Why the U of Alabama is the best college on earth (According to Sarah)

It's Sarah again, and I know the title of this post sounds pretty bias and it is most certainly is. I have no doubt in my mind that UA is hands down the best college around. I love no where else in this great country of ours more than ttown (Tuscaloosa is nicknamed title town for all of our national titles). Here are my reasons as to why my school is the best. 


1.     

First of all Roll Tide! Probably now the most popular in my vocabulary. What does it mean? One of my favorite definitions from the odysseyonline.com is “It’s a hello and a goodbye, it's a hug when you need it most. It’s a curse at your worst enemies and an 'I love you' to your closest friends. It’s a please and a thank you, a compliment and a diss. It’s the yell of support for our team at 4th and 1 and it’s the last whisper you speak as you walk across stage at graduation. It’s a bragging right and a humbling notion. It’s a lifestyle and a tradition.  It is the link that has, does and will continue to connect those in the Crimson Tide family together. We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.”

2.     

Without a doubt one of the best football programs in the country. Spending Saturdays in Bryant-Denny with my sisters as the Tide rolls to victory against pretty much any team never gets old.

3.     

We have one of the most beautiful college campuses in the country according to many rankings, and I love looking at all the architecture and landscaping on the way to class. 

4.    

 There’s nothing more exciting than Greek Life. With the largest in the nation there is always a philanthropy event or social going on, not to mention band parties on frat lane every Friday never get old. I love just hanging out at the Gamma Phi house with my sisters watching tv, doing homework, eating food, or just talking about the latest Zac Efron news. Being part of a sisterhood has been on of the best decisions I ever made. Plus, the fact that I can order all the custom game day tshirts from Southern Shirt Company and JNJ is a bonus. 

5.     

The food is amazing. No one, and I mean no one, does food better than the South. Pulled pork, mac and cheese, sweet tea, grits, you name it- the South does it better.

6.     

Alabama’s school pride is absolutely unbelievable. No matter where I go in the country I always see Alabama fans. I’ve learned the phrase “Roll Tide” can be applied to just about every single circumstance you could possibly think of.

7.     

I absolutely love southern prep, and this campus definitely encompasses everything about that. From Vineyard Vines, Southern Tide, Southern Marsh, Lilly Pullitzer, Ralph Lauren, Tori Burch, Lauren James and countless other brands, I am in my own little heaven. 

8.     

Southern hospitality is alive and well. From answers like “yes ma’am” and “no, sir” to lovely southern gentlemen holding the door open for you, the warmth of the South never gets old. 

9.     

There’s always something to do. I was nervous about going 1,200 miles away to school, but I never once was homesick. There are so many events going on around campus (usually with free food), the rec center is absolutely amazing, its super easy to make friends, and The Strip is right off campus for food and some shopping. 

10. 

The weather is so perfect. Okay so it gets to be 100 the first couple of weeks of school. But when all of your friends are bundled up in winter coats in October, and you can wear a long sleeve tee through December 10th you’ll be so glad you can use the temperature filter on snapchat to brag to all of your friends. 


The memories I have made and the people I have met are second to none. There is not place I’d rather call home. I strongly recommend visiting if you ever have the chance, and maybe even be a Bama girl like me.

Roll Tide!

Sarah

BID DAY!

It’s the day every girl going through recruitment has been waiting for!! Today is the day where you find out which house you will be in. I am a Gamma Phi Beta!!! I was so happy to run from the football stadium to my new house. It’s absolutely crazy in Tuscaloosa. There are friends and family, media, and even just spectators who come out to see the event. The streets are blocked off so that all the girls can run to their houses.

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Frat boys even buy flowers for the day to give to different girls if they want. Some guy came up and talked to me and gave me a rose, but he wasn’t that attractive so does it really count? A couple other girls around me didn’t get one so I gave it to them.




At UA, you run to your house and find an active who is holding your name on a sign. She welcomes you and gives you a tote bag with a jersey with your sorority letters on it, a tank, sunglasses, a button, and cups! However, I never found my girl!! Talk about awkward…so 2 actives came and took me with them.

