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  #136  
Old 06-08-2019, 02:33 PM
BlueBayou BlueBayou is offline
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So my rush story is about getting my first choice - but letting my neighbor's rush experience bring it down. And also being careful about judging a sorority based on one or two members.

My school had 6 sororities - 5 were viable and one was seriously struggling and closed around the time of my graduation in the late 80s (this is important because in the pre-computerized rush system of quota - this meant that you had an unhealthy amount of quota victims due to people suiciding and not listing that sorority.)

At my school 3 sororities always made quota and two made quota or were just a couple of members off.

There were 2 sororities that had the highest GPA and going through rush everyone knew that their required GPA significantly was higher than the Panhellenic GPA to go though rush. Oh and the school was on a deferred rush schedule so you had to have 12 college hours before you could rush and formal rush was in the spring. And you did not get initiated until the following fall.

The sororities did not have houses but they were about to. The sororities had "wings" in dorms. Two of the sororities were housed in my dorm. And this is where you need to be careful about judging a sorority on one or two members.

There were these two girls in this one sorority that lived across the hall from me that seemed to always be drinking. I was not impressed at all. What I did not realized is they were "hold overs." Pledges that did no make their grades, were not initiated and were living across the hall from me because they could not live on their sorority's wing. Not who I should base the whole chapter on.

Then one day I walked out in the hall right when they were getting busted for alcohol in their room. I have come to realize they thought I turned them in. I did not.

So the first invitation round - I got 5 invites back. Every sorority except the one of the girls across the hall. I learned they had to have cut me with cause. Like someone saying "I could never see this person as my sister." Once I was on the other side of rush I knew so much more. That sorority had the second highest GPA, the one I pledged was top. Our minimum GPAs changed semester to semester - but were almost identical. We had so many girls we had to cut for GPA - that we couldn't cut them all first invitational round. So for me to have been cut from that sorority in the first round - they had to have wanted me gone. (my Big actually lived with a member of that sorority and when I met her - she was surprised she did not know me from rush. Our sororities frequently "battled" over the same girls. When I told her I had been cut in the first round - she could not understand how - since I obviously had the grades. When I told her about the girls that lived across the hall she pretty much filled in the blanks of what happened. While hold-overs had no role in the the decision making process, one of the girls told her big sis that I was the one that turned them in for having booze in their room. Ironically - I don't think either of the girls ever made their grades and were never initiated.) But I also judged that sorority on those two girls, and not the 100 others, and was going to cut that sorority the first chance I could. And that was not fair. Over the next 3 1/2 years every girl I met in that sorority was super nice.

As rush progressed I made the cuts - until pref. You could get 3 invitations but only go to two parties. I go two invitations. I was not upset - because I liked all three and did not know how I was going to pick.

So I was left with two choices. One sorority that was arguably the "best" on campus. I had really good conversations and felt very welcome. But not exactly home. The other sorority made me feel completely wanted. They were one of sororities that sometimes was a person or two off quota. I'm a statistical girl. I knew my reference to that sorority was glowing. And based on their past rushes - If you got invited to pref - you were almost assured a bid. And quite frankly - they dirty rushed me. Saying stuff like "You are at the top of our bid list."

My next door neighbor in the dorm was kind of a rush buddy. She and I went to the same two sororities for pref. She decided to suicide the "top" sorority. I tried to talk her out of it. I liked both and would have been proud to wear either letters. She did not listen to me.

The way it worked at our school is in the afternoon - the rho chi's called all the girls that did not get bids. And then later that night a group of girls from your new sorority would show up at your door with your bid card, door sign, swag and t-shirt and would take you to your bid party.

There was a record number of girls going through rush my year. And there was the issue of the non-thriving sorority thrown in the mix. So calls were delayed. My neighbor got the call she was a quota victim about 2 hours after we were told they would be done making calls. She must have been the absolute last call. Moments after she got the call we heard cheering from the sorority wings on the floor below us in the dorm. It was horrible.

At this point I was hoping for my number 2 choice. I liked both of them equally. I just listed them the way I did because my top choice was one of the two "top" sororities on campus. If they did not want someone who would suicide them - I did not want to be in that sorority. Plus - whoever came to my door, my next door neighbor would hear them chanting. If it was my top choice - it would be even more heartbreaking for her.

The chanting knock came - and it was my top choice. I couldn't fully embrace it because these were the people that just shattered my rush buddy. I was swept up with the group and we had to make a couple more stops - chanting and picking up more pledge sisters.

There were 42 people in our pledge class. At the time the largest quota at the school. The actives were so excited. Celebrating that they got virtually all of the girls at the top of their bid list. Everything they said made me sad for my friend - knowing that her name was further down on some mysterious list than mine was.

