Are you a college freshman? Are you curious about what is rushing in college? If your answer is yes, read on to find the answers you seek!
Rushing in college means pursuing membership in a college sorority or fraternity. It is an inevitable part of every student’s college experience. Rushing, or recruiting, is the initial step before a freshman becomes a member of a fraternity (brotherhood) or sorority (sisterhood). Belonging and being part of a group formed on mutual interests and goals, committed to supporting its members, means a lot to every college student.
Why is this event known as rushing? Because, in the past, the leaders and members of sororities and fraternities rushed to connect with students who were interested in joining. To understand the term rushing in college as well as every other detail related to the college rushing fever, read on and prepare yourself for the challenges of joining a sorority or fraternity of your choice!
What Happens During Rush Week?
During rush week, college freshmen have the opportunity to meet fraternities and sororities leaders and members for the first time. During these rushing events, college students try to make the best first impression if they want to become future members of that particular sorority or fraternity. If they make a good impression they continue with the rushing ritual by participating in a variety of social gatherings at the beginning of the college school year. Rush week is an opportunity for both freshmen and members of sororities and fraternities to socialize and see whether or not they are a good match. Once the rush week is over, if college freshmen have fascinated the members of the sororities or fraternities they will receive invitation offers to join them.
Usually, rush week occurs in the fall, but some fraternities and sororities have their own time for rushing as well as different rushing styles. There’s also a difference between sororities’ and fraternities’ rush week:
- Sorority rush week
During sorority rush week, college girls participate in casual, themed, or scheduled sorority events to meet the sorority’s leaders and members. The events enable sorority sisters to see whether they can get along with the new girls and whether they are well-suited to join their sisterhood. Rushing events for the forthcoming candidates can be organized as shows with singing and dancing, or as interviews. Usually, when a new girl gets accepted the sorority throws a celebration party. If you don’t get accepted during rush week, worry not! There are many informal rushes throughout the year, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to try again.
- Fraternity rush week
During fraternity rush week, college boys participate in less formal events than the ones organized by sororities. The similarity is the socializing part of the events, where the leaders and members of the fraternity get to meet future candidates. Fraternities organize events like football games, parties, and barbeques. Once they see which freshmen are a good fit for their brotherhood, the fraternity members offer bids to prospective students and invite them to become their members. There’s always a possibility that you won’t get an offer, but you can always try rushing later on during the school year.
Those who enter a sorority or a fraternity, and become a part of the so-called college Greek life, can expect many benefits from lifelong friendships and networking. However, if you are one of those college freshmen, be ready for a considerable time commitment and hard work!
How to Stand Out at Fraternity or Sorority Rush?
If you want to stand out at fraternity or sorority rush you have to charm your way through by following these tips:
1. Make an Excellent First Impression
The first tip requires making an excellent first impression to stand out from the crowd! During fraternity and sorority rush week many events are organized for the sole purpose of meeting new students and allowing them to excel. If you attend such events, make an excellent first impression. To do so, you need to be polite, and friendly, make eye contact, and remember the names of the members of the fraternity or sorority in question. To be a memorable recruit make sure you ask the right questions and share your talents, skills, and experiences with the members of the Greek life. Also, be prepared to give the right answers to their questions, and show them that you’re a knowledgeable student with diverse interests. Be ready for more than one Greek recruitment interview with more than one person. If an awkward silence occurs during rushing recruitment do not panic! Instead, use it to your benefit to complement your interviewer and at the same time show your wits. When the rushing comes to an end the members of the fraternity or sorority meet to discuss their favorite candidates and make their final decision. If you made an excellent first impression during fraternity or sorority rush you will receive an invitation to join them. This invitation is also known as a bid. To assure your invitation, stand out from other candidates by following this tip and make an excellent first impression.
2. Keep an Open Mind
Keep an open mind when rushing in college if you want to choose the fraternity or sorority that best fits your personality. Weigh your options, before making the final decision. You don’t want to rush Greek life and end up in a fraternity or sorority you don’t like. Do proper research on the fraternities or sororities that are interested in you, figure out where you belong, and don’t let others persuade or pressure you. Try asking more experienced college students, friends, or family members for advice. If you are still indecisive choose a fraternity or sorority with a good reputation that will enable you to participate in service projects and volunteering activities of your interest. Even though late-night bonding, partying, and making friends is fun, it’s more important to choose an organization that will help you achieve your goals. So, before making your final choice go the extra mile in your research to see whether the fraternity or sorority has been subject to college sanctions or implicated in any legal issues. Finally, consider each organization’s college alumni networks and the members’ accomplishments after graduation.
