She’s Got A Face Like A Baby Doll, Teeth Like Pearls, Man Oh Man Get A Load of That Girl: It’s Sorority Rush Time

by Bailey Powell

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Whether I’m participating in rush week or not, the past six Julys of my life have- without fail- found my head coursing with sorority songs and chants as August recruitment draws near. During my days on the inside of recruitment I would be swamped with rush week preparations, booking hair, nail, and airbrush tan appointments and finalizing my four days of recruitment ensembles. Knowing I was about to have a lot of late nights and early mornings I’d allow myself to sleep in the days before it all began and would amp up my vitamin C intake. I’m sure that from the outside looking in this appears to be an absolute circus, a thief of precious summer time, and an unnecessary rite of passage for collegiate women.

Au contraire.

My mother (left) at a themed party with her Chi Omega sisters at Baylor University.

Reflections on Greek life from my College Tips: How to Make the Most of Your Great Scholastic Adventure! post sum things up:

Before you roll your eyes and scroll down allow me to give you what I think is an unconventional explanation as to why rushing is a good move, and no it doesn’t have to do with Greeks all being future CEOs, or something.

Being a part of a sorority is more than just a resumé filler by way of alcohol-fueled social events. It is a crash course on people. While you’re learning about the importance of philanthropy, scholarship, and how to behave like a lady you’re also learning what type of person is bridesmaid material and what type of person is poison in the shape of a girl. You learn that you’re no longer in your safe high school bubble and that not all adults have good intentions or your best interest at heart. Most of all, you get the opportunity to hone your people skills. Because of participation year after year in sorority recruitment I could make comfortable, meaningful conversation with just about anyone- a useful quality to possess.

Like any massive organization, the good comes in with the bad. I think of it as a sometimes unpleasant yet ultimately beneficial learning experience worth being a part of. Plus there really are, well, a lot of fun alcohol-fueled social events.

Me and my Alpha Delta Pi sisters before a rush party at the University of North Texas.

To elaborate: We do not pay for our friends. Unbeknownst to us, we’re actually paying to be thrown into a mix of individuals and then make a decision to sink or swim. A sorority is more than learning to function in high heels for hours on end, paint a cooler for your formal date, and share a kitchen with 26 women. It’s a systematic preparation for adult life, for when the training wheels come off. I think the purpose of Greek life has been so badly mucked by stereotypes and media portrayals that it’s hard to uncover and appreciate its potential to be a key component of college growth. It is important to note that I am not a ride or die sorority advocate- I have perfectly well-rounded girl friends who did not participate in Greek life but got plugged in elsewhere and had engaging, informative, and fulfilling college experiences. It may not be for everyone and that’s fine. However, to the incoming freshman, sophomore, and even junior women reading this, I do want to encourage you to give serious consideration to Greek life. Do not be deterred by the opinions of those negative know-it-alls who rip into sororities and fraternities with played out lines and unoriginal reasoning. Let blazing your own extra curricular trail become your first step in adulthood preparation, by way of sorority affiliation.

Loyally,

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