reasons I wasn’t able to join last year, but now I am super excited and committed to going greek!" That is the truth without getting into a long discussion about money issues. You always want to end on a “high note” about how thrilled you are now. The focus should be on what you want to do in the present, not about difficulties in the past. Highlight good news, not past problems. 

Sororities want members who will be very reliable about paying their dues. If you start talking about your former financial problems, the sister you chat with may misunderstand and think you are a risk! People frequently hear things incorrectly. You don’t want her to describe you to the chapter as "The PNM who dropped out because she couldn’t pay the dues, now she thinks she can afford it, but I’m not really sure." See why it’s best to NOT bring up topics that could be misinterpreted? Don’t put a grey cloud over your head for any reason. How you handle your finances is your private business. No need to share TMI during your recruitment conversations. Stick to happy, enthusiastic, friendly talk filled with sunshine! That’s who you are TODAY! xoxo ;)

rush talk: can a PNM think about rush too much?

Q: My friends think i’m psyching myself out/trying to hard to get into a sorority because I’ve done tons of research and have been worrying about the right things to wear and such. Sometimes i feel like they are right. But i just want this so badly! What do you think?

A: Let me answer your concerns with a few questions of my own:

  • Would you prepare for a major sports competition by studying your team’s plays, researching the maneuvers of the other team, practicing your own game, wearing the proper equipment and attending team motivation sessions?
  • If you had a top college admissions interview would you research the campus in advance, prepare some intelligent questions about your field of interest, spend time reviewing the university website and wear your best outfit to the interview?
  • If you competed in beauty pageants, would you style your hair, apply attractive make-up, work out to keep fit, wear flattering fashions, learn to walk and talk correctly, study up on current events for the interviews and practice the skills needed to compete?
  • Would you practice your vocals before a singing competition, train for a marathon before you start running, learn how to ride a horse before you enter a rodeo, research a company before you interview with them for a big job? YOU GET THE IDEA!!

Whatever you want to do in life requires learning, knowledge, practice and dedicated effort. If you are going to compete for something you really want, it’s worth doing WELL. Things will not be handed to you on a silver platter. The other PNMs are doing all it takes to get into their top pick sorority. It’s perfectly OK for you to prepare also. To look and feel your best inside and out, you should spend some time on picking the right outfits, learning about the chapters and rehearsing your small talk.

Preparation is powerful. Knowledge makes you less nervous. The more you know, the more you will feel relaxed and in control. It’s the unknown that’s super scary and stressful. Of course don’t stress out to the point of making yourself sick. But a decent amount of prep is absolutely necessary for most PNMs. Don’t let your friends cause you to second guess yourself. Do what makes YOU feel the most secure. It’s your future greek life, not theirs. xoxo ;)

"Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now." ~ Alan Lakein

♥ from the desk of a Sorority House Mom…

PNMs please check out these excellent TIPS directly from a real life House Mom who knows first hand what’s what ~

So, you’re going through Sorority Recruitment in the next few weeks?
No matter what anyone tells you, and no matter how frazzled you may feel leading up to it, you are embarking upon one of the greatest adventures of your life! 

You are leaving your family, your friend group, your high school, and your hometown… and you are setting out to find a new family, a new home, and a sisterhood that will welcome you with open arms.
With your new sisters by your side, you will feel love that you never knew that you needed, you will challenge yourself to live up to creeds and mottos that will become near and dear to your heart, and you will wonder how you ever lived without all of it.

♥ But before all of this happens, can I challenge you to do something?

  • Stop worrying.
  • Stop worrying about being the first person in your family to Go Greek.
  • Stop worrying about friends, boyfriends or family members that don’t understand or support your decision to become a member of a sorority.
  • Stop worrying that you won’t find a home because you don’t look or act like a stereotypic sorority girl. Sisterhood knows no particular size, shape, or shade of skin.
  • Instead of worrying, dare yourself to believe.
  • Believe that you will find a chapter that is a perfect fit.
  • Understand  that finding a sorority that is a perfect fit isn’t necessarily going to be your #1 choice, or a chapter that is in the ‘top tier’. Many sorority women can tell you that they found happiness, love and acceptance in a chapter that was their 2nd or 3rd choice.
  • Be loyal. Be loyal to your sisters. Be loyal to your values.

Dare yourself to believe in the endless possibilities that lie ahead of you this year… and for the next four years!! <3

submitted by: Sorority House Mom Erika

Hi! I've been wanting to join a sorority for 3 years now, but I go to a community college due to my low gpa in high school. So I can't do that right now. Next fall I plan on transferring to a university to get my degree, and I was going to rush. I don't know what to do for a year though? I get so jealous seeing all these girls online rushing and recruitment pictures. I just wanna rush already! Do you have any advice for me? Planning ahead tips ?