Then, you have brunch with your sorority house and any family members that came. However, all the girls I was with didn’t have family there so we went back to some upperclassmen’s apartment and partied there for a little bit and then grabbed some Chick-fil-a. (sooooooo good!)After bid day, the houses all go on different retreats. Gamma Phi Beta went to Birmingham, stayed at a hotel, and went shopping, swimming, and had tons of fun! We had a twerk session, danced to gas pedal, and did a bunch of other cool things. I actually loved staying in a hotel compared to my dorm. Bid Day was sooo much fun, and it definitely made the week worth it. Even better, I found out some of the girls I became good friends with during the week were in my sorority! 

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No matter where you end up, you’ll find a great group of girls.

That’s all I have for the Rush Diaries, but I’ll be doing more guest posting later on in the year!

Roll Tide! 

Sarah

Final Round: Preference Day

Preference Day is the most exciting round! It is finally the last day of rush, and it’s where you’ll find the house where you feel at home! You should wear your nicest dress this day, with either a dress or heels. In the picture of my in my pref dress I am wearing sandals because I had to walk a mile from Sorority Row to my dorm!

Preference Day is the most serious day. An active will take you to a seat where you will watch a presentation that the house puts on usually followed by a song or slideshow. After, you will talk just like you did for the other rounds with one girl. Make sure you ask any final questions that you have on this day! A lot of the seniors cry at this ceremony because it is the last time they will participate in rush week. Many PNMs (potential new members) even get emotional too..I got goosebumps in the house I was in.

Today’s voting is especially important. You must sign a contract stating that any house you write on the contract you will accept a bid from. You are bound to this agreement for 1 calendar year. If you are not willing to join one of the houses that you visited on preference day, do not write it on the contract. If you maximize your options, meaning your write down the name(s) of the house(s) you visited on preference day, you will get a bid. However, if you don’t maximize your options and do not write down all of the names you are not guaranteed a bid. This is because the houses can see that you did not maximize your options and are no longer a faithful member to the panhellenic system. This is referred to as “suicide bidding” because you are only putting down one choice and are unlikely to get a bid from any place. If you would only be happy in one of the houses, you should consider your options. You should either write down the names of all of the houses, risk it, or drop and try spring recruitment.

Be aware that each chapter has a quota they must fill, and they cannot exceed that quota. For example, if you are dropped by a sorority that you really wanted to join and drop out of recruitment hoping to rush in the spring and get in, it may not happen. Some houses don’t offer spring recruitment because they have already reached their quota, but there is no way to predict this from year to year. Also, usually it is a very small number of spots to open up (maybe 5). The drawbacks to rushing in the spring would be that your pledge class is very small, and you won’t be able to participate in events or programs that actives will be (girls who rushed in the fall will be actives and already initiated).

Preference Day is a very long day. You must stay on Sorority Row all day and you need to be silent. You also can not have your cell phone until you vote at the end of the day because they do not want anyone to influence your decision. You probably won’t be able to sleep at all the night before Bid Day because you’ll be too excited, but I don’t blame you.

Happy rushing!

Roll Tide! 

Sarah

Rush Story #2

Hope these posts have been helpful to you in preparing for rush! It can be a very emotional and difficult time. Most people don’t realize how hard it can be. Recruitment numbers have been growing each year, and houses can only fit so many girls so they do have to make cuts! Just remember, it is not personal! You will end up where you are supposed to end up. If by the end of the week you are only left with houses you aren’t very interested in, then don’t settle! Do spring recruitment and try it again. If you got dropped during rush week, don’t be upset because you can always rush again or you might even receive a snap bid!

