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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!