Asked by
brittneywhalen

You CAN rush as a junior or senior transfer student. It’s not impossible to still find a sorority home. Your choices may be more limited, but you can find a wonderful sisterhood if you keep an open mind. While at your community college, make sure you get involved. Sometimes junior colleges don’t have as many extra curricular activites and clubs as a high school. All the students are commuters and there’s not a lot of school spirit. But you CAN find something to do on campus. Join at least one college club or special interest group. 

You’ll also need to take the initiative and get active in community service. Explore the options in your hometown and see what you can get involved in. Volunteering with children, animals and the elderly are all popular causes in most towns. Food pantries, homeless shelters, health problems/diseases and military support are other areas which you should investigate. All of these charities need volunteers. Your church or religious organization is another source for participation. Work part time and expand your interests on the job as well.

You can also play on a community sports team, take exercise classes, take up a new hobby, join a singing group, start painting ~ whatever interests you! If you live a full life and you are growing personally, you will be totally ready for recruitment when the time comes. Live life to the fullest and it will make you an top PNM one day! xoxo ;)

"Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and to keep it lit." ~ Mary Lou Retton

What would happen if I rushed a sorority at my current school then transfered to another school? I dont think this will happen but this may make me want to wait for spring recruitment

Asked by
frenchksses

If the school you transfer to has the same sorority, then you can transfer your membership to the other chapter. If they don’t have your sorority, then you would be out of luck. You would need to go “early alum” or a similar inactive status (depending on chapter membership policies.) You can’t participate if the new school doesn’t have your organization. Ideally you transfer to a college with your sorority and there is no problem at all. Transfers are very common. xoxo ;)

Hey Elizabeth! Every school does recruitment a little bit differently, but I was wondering what exactly bid notifiers are used for? At my school, we are handed our official bid in a little white envelope by our rho gams, and we then go to the corresponding room with current sisters while most of the older girls do a mad dash to decorate all of our doors with welcome banners and signs! P.s. love the trippin' and sippin' background!

Asked by
livefast-sailslow

Notifiers are another super cute bit of sorority sugar that chapters use on bid day to welcome their new members. And one of my personal favorites! Most panhellenic’s distribute the bids just like your school does, then the PNMs run outside to meet their waiting chapter on a nearby grassy area/sports field. Or they run/walk to sorority row, take buses to the sorority houses. The sisters are waiting with the notifiers around their neck, or held on sticks, with each new member’s name on them.

They are crafted to match the bid day theme in shapes like footballs, anchors, sea creatures, sorority symbols, etc. They serve as a welcome souvenir, decoration and a name tag all at the same time. The new member’s “rush buddy” will have the honor of hugging her “rush crush,” welcome her to the chapter and give her the notifier for bid day photos. These chapters also have welcome signs, decorations, banners and more… Can’t have too much bid day SUGAR! xoxo ;)

• To browse LOTS of notifier inspiration, use Key Word “notifiers” in the sorority sugar Search Bar!

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I heard that sororities can rank PNMs by a point system based on their resume and how many activities they were involved in during high school. What would be a good number if activities?

Asked by
katie-riggs13

A good number is whatever you are comfortable with, interested in and able to manage. If you spread yourself too thin, your grades will suffer. So doing what you are able is important. Sororities are looking for PNM who are active and involved in their school, community and other organizations like church and charities. They also are interested in seeing if a PNM has stepped up to leadership. ALL the same things college admissions offices are looking for. So if you are a desirable college applicant, you will also be an attractive PNM! You can kill two birds with one stone while in high school. 

Your assortment of activites can include things like ~ one or two club memberships, student government involvement, one sports team, volunteer work, hobbies, tutoring, summer jobs, babysitting, etc… I would say a total of 5 to 10 things is about average when you count activites inside and outside of school. For example, a sample PNM activity list might look like this: 

  1. Varsity cheerleader
  2. Junior and Senior Class president
  3. Photography Club member
  4. Editor School Yearbook
  5. Academic Honor Club historian
  6. Summer Camp Art Assistant
  7. Volunteer at Ronald McDonald House
  8. Church Youth Group vice president 
  9. Neighborhood babysitter 
  10. Waitress part time at family-owned restaurant 

If you are a lively person and a “joiner” ~ activities will come naturally to you. Your PNM resume should be authentic and honest, not a put-on just to get into a sorority. So start being your BEST self in high school and you will have nothing to worry about. xoxo ;)

rush talk: junior GPA problems…

Q: I’m super nervous about rush. One because I am a junior and two because my GPA. The requirement to rush is 2.25 but all the sororities have requirements In order to be recruited that are much higher. Is this just a way to get money? Also, do you think I still have a chance at even getting a bid. I have a 2.48 but the sororities require things like 2.5-2.8

A: I don’t understand your question about money? How does that relate to GPA requirements? Maybe you mean the Panhellenic collects registration fees from unqualified PNMs who have no chance of pledging. If so, I don’t believe that is true at all. The minimum GPA is usually published on every Panhel/Recruitment website. The official minimum is 2.5 on most campuses, so you have an extra lenient 2.25. I don’t think that’s too much to ask of PNMs who are serious about their college educations. Every Greek Life office wants maximum success from their formal recruitments.

