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I decided not to rush formal and instead go for the interviews/informal that a new sorority on campus is holding, it's only a four day thing where they are having an information session, interviews, philanthropy night then bid day. I know what to wear for the other nights (thanks to you) but for the information night they give no signs of how to dress, in the new flyer they sent out it says blue and white night, but since it's informal rush I wasn't sure what they would be expecting us to wear?

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Since your Information Night is the first “round” it would be the most casual, even in an informal colony recruitment. You can’t go wrong with a sundress and cute sandals, or a skirt and attractive top. I would aim for “nice casual.” Your best relaxed, summery look, like you would wear to a friend’s birthday lunch.

If you show up in shorts, it might be too casual. A sundress or shift looks just as effortless, but a touch more stylish. And I am assuming the blue & white night is the name of the party for the chapter ~ and not a request for all the PNMs to wear those colors. Maybe the chapter recruiting is ADPi? I don’t think it’s a call for you to dress that way, but you might want to confirm that! If there is a contact email, or phone number, to help PNMs with this rush, maybe you could ask someone to clarify the dress requirements for all four days!! Gooooood luck!! xoxo ;)

how to convince parents sorority life isnt all drunk party people like in the movies and that it is actually really good to join?:)

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There are sooooo many benefits to going greek. Yes there are parties, but there are parties on ALL campuses, with or without a greek community. All the independent students are drinking beer and having just as much party time as the greeks. So there’s a temptation of being swept away by wild college times no matter what. That would be my first point. College is college. But beyond that, there are many more positive things to tell your parents. And I just happen to have several posts that you should find helpful: 

• Tips For Talking to Reluctant Parents About Going Greek 

• NOT paying for Friends - But What Are You Paying For?

• Top 10 “S” is for Sorority Benefits of Going Greek

• The Benefits of GOING GREEK from A to Z!

If you follow my blog, you will see the positive side of sorority membership. You have a choice in how you handle your sorority life. You can choose to party every night, get low grades and eventually you will be on probation and probably end up dropping out of the chapter. There are high standards of behavior and GPA requirements which are actually MORE strict than what the non-greek students are subjected to. As a greek girl you will be required to reach a certain level of excellence every semester.

Other students can get super low grades, smoke pot all day, and no one cares. But as a sorority member you have to answer to your chapter. So if your parents want you to do better in college, they will encourage you to go greek! Please review the tips and information I have and then sit down for a nice long talk…. I hope you can share the best that sisterhood has to offer and change their minds about what it really means to be a sorority girl.  xoxo :)

i rushed last year and i ended up in a sorority that's great for me, but i have a question about pref. i got invited back to two houses on pref night and i ranked one above the other but ended up getting a bid only at my second choice. is this normal? i thought being invited to pref night meant they would give you a bid.

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Your situation is TOTALLY normal. A PNM must be ready to accept a bid from either of her 2 (or 3) final Pref Night chapters. You are on the finalist lists of both sororities, but there are usually more girls going through the Pref round than a chapter can accept. So when you write down a 1st choice, the sorority must also have you on their #1 A-list in order for a match to be made. If you are on your 1st chapter’s B-list, and they fill their roster with lots of their first choices, you will slide down the list and possibly be knocked off of it.

But if sorority #2 had you on their A-list, you will make a top draft pick over there instead. So even though you picked house #1, they did not pick you in their group of #1 PNMs. But house #2 did - or they had more openings after their #1 choices picked other chapters. In the end, the chapters have some say about who is offered bids. If both houses had you at the top of their lists, then you would have had the choice by ranking your #1. 