This is one kinda crazy rush week story that happened. How it works at UA, is that if a girl has been dropped by all of the houses her Rho Chi (group leader) calls her the next morning to break the news. This way she doesn’t have to show up and find out in front of everyone she was dropped. However, this situation went a little awry when it happened for Skits. A Rho Chi called a girl and told her that she had been dropped, and clearly the girl was very upset. However, that Rho Chi made a mistake and called the wrong girl!! So the girl that actually got dropped showed up to Sorority Row, and they had to pull her aside and explain they didn’t have a schedule because all of the houses dropped her. She immediately started crying and had to walk all the way through Sorority Row balling her eyes out (poor thing!) So then the Rho Chi had to call the girl she called earlier that morning and explain she did have parties to attend for Skit Round. Of course, she called 15 min before the first party started. They had to rearrange all of the girl’s parties so she could actually get ready for them. In the end everything got straightened out, but just remember that if you are cut it’s not the end of the world! There are hundreds of clubs and activities to be a part of, plus you can always try again. Don’t cry over getting dropped from a house because in the end it’s their loss!

 To be honest, I got cut from some of my top houses and I was upset at first. Then, I realized I wanted people who wanted me, so I stayed focus on my next houses. Of course to combat my disappointment I used a little retail therapy! I went to Kinnucan’s, which is an absolutely amazing store with tons of southern brand items like Southern Shirt Company, Lauren James, Southern Marsh, Fraternity Collection, and so many more! I got the Collegiate tee from Southern Marsh pictured at the bottom! I love all of these brands, but my absolute favorite brand is Vineyard Vines! I have a problem shopping at that store…I want it all. So, if you’re ever feeling stressed go shopping or look to Ben and Jerry (or in my case, Shep and Ian!)

Roll Tide! 

Sarah

Round 3: Skits

Not all schools have this round, but since UA has the largest recruitment in the nation we need many rounds to make cuts. This is usually the round where girls start to get dropped completely or get very few houses, so don’t be worried at all if you only have 3 or so houses left!

 Skits are the fanciest days so far. Wear wedges and a nice dress, something kind of like what you would wear to a graduation or a nice dinner. Definitely bring a pair of sandals or comfortable shoes to wear when walking between houses! You might even need to pack a couple Band-Aids for blisters on your feet. This is day is super fun, probably the best day of rush. Each sorority puts on a skit that shows the personality of the house: their kind of humor, what they think is important etc. After the skit, you talk to a couple more girls from the house. It’s so much fun, and really laid back. A lot of girls become stressed about this round because they feel like it’s a lot of pressure, but do not worry!!!

Make sure you put your best foot forward on Skit Day because it will be your last day to talk to the girls of the house! Preference Day is completely silent…but I’ll talk more about that on a later post.

Skit Day is usually when you start to find the house you could actually see yourself in. Your options have been narrowed down, and you start to see the house you feel like you could be yourself in. If your top house isn’t in this round, then it wasn’t meant to be. I know that is easier advice to give than to receive, but you want a house that wants you! You might be surprised at what other sororities have to offer you when you look a little deeper. I hope y’all have a blast as rush week begins to come to a close!

Roll Tide! 

Sarah 

 

Rush Story # 1

Today I just wanted to share with y’all some of the crazy stuff that’s happened during rush! I have one story for today, and I'll be posting another one later this week.

One night my group didn’t get out of voting until 9pm! We were starving because we hadn’t eaten since noon. Another girl and I decided we needed food immediately. Dining halls were closed and we needed more than some goldfish back at the room to satisfy our hunger. So we set out to get Chipotle because that sounded amazing. I don’t know about y’all but I absolutely love Chipotle. My favorite vine is of the little boy who says “Oh my gosh I love Chipotle…Chipotle  is my life” because that’s literally me.

Since it was only our 2nd day on campus we didn’t know where anything was, and Chipotle is off campus but still by. So I used Google Maps and it said it was 2 miles away so we start walking. I was so exhausted I just wanted to hurry up and get there and we walk about 1.5 miles and the directions tell us to take a left on to the highway. First we’re like oh my gosh we must’ve used driving directions, but we checked and we selected walking directions. So now we are just totally confused like girl what just happened…we are so confused and tired and hungry.