3. Take Time to Commit
Sometimes fraternity or sorority rush can last more than one week. Therefore, consider the time commitment once you join Greek life and become a member of a sorority or a fraternity. We know you’re up for the fun part! We just want to remind you that it’s tough to juggle rushing, academics, and extracurricular activities. Manage your time to the best of your abilities to focus on rushing, and at the same time don’t neglect your academic responsibilities. You need to be present both at rushing events hosted by a fraternity or sorority and college classes. Members and leaders of Greek life organizations look for students who can commit to the next four years of their academic life. The ones who can’t take the time to commit aren’t taken into consideration for sorority or fraternity membership. Therefore, stay organized, manage your time and make the most of rushing in college!
4. Consider the Pros and Cons
Many college freshmen students, consider membership in a fraternity or sorority as one of the most unforgettable college experiences. For that reason, many factors should be taken into consideration before you decide whether being a part of a sorority or fraternity is the right path for you. Consider the pros:
- Rushing in college gives you networking opportunities
- Rushing can boost your career after your graduation
- Fraternity or sorority membership can help you connect with businesses and professionals in your field of expertise
- Greek life enables summer internships, community service, and employment after college
and cons for joining Greek life:
- Rituals and hazing activities are often part of fraternity and sorority rush (even though they are prohibited)
- Fraternity and sorority rituals can be physically, psychologically, and mentally difficult, and dangerous
- Fraternity and sorority membership can be quite expensive
- Participation in Greek life is time-consuming
Think things through, don’t rush, and consider the pros and cons before making your final decision!
What is Pledging in College?
Pledging in college is the rigorous orientation and probationary time for students pursuing sorority or fraternity membership. If you are pledging, you need to learn all aspects of the Greek system. You need to commit and make time for sisterhood or brotherhood bonding and many other sorority or fraternity activities. Whatever you do during pledging in college make sure you don’t neglect your college studies and additional interests. You have to learn to balance your obligations and always know your priorities. Pledges have difficulties in time management and balancing their obligations and priorities. To be successful in college pledging you should:
- Know the history of the sorority or fraternity and their purpose
Prior initiation pledges must understand the entire concept of the organization including important facts about the sorority or fraternity founders, authority structure, bylaws, core values, vision, mission, and ideals. To sustain the organization’s reputation, you must also give your consent that you will follow the standards of academic performance and behavior. You will assess rules about presence, partaking, and grades. As a pledger, you need to read and argue policies related to drugs and alcohol, sexual aggravation, and risk management.
- Prove yourself worthy
You must prove yourself worthy of the trust, appreciation, devotion, and confidence of your sisters and brothers. They will review you from every aspect of your being. They will estimate your character, personality, and leadership abilities. Take pledging seriously because it is a lifelong commitment. To gain the members’ trust make an effort to improve your relations during formal meetings, interviews, and social events. Some sororities and fraternities require their pledges to show critical thinking skills through the successful organization of meetings, social events, fundraisers, community service projects, and volunteer work.
- Set your priorities straight
When you are pledging it is crucial to set your priorities straight! Time-management skills are also of the essence. Once you set your priorities and manage your time you will be able to get fully involved in the frantic pledging schedule. Create a list of tasks (academic, sorority, and fraternity errands, bonding with other friends and family, enough time to sleep, and taking care of yourself) and set daily highlights. Besides your pledging obligations always make time for yourself. Eat regularly and healthily and take time to exercise. Don’t fall behind in classes and fulfill your academic responsibilities. To manage everything, plan your schedule by using pen and paper, a digital calendar, a planner, or another planning tool that will help you set your priorities and manage everything on your list of tasks.
- Record and report any hazing actions
Since hazing activities are not allowed don’t participate in them and inform school officials straight away. As a pledger, if you are endangered, or subject to maltreatment like isolation, sleep deprivation, or even worse you have to report it. Colleges, sororities, and fraternities usually have strong anti-hazing rules due to prior rituals that have led to student death or injury. However, there is still a chance that hazing may occur, so pay attention, record, and report abuse.
Rushing in college is an essential part of college life. It can be both beneficial and demanding. Hopefully, after reading this article you will be prepared for rushing in college. You will have information as the mightiest weapon during the rush week in sororities and fraternities.
Use our tips on how to stand out at fraternity and sorority rush if you want to become a member of one of your college organizations. It is wise not to rush through rushing in college but to do thorough research and review every aspect of the Greek system, to see whether you belong, and where you belong. Choose your sorority or fraternity, take pledging seriously, and show them how lucky they are to have you!