Here is a 2 chapter example of how it basically works: 

  • There are 80 PNMs going through the two chapter’s Pref Night parties. 40 at the first party, and 40 at the second party - at each house. 
  • After the final round, both chapters make their A and B lists of all 80 girls in order. Some are from Pref party #1 and and some are from Pref party #2. A combo “dream list” of future members is submitted by each sorority.
  • Each chapter can only take 40 pledges. So their A-list is the top 40 PNMs and their B-list is the next 40. They love them all at this point, but a ranking must occur since there are more than 40 PNMs and only 40 spots per chapter.
  • The computer’s first task is to match #1 rankings and #1 picks. Let’s say the first sorority successfully matches 35 PNMs on their 40 girl A-list, but 5 PNMs ranked the other chapter 1st and were A-list picks there, so that’s where they make a match. So the next 5 PNMs move up from the first sorority’s B-list to see if #1 matches can be made with them, etc… This happens until the final new member list is complete for both sororities.  
  • If both houses put Patti PNM on their A-lists, then Patti PNM’s personal rankings will be the deciding factor. When the computer matches #1 to #1, Polly’s first choice will prevail, IF she is on her favorite sorority’s top list.
  • The ideal situation for a PNM is to be “in demand” and a top pick for both of the final chapters. That way her ranking is what makes the decision. 

Your #1 sorority may have given you a bid if more of the PNMs on their A-list had chosen other chapters. Then your name would have moved up and possibly made a match. But if a chapter is really popular, and they have a high acceptance rate, you could have been PNM #36 on the list, and just missed it by a hair. So much depends on WHERE you are on a chapter’s PNM list after Pref Night. 

All of this demonstrates the uncertainty of recruitment continuing until bid day! You don’t know what name will be on that bid card, due to what the sororities decide and how the other PNMs handled their rankings. That’s why the chapters also act with total surprise and happiness to find out exactly which new member’s are on their final bid day list. They are in just as much suspense as the PNMs until they get the final word from the computer. They don’t know who from the final 80 girls will make matches with them, and who made top matches at other houses. The night before bid day the sororities are excited when it’s confirmed that they successfully recruited some PNMs and they’re sad when some of their fave choices end up in a different sorority. Same ups and downs that the PNMs go through. 

There are a few more complexities in the bid matching system, but that is the general idea of how final selections are made. It’s suspenseful until the very end for everyone involved. But it has a way of working out for the best in the long run! xoxo ;)

So I'm going to a community college since my mom doesn't have money to send me to a university. Worst case scenario, I stay there 2 years and get an associates degree + guaranteed admissions to whatever school I want. Would sororities not accept a junior transfer? Would I still be eligible for greek life? Also, is there anything I can do before to make myself look better to sororities? I want to be in a sorority so bad and want to make sure it can still happen! Thanks!!

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YES you can still join as a junior. Many girls are transfer students, or decide to go greek as “older” PNMs. While you’re in community college, stay as active and involved are you were in high school. Do things on campus, join a special interest club, volunteer with your favorite charity in town, participate in your church, etc… As long as you keep your life going you will be ready for your transfer one day. You are eligible to pledge as long as you’re in college, and beyond for some chapters. 

If finances are an issue, you can also work part time, which will give you even more experience as a future PNM. Working will help pay for your sorority dues and provide you with some interesting adventures. Sororities are looking for enthusiastic members who live life to the fullest. It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s more about being an active and dynamic person. xoxo ;)

Hello! So I am a senior in high school and have been wanting to be in a sorority for a while. I am not a legacy and I only know a few alumnae to write recs for me. I know a lot of active members, but many of the schools I am looking at don't take active recs. I am planning on applying to big SEC schools and wondered if you had any advice on finding people to write recs! Thank you!

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YES I just happen to have advice for finding rec letter writers when you don’t know women in every chapter. You will probably need alumnae letters only at an SEC school. I have tips on places to look for letter writers on my REC LETTER CONNECTION PAGE! You will want to start in your own hometown, your county and region to locate local women who will recommend you. Friends of friends, alumnae groups and panhellenic chapters are all great places to start. Please check out my page with helpful instructions and I know you will be able to round up most the letters you need. Also, depending on the campus, some large universities have programs to help PNMs with letters. So once you are admitted to college, you can explore that option too. xoxo ;)

I'm transferring to a university in the spring. Should I do spring rush or wait till fall? I don't want to wait but I know every chapter doesn't do spring recruitment so I don't want to miss out. Thanks so much!