We realized that there are 2 Chipotles off campus about the same distance apart in opposite directions and we were going to the wrong one. So the other girl and I were like we refuse to accept this. It was now 9:30 and then as we walked back towards the quad we saw a sign for a free campus car service running 24 hours. So we call the number and the van comes, and it drives us to Chipotle. We get there and they are out of chips, rice, and salsa. I’m like what is this…I know I didn’t just spend the last 45 min of my life trying to get here and I can’t even get a proper burrito bowl. So I had black beans, chicken, cheese, and sour cream.

We quickly go back outside to get in the van and it left us!!! So we had to walk back to our dorm, which was 20 min away, at 10 pm in muggy weather after we had been up since 7am. I finally got back to my dorm at 10:30, went in my room, closed the door and just sat on the ground and ate my chipotle. I was so sore and tired and hungry that I literally didn’t have the energy to move past the door.

Rush Lesson #1: definitely make sure you pack snacks and drinks, or at least make sure you know where you’re going lol…

Roll Tide!

Sarah

Round 2: Philanthropy

I hope y’all enjoyed my tips and overview about open house (also called ice water teas)! I was so exhausted after of these days that I went back to the dorm, took a shower, ate dinner, and watched a movie with my roommate!


During the Open House round I visited all 16 sororities, but for Philanthropy I could only visit a maximum of 12. I had to list my bottom 4 choices in order from 1, being the sorority I wouldn’t mind going back and seeing again, and number 4, being the sorority I liked the very least out of all the sororities.

Then, the different sorority houses will say whether they want you back or not. If the sorority wants you back then you will get an invite to their house. However, if they don’t want you then you can’t see their house again. Sometimes a house in your bottom 4 might have liked you but you didn’t like them. If a house in your top 12 didn’t give you an invitation, then a house in your bottom 4 can move up to give you an extra party spot.

If you get invited back to a house you don’t like, go anyways! During the Philanthropy round is when you start to see the personality of the houses. It is considered rude to not go to a party you were invited to, plus you don’t want to limit your options. I got an invite from a house that was in my bottom 4 and I still went to the party and liked it a lot more!

*Note that to receive an invitation to the maximum number of parties each round is very unusual. Some girls received 2,4,6,9, and so on! Don't stress if you don't get the max.


For Philanthropy days most colleges will provide t-shirts for you to wear. Pictured below are the t-shirts I am wearing this year! It feels so good to finally be out of nice clothes all day every day and just wear a t-shirt and shorts. Shorts for this round should remain nice. Stay away from jean shorts and don’t wear short shorts. You should still be wearing sandals for this round. No Chacos or sneakers!

During these days you have to wait around if you don’t have a party during a specific time slot. Bring at least 2 or 3 snacks, 2 drinks, and a blanket or towel to sit on along with all the stuff I talked about yesterday!

If you have any questions about anything I am posting, or any questions feel free to comment! I’ll do the best I can to answer everything.

Roll Tide! 

Sarah

Round One: Open House

Because this year’s recruitment class is so large…2,250 girls…most sections of recruitment are broken up in to 2 days. The first round of days are called Open Houses. Dress for the Open House rounds are casual, and most girls wear sundresses or skirts with sandals. I wore both! 

Day 1

Day 1

Day 2

Day 2


Over the 2 days I visited all 16 sorority houses for about 20-30 minutes with some short breaks in between and also a long break for lunch. We were put in to groups in alphabetical order of about 100 girls a group. When you enter and leave a house the active members sing a song or shout a cheer. Then you talk one-on-one with women in each sorority house about general things, like what you did over the summer, why you chose the school, what you’re most excited about, what your major is, where you’re from, etc.

These days are very long and tiring!! It is important to sleep well, drink lots of water throughout the day, and make sure you get enough to eat. Most girls get crabby when they are hungry or tired, and that is the last thing you want to be when you are trying to introduce yourself to a sorority. Every sorority house offers you water so DRINK IT! It was so hot out all day many girls got dizzy and passed out. The first house is a little overwhelming, but after that it’s fine. Just be yourself and remember they are just worried to talk to you as you are to talk to them.

