How to Survive Formal Rush

This is Ginger’s Declassified Rush Survival Guide. What you need to survive Rush can be found here from tips to terms, and I will help you get through Formal Rush!

As in all of my Greek-Life related posts, I must say that every school has a different Greek or rushing system. Likewise, everyone will have different experiences; the advice given here is based of my own, and friends’, experiences.

First let’s make sure all the vocabulary is clear:

  • Rush: the time period in which girls try to learn about/ impress sororities
  • PNM: Potential New Member (people who are rushing or planning on rushing)
  • Affiliated Women: Women who are members
  • Dirty Rushing: When a sorority tries to convince a PNM to go for their sorority before rush occurs. It usually involves bid-promising.
    • Bid-promising: an Affiliated woman saying a PNM will get a bid before bid day occurs
  • Panhellenic: The name of the group of all sororities
  • Pi Chi: an affiliated women who has temporarily disaffiliated from her sorority in order to assist PNMs during the Rush process
  • Rounds: the time allotted for PNMs to interact with Sororities (usually anywhere between 30 min – 1 hr.)
  • Philanthropy Day: One of the first days of Rush that focuses on the sororities philanthropy. This is the time to ask about the organization’s involvement.
  • Sisterhood Day: Usually in the middle of Rush that focuses on the sororities sisterhood and the girls in the sorority. This is the time to ask about their values.
  • Preference Round/Day/Night: This is the last night of rush when you get to see a ritual of sororities. This is no longer you trying to impress the sorority but the sorority trying to impress you.
  • Bid Day: The day you receive a bid to your future home!
  • Bid: A sorority will give you a bid as an invitation to join the sorority
  • Suicide Bid: When a PNM only puts one sorority down on her preference list for bid day
  • Snap Bids: When a sorority offers bids after bid day because they didn’t get enough girls with normal bidding. This can be to people who went through rush or people who did not rush.

Basic Tips:

  • Keep an open mind: if you go into rush with your heart set on one sorority, you might miss out on the place where your fit best and end up being miserable.
  • Fake it till you make it: you will be tired but just keep smiling.
  • Be yourself: do not try to be someone that you are not
  • Sleep: the days will be long and you will be exhausted. Sleep is necessary.
  • Drink tea: you will be talking all day, this will help your voice recover

What to Bring in Your Purse:

  • Water
  • Mints/Gum
  • Phone Charger
  • Hair ties
  • Tissues
  • Chapstick
  • Makeup (the stuff the you would touch up)
  • Protein Bar/ snacks

Just like rush, we are going to take this day by day. However, the first day is not the first day of formal rush. The key to a successful rushing process is to prepare yourself beforehand. At my school, the sororities hosted philanthropy events and open houses during the semester before rush. Go to these events! These are necessary for you to make friends with sisters and to learn more about the sorority. This is also a great way to make your face recognizable because that is what will help you in the rushing process. Make sure to do a little research on the sororities before rush as well. This way you know what to ask them about and can have more meaningful conversations instead of informational surface-level conversation.

Now, fast forward to the month/weeks before Rush. This is when I received my Pi Chis and Pi Chi groups. Your Pi Chis are basically your guides for all things rush. They are there to answer any and all questions. They also take you from sorority to sorority during rounds. My Pi Chis were there when I chose my sororities after each day. Your Pi Chi groups are the group of girls that walk around to each round with you.

So, now it is the night before the first day of Rush! Usually there is an orientation of some sort to help you relax and know a little bit of what you are getting into. My orientation had a woman who was telling us what to expect while also getting us excited for rush. One of my favorite things she said was, “Get ready for a lot of matching outfits and a lot of singing,” which could not have been more accurate. There is always singing and everyone in the sorority always matches. Also, the night before rush you should go to bed extremely early (like 5 year-old bedtime early). You will thank yourself later. Try to drink as much water as you can the day before as well.

Ok, the first day of rush! I woke up at 6:30am to get ready, even though my first round wasn’t until 8am. Imagine all the effort put into getting ready to go out at night or go on a date, then multiply that by two and that was how much effort I put into getting ready in the morning for rush. I’m not going to lie–it was brutal, but so worth it. At my school, we had 9 sororities and 11 rounds, which meant you got two rounds for breaks. We went to all 9 sororities in one day, each for 30 minutes. They provided us with a chic-fil-a lunch which was nice, but honestly made me bloated. So try to avoid greasy food. This was a long day so be prepared to be awake and rushing longer than you slept. At the end of the day we had to narrow the sororities down to our top six.

The next day we would find which sororities we were asked back to out of those that we went to and the ones we liked. This is generally a shorter day. It is not common to get asked back to all six, so you will most likely have a lot of breaks. Then at the end of your rounds, you will narrow your choices down to your top two sororities.

Then you will go to either one or two sororities on Preference Day. This is the day that sororities share a ritual with PNMs. It is usually something that has to do with their symbols or colors. It’s not intense, but really shows you a lot about the sorority and the girls in it. This is no longer you trying to impress the sorority, but the sorority trying to impress you. Usually at the end of this day you fill out a contract, preference list, that says you will accept the bid from the sorority. Now, this is when suicide bids come into play. If you only put one sorority down on the preference list, that means that if they give you a bid, you are a new member. If they do not give you a bid, you do not have a fall back and will not be a member of any sorority. It is recommended to put two sororities on your preference list so that if the first does not accept you, the second might.