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Before you make your final decision, I recommend you look into each chapter at your new college. Browse their websites, look at their social media and get a “feeling” for each one. You can tell which chapters appeal to you to most and which don’t in a general sense. Then cross-reference that information with the list of sororities who are recruiting in the spring. If many of the chapters that you like are participating, then go for rush in the spring. If your least favorite are not recruiting, then you won’t miss anything. As an older transfer student it would be preferable to join greek life sooner rather than later. 

I’m not saying you can tell everything about a chapter from their online presence, but from multiple sources you can paint a general picture. Let’s say the two chapters you are least interested in are not recruiting and everyone else is ~ happy day! Or reversely if only a couple of chapters are recruiting and you have zero interest in them ~ take a pass.

Another option is to give spring rush a try (no matter what) and decide once you meet everyone in person. You are under no obligation to join, if you participate, and then don’t make match. If you do your research and the odds look semi-favorable, then go for it in the spring. You have nothing to loose. Number one choice: don’t wait a year if possible! xoxo ;) 

I just got the schedule for rush and one night one it says Hall Night- skirt/shorts and nice shirt. I'm sure I'm just over thinking this, but would you say go for a skirt (like a navy J Crew City Mini) or shorts (nice chinos or Lilly shorts and flowy nice shirt)? Also what exactly is Hall Night? Thank you so much!

Asked by

You have the right idea about what to wear. What you described should be 100% on the mark. Any of the choices you listed would be terrific. Wear what you feel most attractive in. You can’t go wrong with either one of your options.

As for Hall Night ~ I don’t know exactly. Panhellenics across the country call their rounds different things. What they do during the rounds is similar, but the ‘titles’ vary. It could be skit night, the philanthropy round, or just a conversation event. It doesn’t matter as long as you follow the dress code. I know you will look very classy with your wardrobe. xoxo ;)

Hi, I've just transferred to a new university and am really interested in joining Greek Life here, and since I'm a sophomore I'm eligible for fall informal rush. I don't really know anyone here yet, which is why I'm so interested in Greek Life. So, since I don't know anyone, would fall rush be a good idea? I would like to potentially join as soon as possible, but don't want to ruin my chances. Should I go for it or not?

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YES go for it! Since you are a sophomore transfer student the fall informal rush is meant for PNMs just like you. Recruitment is an excellent way to get to know the sisters. You don’t have to be aquatinted with greeks before rushing. The freshman who rushed in August at other schools, didn’t know anyone yet since classes hadn’t even started. Knowing people is not a prerequisite for a successful recruitment experience. 

Also, you aren’t getting any younger. Taking any opportunity to rush is a good idea. There is no reason to wait. If you really don’t click with any of the chapters this fall, then you can bow out and rush again in the spring or next fall, but try your best to make match now. It’s to your advantage to jump into greek life, make new friends and start your sorority journey. Fingers crossed that you will find your home sweet sorority home ASAP! xoxo ;)

What are some small schools on the east coast that have big or noticeable greek life? I know most of the sec schools are very into their sororities, but I'd like to look into smaller schools :)

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There are lots of smaller colleges which have strong greek communities. But covering the entire east coast is a little much for me to do! You might want to narrow it down to northeast or southeast. There are campuses from Florida to Maine which have active and involved sororities. The panhellenic doesn’t need to be super sized to be beneficial. At a small school you’re not going to find 18 chapters. You may have 3 to 5 to choose from. But they will give you an enriching greek experience in their own way.

I highly recommend the FISKE GUIDE for researching colleges and greek life. Of all the guide books, I think it paints the most accurate picture of the universities and provides a true snapshot of the school’s social life in addition to the stats. For each college the percentage of students who go greek and the strength of the sororities and fraternities will be reviewed. It’s an excellent way to pre-screen your choices by size, location, academics, greek life and every other detail you can think of. xoxo ;)


My college doesn't let freshmen rush until the spring semester. How much will that change the dress for formal recruitment?

