Just wanted to say to the follower that asked how to afford Greek life: I did it! My mom at first said no because we didn't have the $ but I'm working this summer & saving every penny! Also for clothes, even though Goodwill gets such a bad rep I get almost all my designer stuff from there! I buy Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, & even found a vintage Valentino jacket! Super cheap! Just make sure you wash everything. If you buy & dress in classic, chic clothes it doesn't matter how much it costs!
i couldn’t agree more with your ideas for affording sorority membership! i have a goodwill and salvation army store nearby and both stock lots of designer labels. yes, it’s hit & miss, but the fun is in the hunt! also check EBAY for bargains on top brands.
often times charities (like junior league, national charity league, or hospital guilds) will operate “resale” shops with fabulous fashions donated by their members, then sold at super low prices. consignment stores are another resource. between working and savvy shopping, a PNM can make greek life affordable! xoxo ;)
ahhhh… you need the sorority sugar home page! please go to my blog URL and at the top you will find several links to helpful pages with lots of sorority information. please check out the “frequently asked questions” page and my “ultimate grand supreme glossary of sorority terms”. both are great places to start learning about greek life. on my pinterest, i have a very helpful ‘library of posts’ that will also answer many of your questions. it’s entitled “sorority girls do it better”. there is a placard & link to dozens of my informational posts detailing the sorority experience.
in very basic terms ~ formal rush is the week where potential new members (PNMs) visit all the sorority houses on campus, interview with them and then by mutual elimination and selection find a sorority match! you pick the chapters you like and the sororities do the same. at the end of the week hopefully your favorite chapter will offer you a bid of membership, you accept and everyone lives happily ever after!! xoxo ;)
Q: I’ll be rushing this fall as a freshman and I was wondering if you have any suggestions as to what to avoid wearing during recruitment.
A: what to wear and what not to wear does depend on where your campus is located and what the accepted “style” is. a PNM would dress one way at a southern SEC school and a different way at a small school in the pacific northwest. always research the norms and acceptable styles at your future college. in some places recruitment is very dressing, and in other places jeans are the norm. here are some general guidelines for what to avoid ~
sorority recruitment ”what NOT to wear”:
- any item of clothing that is faded, torn or worn out. check for frayed and drooping hems, armpit stains, snags, pilling and holes. no tattered clothes period.
- no glitter, sequins, sparkles or beauty pageant wear. preference night is dressy, but not a formal dance, night club or wedding. dressy and elegant yes ~ red carpet glam no.
- avoid plunging necklines, backless dresses, cut-outs, mini skirts and super short shorts. rush is an all-girl event and you don’t want to look like a lingerie model. it’s not the time to look “hot”. think classy and gorgeous instead. no one wants to see your bottom or your boobs!
- keep the jewelry and accessories to a minimum. the sisters should focus on YOU, not your overpowering jewelry. it’s ok to wear one signature piece, but please don’t pile on the sparkle. just say no to wearing chandelier earrings, statement necklace, multiple bangles and rings on every finger ~ all at once! especially annoying is banging bracelets during rush conversations.
- keep it classy and simple with your make-up and nail art. rush is no the time to trick your nails out in multiple colors, flowers and gemstones. keep it simple with lighter colors, a french manicure or clear gloss. a mini-pedi is a must. keep your make-up daytime appropriate and not too thick. the goal is to have the sisters interviewing you focus on your personality, not distracted by your heavy eye shadow or purple fingernails.
- super high heels can be a killer. even if you love high heels, keep in mind you will be doing a lot of walking and standing. blisters and sore feet make it almost impossible to remain cheerful and bubbly. wear sandals/flats when you should and save the heels only for the dressiest rounds. avoid any shoes that could be referred to as stripper heels.
- steer clear of all white and all black dresses. frequently chapters wear these colors during some rounds, so it’s best to just avoid those colors all together. you want to shine in your prettiest, most flattering colors anyway.