Make sure to take notes if you can about each sorority. UAPanhellenic provided us with materials to take notes after each house, which was really helpful. One important thing to remember is do NOT bad mouth a sorority. First of all you don’t know who is listening, and talking poorly about the sorority will not make you look better in any way.

Also, remember that the girls in your rush groups could be potential new members of the sorority you are talking about, so don’t make someone else feel bad for liking something just because you don’t! At the end of Open House rounds you must pick the top 12 (out of 16) sororities you liked best. If a sorority you choose wanted you to come back for the next round then you get an invite to your house. If not, then you just won’t go to their party it’s no big deal!

The University of Alabama Recruitment Class of 2014

The University of Alabama Recruitment Class of 2014


Here are some things you should note for Open House rounds:

  • Don’t bring your designer bag because you can’t bring it in the house anyways! Use something that you won’t mind laying in the grass or getting wet.
  • Wear flats or sandals. If you want to wear wedges pack a pair of sandals just in case
  • Bring a water bottle and a granola bar
  • Bring lip gloss, makeup spray, deodorant, and oil blotters
  • Bring sunglasses
  • Bring a personal fan
  • Bring a rain jacket or umbrella in case it rains!
  • Bring some extra bobby pins or a brush in case you want to fix your hair
  • Bring a notebook or paper, and a pen to take down notes about each house

These days are extremely long so make sure you eat well when you finish your day and get lots of sleep! 

Roll Tide!

Sarah

Before You Rush

Hey readers! My name is Sarah, and I went to high school with Alex! I’m going to be guest blogging this week about my journey through rushing a sorority. I am attending The University of Alabama this year as a freshman and could not be more excited!!

Coming from Massachusetts, where pretty much no one participated in Greek Life, I was a little nervous about rushing in the south where everyone does it. At The University of Alabama, 28% of students participate in Greek Life (largest Fraternity and Sorority membership in the nation). When I went down for orientation in May all of the girls were already talking about what outfits they were wearing each day of rush week, and I was totally overwhelmed! Clearly I didn’t know as much about it as I thought because I had no clue there were different dress codes for each day. So I decided to research a little more about Greek Life and all it entailed.


Here are some things I think are important to know before deciding to go Greek:

  1.  Cost: Greek Life costs vary across the nation. Prices can range from $500- $6,500 a semester (sadly, that’s not an exaggeration). This all, of course, depends on what house you join, if you live in-house or not, the one-time initiation fees, if meals are included etc. Make sure you, and whoever is helping you pay for college, are fully aware of what you are getting yourself in to, especially because at most colleges and universities if you accept a bid you are under contract for one calendar year. Plus, don’t forget the cost of rushing and any clothes you need to buy for rush!
  2. Know what you want from your sorority: Research the different houses available on campus. All the sororities have houses on campus at my school, but that’s not the case for every school. Picking a sorority with a house is important to me because I want to live there as an upperclassman. Look at sororities who have their specific Philanthropy as something you are interested in. Look at their Facebook pages, Twitters, and websites. You can often tell just by looking at pictures of the girls in the sororities and their events what their interests are.
  3. Can you fit this in to your schedule?: There are hundreds of things to do in college. When joining club/ intramural sports teams, Greek Life, youth ministry, or any other clubs or student organizations make sure you don’t overbook your schedule! Make sure you also assess how hard your major will be. I am an engineering major and doing the STEM Path to an MBA to get my MBA and bachelor’s degree in engineering in 5 years. This will require lots of studying, papers, and projects, so when choosing to join a sorority I had to note that it was important to balance both. I’m sure most or all of you have heard of Alabama’s football team that is basically a religion in the state…so most of my weekends in the fall will be consumed in that. I made my schedule a little lighter credit wise first semester to adjust. While I want the “ultimate college experience”, I have to realize that I also need a high enough GPA to get a good job after college.

I'll be guest blogging this week with the rest of you as I go through rush and hopefully give some helpful hints to make your recruitment week easier!

Roll Tide!

Sarah