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Depending on where your college is located ~ it will change it quite a bit. Spring recruitment is typically held in January after the holiday break. So unless you’re in Florida or Arizona, it will probably be quite cold. PNMs wear jeans and casual pants instead of shorts and sundresses in the earlier rounds. When it gets dressier, the fashions become more similar. An interview style day dress may be appropriate for any season. And a cocktail dress for the Pref round is dressy no matter what the temperature is outside. PNMs just need to wear coats, boots and gloves as they travel between houses. Once inside, you can shed the cold wear gear and look as beautiful as the warm weather PNMs. xoxo ;)

What would you suggest wearing for rushing at a smaller school? A couple girls I know said they're wearing shorts rather than a dress and that just seems too informal to me

Asked by

During the first round shorts and a cute top should be Ok. Sometimes shorts are specifically requested for day 1. But if you feel more comfortable in a causal sundress and flat sandals, I think that would also look perfectly appropriate for the first day. Or ~ wear your sundress on day 2 and go with the shorts look on day 1. You could even wear a sassy skirt & a fun top. 

Shorts do not have to be sloppy. A crisp pair of white shorts, an attractive top and some simple jewelry can look quite chic. Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines style shorts look more dressed up than a a pair of denim cut-offs. There are ratty shorts and there are “nice” shorts. As long as you feel sharp and well-dressed, you can wear shorts, or a sundress and fit right in. xoxo ;)




I'm nervous I won't get a bid, what happens if I don't?

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It’s unlikely, but if you don’t get a bid, you are free to rush again as soon as you like. You can accept a ‘snap bid’ right after rush ends. You can try informal recruitment, or COB, this semester or next. And you can participate in fall formal rush again next fall. You don’t have to wait 1 year to try again. There are no limitations on your ability to go greek in the future. And you have every recruitment option open to you! 

But the best way to avoid being bid-less is to NOT drop out of recruitment! Most PNMs who don’t receive bids, end up that way because they didn’t like the sorority choices they were offered. They drop before recruitment concludes. If you see rush week through to the end, you may find wonderful sisters who really want you as a member. That may require readjusting your mindset mid-way through the week. When the chapters you thought you liked don’t come through, and others do, you must reorganize your priorities and requirements. Rarely is there a straight path to bid day. If you adjust to what happens each round, you will find greater success! 

Follow your heart, but use your head and be smart about your chapter choices as well. A combination of emotions and good decision making is your best bet for not becoming bid-less! xoxo ;)

"You’ll never have all the information you need to make a decision. If you did, it would be a foregone conclusion, not a decision." ~ David Mahoney Jr.

"I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it’s only a choice of attitude." ~ Judith M. Knowlton

I'm rushing in a month and I'm really nervous about it. I'm already losing sleep over it. Could you give me some of your top recruitment tips that will help to ease my nerves a bit? I would really appreciate it. :)

Asked by

I have been getting many questions especially about being NERVOUS! It’s normal to be anxious, but please don’t make yourself sick over recruitment. It will be totally fine! Thousands of PNMs go through it every semester and they all survive! Better to be using those hours of worry on making yourself the best you can be in preparation. Instead of sleepless nights, practice some Q&As. Pamper yourself with at-home beauty treatments like a fancy face mask, or a deep hair conditioning. If you are taking positive steps to prepare in mind and body, you will feel more in control. 

I have a post about dealing with PNM nervousness specifically ~ 

• Top 12 Ways to Manage Recruitment Nerves

And also please check out my collection of PNM posts with valuable hints, tips, advice and more! They can ALL be found on my FAQ PAGE under the heading of: “What are some tips for being a successful PNM?” Please scroll down a little from the top and you will see the Q&A with 22 links to posts for helping PNMs! 