- don’t try to dress as a ‘sorority cliche’. if you don’t normally wear preppy headbands, bows or pearls, now is not the time to dress in costume. if you dress in a totally new style, (just for the chapters to like you), you will probably look unintentionally funny and feel very uncomfortable. if you show up in lilly from head to toe, the chapters may think you are trying too hard. it’s ok to buy a lilly dress and incorporate it with your other fashions, just don’t go crazy trying to be the ultimate sorority girl.
be true to yourself and let your style shine, while at the same time presenting yourself to your best advantage. recruitment is one giant job interview and you don’t want anything to detract from the sororities seeing your inner beauty. xoxo ;)
So, I have a question about the term "Legacy". (I'm still in high school). So, in order to be a legacy, do you have to be going to the same university as the legacy? For instance my momma was an AOII, but I am not applying to her school, so could I still be a legacy to AOII at a different school?
you can be a legacy at ANY school, not just the college your mother or sister attended. it’s about the organization as a whole, not just one or two chapters. so you are an AOII legacy at any college that has an AOII chapter for you to rush. xoxo ;)
Q: My little sister will be heading to University of Oregon this fall as a freshman and she’s excited to join a sorority after I joined one this spring semester at my college. The only sad thing is that she doesn’t want to become my legacy. At my school we only have 4 sororities and 3 of them are NPC and my sorority is at Oregon. Just curious, is she only allowed to join my sorority to become my legacy, or go through recruitment without stating what legacy she is?
A: first and foremost, your sister should reveal her legacy status to any and all chapters at oregon that she qualifies for. that includes your sorority and the chapters from other close female relatives like your mother, grandmother and aunts. she is under NO obligation to join a legacy chapter. it just gives her a step-up with those chapters during recruitment. she can join with or without being a legacy, but the information is a little “bonus” in the competitive world of sorority rush. she should take the advantage, she has nothing to loose.
please convince your sister that she will never know what the sororities are like until she experiences recruitment. even looking at pictures is not like the real thing. she may end up loving your chapter at oregon and want to join. that’s when her legacy advantage could be a boost. if she doesn’t click with your sorority, then she can drop them during rounds and move on to another chapter. no harm done. legacies do not always join the family chapter and not all legacies get a bid from the family chapter. it goes both ways.
i’m sure your sister wants to ‘be her own person’ and not blindly following you into the same sorority. but chapters vary so much from school to school, so she cannot possibly make that decision before rush. please share this post with her, or explain the benefits of declaring her legacy. she is then free to make her own decisions as she goes. i wish her all the luck in the world. xoxo ;)
no worries! there are probably more girls without legacies than those with family ties. to be a legacy you need a close female relative to be in a sorority which is also at the college of your choice. so it’s a bit limiting, even for those who have mothers and sisters in greek life. many, many PNMs go through recruitment with no connections, and they do just fine. in the end, the sororities want wonderful girls they can call sister, not just a piece of paper or past history. focus on your BEST ‘total package’, and don’t worry about being legacy-less. put those fears aside and go for it!! xoxo ;)
what's the difference between formal and informal recruitment? i'm interested in rushing my sophomore year and at my school there is informal recruitment in the fall and formal recruitment in the spring. only sophomores or older can rush in the fall, but my gpa took a hit this past semester that lowered it to a point where it is too low for one of the sororities. if informal recruitment didn't work out, would it seem desperate to then try formal in the spring? my gpa should recover by then.
it’s great that you have several recruitment options for next year! many girls go through rush more than once, so it would not seem desperate if you need to do it twice. it doesn’t matter if you do informal or formal recruitment, the goal of attaining membership is exactly the same. (one system is “formally” organized and one is more relaxed and loosely structured). let’s break it down and think about the best course of action… here are the pros and cons of your 2 choices ~
- option 1: rush informally in the fall with the chapters where you qualify. pro: you might make a match and get started on greek life asap. and, if it doesn’t work out, you have another shot in the spring. con: you are limited as to which chapters will take your GPA in the fall, and even then you may be cut for being on the “low end”.