I'm not a blond and I pledged what was known as a blond sorority at my school. I had several actives some up to me saying they were sure I was going to pledge the sorority that dropped me on day one (I had their "look"). That made me feel even more uncomfortable. They thought I preffed the "#1 and #2 sororities when I really preffed in my mind the #1 and #4/5 ones (But I liked second choice better than what was regarded and the #3 and the other #4/5 one). Pretty much none of my pledge class had my second choice as their second choice.

In the weeks following rush - my neighbor barely talked to me. It hurt. I hurt for her and I was upset that she was giving me the cold shoulder. Our friendship was never the same.

When pledge retreat rolled around, I was again overwhelmed. At least half of my pledge class was cheerleaders, drill team and homecoming queens. I was math team, quiz bowl and theatre. I felt like I did not fit in and that I was a fraud. That I had acted my way into this sorority.

But these girls in my pledge class were SO SWEET. And the actives were so kind and supportive. Overtime I realized that my sorority supported differences. And I bet my second choice did not have any math team/quiz bowl pledges either.

I embraced my sorority though I still was involved in all my other campus activities and did not hold a sorority office until my senior year. By that time the house was built and I lived in it. My senior year made me wish I had jumped in full steam ahead my Freshman year.

I have lived in different cities over the years and have always been a member, while not always super active, of my alumnae association. It really is a life long membership. I have a daughter going through rush this fall and I hope she finds a sisterhood where she can thrive.

Last edited by BlueBayou; 06-08-2019 at 03:54 PM.
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  #137  
Old 10-21-2019, 08:54 PM
Cookiez17 Cookiez17 is offline
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So one thing I want to elaborate to PNMs is that sometimes you might not do well in formal recruitment. It's not a reflection on you, but sometimes if you're naturally shy or aren't the greatest at small talk you may sink. But don't take this as a bad thing. Informal recruitment is an option.

Take me as an example (and this is a spark notes of my recruitment story) Before I transferred, I went through formal recruitment 3 times at my previous school and I was never given a bid without knowing the technicals of why I wasn't. I then reflected on how I was in the small crowds and realized little things that I could improve on in terms of conversation or how I might have gave an off answer during an ice breaker. Fast forward to my transfer and a sorority was doing informal recruitment. I did SO MUCH BETTER. The sisters were extremely welcoming and since it was more activity based there wasn't a set time limit or the pressures of formal recruitment. I got a bid and am now extremely happy in the sorority that I landed in.
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If I can get a bid so can you; a longer recruitment story
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  #138  
Old 05-27-2020, 05:53 PM
carnation carnation is offline
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Originally Posted by sherrybaby View Post
My freshman year, I was disdainful of the idea of joining a sorority - I was a "good girl" who purposely went to a Christian school to avoid the kind of wild partying I assumed went with the territory of Greek life. However, throughout the year, I met some wonderful girls in a particular sorority with a reputation for being the kind of girls I wanted to be friends with: "good girls." They were sweet, involved, social girls with the top campus GPA, and the only bad thing I ever heard anyone say about them was that they were "too nice."

As a somewhat introverted person, I craved deeper friendships, and I decided to join a sorority. But not just any sorority - this sorority. I saw recruitment as a mere formality - everyone I knew expected me to join this sorority. Though I ended up considering 2 others, XYZ was still where I thought I'd end up. My closest rush group friend told me after our first party there that she "just knew I'd be an XYZ." It wasn't even for popularity reasons - though they were well-respected on campus, they certainly weren't the "top" group. I really loved my time at their parties, laughed with the actives, and had deeper than surface level conversations.

And then, before pref - I was cut. I was completely shocked. I'm one of the most insecure people I know, and I felt personally rejected. Another friend in my group couldn't stop herself from bursting out, "They cut you? You're like the ultimate XYZ." Very helpful to hear

But thanks to an amazing Rho Chi, I picked myself off and headed to the parties I did have. I was nervous and reluctant but determined to have a happy ending, even if it wasn't the one I originally planned. I focused on the groups I did have, and received a bid to my (new) first choice.

Did I have what-if moments? Sure. For a little while, every time I met a new XYZ that I hit it off with, or had a moment of feeling left out of my pledge class, I wondered what happened, or what could have been. But I realized that, quite frankly, I was being a bit of an idiot with my attitude before rush, and any time I spent worrying about XYZ was time that I could have spent throwing myself headfirst into my new home and falling deeper in love with it.

And I did fall in love with it, after becoming super-involved and attending every event possible. (You can fall in love after having another group break your heart; you just might have to work at it. Don't be upset because you expected it to "just happen," it doesn't always work that way). I found I had become ridiculously judgmental - a girl's worth is not determined by whether or not she drinks. Over time, I realized that while the girls of XYZ and I shared a lot of similarities obvious to outside onlookers, there was something intangible that I shared with my sisters - a certain sense of humor, a component of our personalities - something that bound us together and made us fit despite being very different. I'll always call some XYZs friends, because we are similar - but I'll always call Thetas my sisters.
This whole thread is wonderful but I love how this post gets down to what you do if you look at that list of party invitations and your absolute #1 isn't on it.
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