Nerves are normal, you just can’t let them overwhelm you. When you meet the sisters, be calm on the outside, even if you’re in turmoil on the inside. If you shine bright and do your best ~ that’s all anyone can ask. The most important thing is to “appear” self confident. Radiate happiness and I know you will make a match! xoxo ;)

Is it possible to get a bid without having recommendations? I signed up for recruitment this week and know its way too late to ask for recommendations since recruitment starts Wednesday. Greek life at my school is somewhat small and doesn't even mention recommendations on the registration page. Should I be fine or will this weaken my chances of getting a bid?

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YES it’s totally possible to participate in recruitment and get a bid without rec letters! NOT all schools require them. If you find no instructions about how and where to send them, I think you are correct in assuming they’re not emphasized on your campus. Otherwise there would be names and addressed published.

If a panhellenic is passionate about rec letters, they will get the word out. So I think you should be perfectly fine! It’s too late to worry about it anyway, so don’t give it another thought. Go forward with rush as a strong and confident PNM. I am sure you will have an excellent experience! xoxo ;)

rush talk: formal & informal recruitment problems…

Q: Last year as a sophomore, I came out for Spring Formal Rush. My school is smaller and only has 3 sororities, so rush works a bit differently (Mon, Tues, Wed you go to all 3 houses, then you get prefs for Thursday). I knew rather quickly which sorority I liked the best and felt comfortable in. One of the seniors in the sorority said she felt I was only going out for Greek life because my boyfriend was in a fraternity. This couldn’t have been more false, many of the sisters knew that and a large argument broke out amongst the sorority.

One of the sisters who I am closer with later told me that I should come out again in the Fall and another sister said the same thing earlier this semester as well. So I was planning on attending Fall Informal Rush ~ (you can go to whatever house you like and however many as you like) until I was just told that a standard was called and I’m not able to come out again for a full year.

This would make me a second semester Junior rushing in the Spring with all the Freshmen. I’m a little confused as to what a standard is, so I looked it up and I’m still really confused how it would apply to non-sorority members. I really wanted to come out this Fall because I thought I had a chance, but the Spring seems like I have less of a chance and I’d waste time going to the other houses again. We were told we could come out in the Fall as long as we didn’t get a bid and reject it, which I didn’t even receive a Preference. Please help me figure out what I should do and help me understand why a standard would be called against me.

A: Joining a sorority shouldn’t be this upsetting! It is panhellenic policy for a PNM to wait 1 year to rush again AFTER being offered or accepting a bid. If you get to the point where a sorority extends a bid, even if you don’t open the envelope, it can be considered “receiving a bid.” That is why PNMs often drop out of recruitment right before the preference round. That leaves them free to attend informal rush the following semester. 

That seems to be the situation you’re in, except you say that you never got to the bid point in your formal recruitment!? Yet, from what the sorority is saying and doing, they are acting as if you did. For some reason they have decided you must wait the full year to rush. I don’t know what else that decision could be based on. Maybe you didn’t officially withdraw from formal recruitment? Since your 3 sorority system is handled a little differently, possibly there is some PNM technicality that you’re missing. For example, you didn’t formally remove your name from the PNMs roster when you dropped out, and the sorority is basing their ruling on that. 

I strongly advise you to contact your Panhellenic Council and ask about the policies which are effecting your recruitment. I hope you have a governing council that will validate the actions of this one sorority. But whatever the reasons behind this chapter’s behavior, I have some serious questions for you to ponder before you rush again! 

  • Do you REALLY want to be a member of a chapter that goes to these lengths to not have you as a sister?
  • Do you want to keep pushing into a sorority where there are arguments, meetings and policies taken against you?
  • Could you be missing some good qualities in the other two sororities which might be a better match for you?
  • Are there a few nice sisters in one of other sororities who you could befriend, even if you don’t love the entire chapter?

With your small greek community, rushing as a Junior should not be too much of a problem. But please give some consideration to the other sororities on campus. Being WANTED and adored as a new member is important. Hopefully you can sort this out and go greek with a house that loves you for who you are and strongly wants you as a sister for life.  xoxo ;)