- option 2: wait until you get your grades up and formally rush all the chapters in the spring. pro: you will be a more attractive PNM and be able to consider all the chapters. con: if you don’t get the grades high enough, or you don’t find a match, there is no 2nd chance for sophomore year. you will have to wait until junior year to try again.
personally, i would go with option 1. it provides you with the most chances for success. ideally, you will find a sorority home in the fall and get going on greek life. but if not, you have the safety net of spring recruitment. if neither option works out, you CAN rush again junior year and still join a sorority. do your best and keep an open heart! xoxo ;)
it really depends on the school and the type of recruitment you are participating in. at some colleges rec letters are hardly needed at all, and at others they’re a must. if you need them, one for each house meets the requirement. if you have more, it just adds to your PNM profile. having a balanced number is the goal. better to have solid, meaningful recommendations from friends and relatives, than a whole basket full of letters from strangers. quality counts as much as quantity. xoxo ;)
the number of PNMs should be the same for all sororities during formal recruitment. unless i’m missing something, your house should have the same starting number as everyone else. then you have to retain the PNMs during each subsequent round. i have several posts on asking PNMs great questions during rush and more… please go to my frequently asked questions page for some helpful links ~
(also, i will do an upcoming text post on retaining PNMs during recruitment… stay tuned!)
Hi! I have a friend looking to go through rush at another school in the fall. She will be sophomore and she thinks she will find a home in the same sorority I am in! She has already clicked with some of the girls and I am so happy for her! Is there any way for me to put in a good word for her when she begins the rush process? Or is that looked down upon. I just want to help, I think she will make a great sister! Thanks, love your blog!
ABSOLUTELY! active and alum sisters can both write recommendation letters! you don’t have to be a family member/legacy to put in a good word for someone. in fact it will help your friend complete her rec letters.
you should start by explaining your relationship background, point out a few excellent qualities your friend has and share why you think she would be a wonderful match for your sorority. point out how close you are and what excellent character she has. you will be doing her a terrific favor. there is never a limit on saying nice things about another person! xoxo ;)
Hi! So I am currently at a school without any Greek life whatsoever. I didn't think it would matter until I got here, looking at all my other friends rushing on Facebook made me wish I could too. While my school doesn't have Greek life, I am planning on doing an accelerated nursing program at another school with greek life after my 4 years here. Is it possible for me to rush then, or is this just a silly question? Thank you!
you might be able to rush at your post-grad school, it just depends on the sororities and their policies. each chapter has different procedures for older/graduate PNMs. you should look into which chapters are on campus and do a little investigation on their websites. often they will explain about their recruitment guidelines. you could also email them and ask directly. don’t loose hope yet, it could work out… a definite possibility! xoxo ;)
a preference lunch is interesting… for that event you will need a really nice daytime dress. think about what you would wear to a ladies luncheon, an afternoon fashion show, or a daytime wedding reception ~ that type of thing. the dress should be dressier than “business”, but not as fancy as “cocktail”. the color and fabric can make the dress more daytime, but still be elegant. of course heels are a must.
these are some ideas from the AmazonDressShop
My sisters and I are planning on having rush only in the spring next year. However, we still want to use the fall as a period of recruitment. how can we maintain a relationship with the girls we meet in the fall to keep them interested for spring?
first, you should establish a schedule of special events during the months from the fall to the spring. for example an ice cream social one month, a movie night the next month, etc. these can be casual, sociable get-togethers which will keep the doors open to your chapter. fun times will keep the PNMs engaged until spring rush. schedule events that are relaxed, appealing and easy to attend.
also, you should establish a data base of PNMs and keep in touch via a friendly email campaign. don’t over do it, but set a pace of regular announcements. share the good things that your chapter is participating in during the first semester, so the PNMs can see how attractive membership is. keep your twitter and facebook page active and updated too. you could occasionally send a text blast to your PNMs just wishing them good luck on a test. your “relationship” doesn’t need to be a hard sell, just a friendly, caring reminder that your chapter is a wonderful group. show continued interest in your target girls, and they should stay interested in you too.
the KEY to all these plans is having the PNMs sign-up in the fall and provide you with their contact information. collect the important data either through tabling, recruitment registration, or a special event. then you can implement your stay-in-contact plan. your chapter should also keep a high profile on campus during the fall semester through banners, tables, signs, participation in greek events, etc… happy recruiting!! xoxo ;)
Q: Your advice (and others from what I have seen) recommend checking out each chapter’s Facebook page & website. But how much should a PNM base their opinion on each sorority from their sites? There are few chapters on the campus I’ll be rushing at whose sites give off a general “vibe” that really appeals to me, but I also know that it’s advised to keep an open mind during rush… I’m confused!