Why do chapters have these requirements at all? Despite what you see in the movies, greeks actually value a strong education. They consistently have the highest GPAs on every campus. They win lots of academic awards. Greeks are the future leaders in our country. Chapters also have to answer to their national organizations and meet certain academic requirements to stay in good standing. Every NPC chapter has a “Scholarship” section on their website where they explain their focus and expectations for members. This information is available to every PNM before she signs up for rush. Greeks do not hide their philanthropy requirements, study requirements, or other mandatory obligations.

GPA level is also a key way to screen hundreds of PNMs in the early rounds of rush. With so many lovely girls to choose from, grades are one way to thin the numbers when every sorority has to reduce their PNM choices. Once in a sorority you will need to maintain a certain GPA as well. So keep that in mind as you move forward.

I won’t sugarcoat it ~ as a junior and with a minimal GPA, your chances will be reduced. But that doesn’t mean impossible! Some chapters at your school must be Ok with the 2.25 level and I am sure you will have a couple of chapter choices. At this point, your grades are something you can’t change (unlike your hairstyle or your dress). So there is no need to stress over a fact you can’t do anything about. Please enter rush week with the brightest attitude and positive outlook. There is no other way to handle your situation. Make up for your “weak area” by being extra charming, lovable and irresistible. Personality can overcome many obstacles. xoxo ;)

"It is not where you begin, it is where you end that counts." ~ Faith Littlefield

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How does the recruitment voting process work on the sorority end? Do only the girls who spoke to you get to vote yes or no, or is it a chapter decision? I've heard that girls who have talked to you say a brief recap of their impression, is that the case?

Asked by
cell-ar-door

Sororities handle voting in different ways. A common way is as you describe ~ the chapter gathers together after each day of recruiting, they view a PNM photo and the sisters who spoke with that PNM share their opinions. Since not every sister can speak to every PNM, they rely on those who did to give their opinions. Then the entire chapter votes on whether the PNM will be asked back or not for the next round. (Voting is not done just by the handful of sisters you spoke with.) Some sororities have a delegation do the voting for the entire sisterhood. So there are several variations on how voting is performed. But usually, the full chapter is involved in selecting their new pledge class.

The sisters who are closest to the PNM, or have had conversations with her, are the most important in the voting process. The sisterhood relies on those members to accurately describe and represent each PNM. That’s why it’s so important to make a good impression on each sister you speak with. They represent you to their chapter. As a PNM you want a favorable image to be accepted across the chapter. Sometimes a PNM is cut because not enough sisters could remember her. Depending on how a chapter’s voting is handled, you want to touch as many sister’s hearts as possible. Make a sterling impression on your conversation partners and you will be doing the right thing. xoxo ;)

today is bid day where I'm rushing and I'm super nervous. when I got my schedule yesterday for pref, I was heartbroken to discover that my top 3 sororities had dropped me. how do I accept a bid from a sorority knowing that they were my fourth (or even fifth) choice?

Asked by
hello-imthedreamer

Bid day may have happened yesterday for you (or maybe today?), so I hope you accepted a bid to a nice chapter with sweet sisters! Recruitment works out more times than not ~ if you give it a chance.

Think of it this way ~ you want to belong to a sorority that WANTS YOU. Your remaining chapters are very interested in having you as a sister. They see something special in you that they love. Give them a chance and I think you will find happiness. Not all chapter matches are instant “love at first sight.” Give your sisterhood bonding time to grow. Frequently chapter feelings which develop over time are deeper and more meaningful than the flashy infatuations of recruitment. 

Put the “other” chapters out of your mind quickly. They were not a match. Take a fresh look at your remaining choices with a new attitude. I think you will discover some fine qualities you may have missed before when the other chapters were at the forefront of your mind. Time for a quick mental re-set.

If you did accept a bid yesterday from one of your pref night chapters ~ give your new membership 100%, reach out to your pledge sisters and join in actively. Only by enthusiastically participating in chapter life will your sorority happiness GROW. Make lemonade out of your lemons. I think your heart will change very quickly. xoxo ;)

"Don’t be afraid if things seem difficult in the beginning. That’s only the initial impression. The important thing is not to retreat; you have to master yourself." ~ Olga Korbut