Then you go to sleep and wake up the next day for Bid day! My school organized us by Pi Chi groups, then, called us into a room to open our bid day letters. This is an envelope that states you have received a bid from a sorority. There are a lot of crying, laughing and screaming girls, so this day can be overwhelming. Usually you will go back to your respective Greek Houses and take pictures and hang out to meet all your new sisters. This is a day that is so special and so exciting and VERY overwhelming.

I hope reading this was helpful and give everyone going through rush some peace of mind. The most important thing to remember is: rushing is about finding a home, where people are like you. It is not about finding people you want to be like. For more help in rush attire check out this blog post about What to Wear for Rush! and follow my pinterest board Just Srat Things. Remember, all schools have different Greek and Rushing systems, so your school may do things differently.


What to Wear for Rush

If you’ve even considered rushing a sorority, there is a good chance you have panicked about what to wear and how to look during the rushing process. As cheesy as it is, the secret to “Rush Attire” is wearing whatever you are comfortable in (for the most part). There are some expectations of how you should look, but do not try to look like someone you are not, that is when all the girls will see right through you.

I would like to preface this post by saying all schools have different processes for rushing; the way my school does it may be completely different than how your school does it. Not only that, but each sorority is looking for a different type of person. Ideally, your looks and clothes should have nothing to do with that, but unfortunately, they do. Bottom line is: I will give advice based on my experience, but I encourage you to ask around your school to figure out how it is done where you are. Believe me, sister will not be weirded out if you are curious about greek life, they will actually probably get really excited to know you are interested.

My school did rush in a four day long weekend we call “fake break” at the end of January. There are schools who do this in the fall, some do it in february, it all depends on the school. If your school does a winter/spring rush, this post will be catered towards you, however, I will discuss basics of choosing an outfit that can be applied to any season. Here are the four days that rush at my school had:

  1. Philanthropy Day: Casual Attire
  2. Sisterhood Day: Casual Attire
  3. Preference Day: Cocktail Attire
  4. Bid Day: Casual Attire

The first day of rushing is all about first impressions, but it is a causal attire day.  You should wear an outfit that you would wear on the first day of classes.A fashion look from April 2017 featuring fitted tops, American Eagle Outfitters and lacy bras. Browse and shop related looks. At my school, most girls wore a nice sweater and jeans or a long sleeve top and leggings. Some girls wore causal, shift dresses. There were a lot of riding boots and booties everywhere. For us, this was the longest day, we saw every sorority. The key for this day was comfort. Look cute and put together, but do not sacrifice your comfort on this day, you will regret it. I created an image that is similar to the outfit I wore for the first day. Again, keep in mind, at my school this is what most girls wear when they want to look a little nicer for class, this may be different at your school. I also suggest not wearing a ton of makeup, because it will start to smudge by the end of the day and it is just easier to maintain when you have little on. Again, still look put together and like you put a lot of effort into your outfit, but keep it simple.

The second day of rush is Sisterhood Day, you have already had your first impression, now it is more about getting to know which sorority you see yourself in. At my school, weA fashion look from April 2017 featuring swing dress, low heel booties and handbags totes. Browse and shop related looks.were told that the first two days were simply casual attire. However, many girls decided to dress up a little bit more for the second day. A casual dress is perfect for this day. Because it was winter and very cold outside, many people wore tights with their dresses or wore riding boots with tall socks. Again, this day I could have worn a similar outfit of jeans and a nice top, but I chose to wear a day dress. Even though you are visiting less sororities, comfort is still a big factor for choosing your outfit. Booties are always a good choice. I will give the same advice for hair and makeup for day two: keep it simple. It also doesn’t look good if you are wearing tons of makeup and your hair is covered in hairspray. Also, if you wear a lot of makeup you are more likely to breakout, which is something you definitely don’t want during the week of rush.

The third day is called Preference Night. This is where you are asked back to a sorority to see something special, usually some sort of ritual, that the organization values. This nightA fashion look from April 2017 featuring shimmer dress, strappy heeled sandals and stone pendant necklace. Browse and shop related looks. is usually cocktail/dinner party attire. We were told to wear something that we would wear to “our grandmothers country club christmas party.” In other words, a nice dress that is more conservative. This does not mean your knees and shoulders have to be covered, but there is an expectation to keep your outfit classy (basically, everything covered that should be covered. At this point, you are not necessarily trying to impress the sorority but trying to make your decision on which organization is to be your home (at least at my school this is how it was perceived). This is the day that you want to put on more makeup and try a little harder with your hair. It will most likely be the shortest day, so issues from other days should not be a problem here.

Bid Day is the last day, where you find out which sorority you will be a part of. At my school this was a very laid back day. Everyone, especially the sisters, is exhausted and probably aren’t putting in a ton of effort. I wore a t-shirt and leggings to my bid day. I wore minimal makeup (just concealer and mascara) and just brushed my hair. Most likely you will be given a shirt by your sorority to wear. This is the day you get to meet your new sister, so it is up to you how nice you want to look. I personally did not have the energy to get myself together for one last day, but it ended up being ok because I was one of many. I will say though, my bid day pictures are not the cutests, so keep that in mind when choosing your outfit and doing your makeup.

This is my advice on what to wear for rush, each school is different, each person is different, and each sorority is different. So take this advice with a grain of salt, the rushing process or expectations might be completely different at your school. But the key to all of this is to be yourself and wear what you would wear because it isn’t about finding a group of girls you want to be like, it’s about finding a group of girls that are like you.

For more inspiration for all things sorority related, check out my pinterest board Just Srat Things