A: you can do some research AND keep an open mind! by browsing the chapter facebook pages and websites, you can certainly get a sense of each sorority and what they like to do. for example if you are not the outdoorsy type, but lots of photos from sorority XYZ are on hikes, camping trips, white water rafting and rock climbing, that’s good to know. or, if you are the jeans & flip flops only kind of girl, and chapter ABC is glam in fancy dresses and pearls all the time, that’s good to know as well. you can get general information and make interesting observations from looking at the sorority social media. this gives you the ‘big picture’….
then when you participate in rush, you will get the ‘close up’ view! the big picture, plus the the close up, will equal = the total picture of each chapter! you can make your decisions based on all your knowledge, rather than going into rush totally “cold”. learning all you can ahead of time, means you will feel more secure and comfortable at each house. any advantage helps! xoxo ;)
politics, religion, drinking, drugs and fraternities may all be off-limits for conversation, but there are still things you can chat about during recruitment!
☆ top 15 small talk topics: ☆
- the weather: yes, it sounds clique, but if you’re experiencing a record breaking heat wave, monsoon rains, or freak snow storm, the weather can be an ice breaker during rounds. but, if it’s just plain hot, then don’t moan about it, or complain about how much you’re sweating. it’s always hot in august/early september ~ so don’t start your conversations by complaining.
- situation & surroundings: it’s ok to comment on the beauty of the chapter decorations, or the excitement of rush, when you first meet a sister. you can never go wrong with an initial compliment on how fabulous the sorority house looks and how thrilled you are to be there! a terrific opening line.
- arts & entertainment: chat about the summer’s biggest blockbuster movie, or a popular best seller. other safe entertainment topics are favorite restaurants, music and television shows.
- sports: even if you are a just moderate sports fan, you can talk about your favorite sport, local team, pro team, winning high school team, college team, your own sports experiences, sorority teams, etc. the sports category is wide open!
- news: be aware of what’s doing on in the world. as long as the conversation doesn’t veer into politics, you can safely talk about national and world events. keep up with current events before rush.
- family: chat about your family, it’s size, your adventures, travels, interesting facts, etc. just don’t boast about how much money you have, or flaunt your family wealth in an pretentious way. bragging can be a turn off.
- work: do you work part time? funny experiences come with entry level jobs and you probably have a humorous tale or two.
- travel: your vacations, travels abroad, summer programs, volunteer missions, summer camp and other adventures make for excellent small talk.
- celebrity news: you don’t want to gossip, but being up on the lastest ‘hot topics’ is a good idea. the recent surprise marriage of two famous actors may come up in conversation. be familiar with a normal amount of celeb dish.
- hobbies: it’s totally safe to talk about your hobbies. if you don’t have any, take up a few asap. photography, baking, watercoloring, writing poems, crafting, reading mysteries, designing jewelry, computer gaming ~ whatever interests you! if you have a passion for a subject, you will have no trouble speaking about it.
- hometown: your town, your state, your region are all great subjects for small talk. make sure you know a few facts about all three. you should express pride in your home town and share some interesting facts about it beyond, “it’s hot there”, or “it’s really small”.
- mutual friends: without seeming like you are straining to name drop, you can politely mention sisters you know in the chapter and what your relationship is. for example, “i know sara smith from HS, we were in chemistry class together”. you may also talk about your sorority friends at other schools. this is an opportunity to show what a great impression you have of XYZ sorority.
- food & drinks: not alcoholc drinks of course, but you can make small talk about the food/drinks at rush, your favorite foods, your mother’s home cooking, the best energy drink…. all safe topics.
- tech talk: if you are into the latest tech gadgets, or a new iphone just came out, it’s fine to talk computers, phones, social media and the like.
- the sister in front of you: ask about how her day is going, ask about her experience in the chapter, ask where she is from and what she’s studying. it’s always wise to focus on the other person when making small talk. they find you fascinating when you do that!
☆ for more recruitment conversation TIPS please go to ~