One of the main discussion topics towards the end of senior year was who was and was not rushing at their various upcoming schools. The general consensus among my friends was that, obviously, I would rush. Maybe it was because I used to wear a lot of Vineyard Vines and go to Starbucks every day, but apparently I emulated sorority girl energy- and I didn’t disagree. I was so excited to rush because based on social media, it seemed like the way to have the best experience possible at college. I followed every UW sorority Instagram the summer before freshman year, and I had already decided which houses I wanted before even moving into my dorm.
If it wasn’t obvious from the title, I did not, in fact, join a sorority, or even make it through the full rush week. I left at “pref night,” the last night of rush when you go to your final one or two houses, make your eventual final choice, and then hopefully receive a bid from them the next day. I hated rush for many reasons, was unhappy with my final options, and now here I am two years later with no house- not at all what I thought would happen.
First off, my home is painstakingly close to UW-Madison, meaning even as a high schooler I knew everything about every house and I knew tons of people in every house. I knew all the rankings and stereotypes and went into rush already knowing what I did and didn’t want- and everyone says the #1 rule of rush is to go into it with an open mind. When I was dropped from houses I already decided I wanted to be in, it hurt even more.
Second, there were so many conversational rules during rush that I felt I had to be extremely fake, for example we couldn’t talk about boys, even our brothers, boyfriends, or dads, which is so strange. Someone asked me what I did over the summer, and I left out my trip to Colorado to see my boyfriend because I was advised that would not be classy to mention…..? It’s supposed to be an experience where you find your home, not where you have to act as fake as possible.
Also, I learned so many strange things about rush after the fact that made me uncomfortable- like learning they already knew your name and had stalked all your social media beforehand. My name is pretty unique so I would often get comments saying “oh I love that name!” meanwhile they already knew that was my name (and knew everything else about me.) I’ve heard strange things at other schools about ranking members and ranking girls rushing and having the top girls rush the top prospects, which is super fake and shady, but I can’t say for certain that UW does that.
Overall, I felt like rush and sororities as a whole was super fake, I didn’t feel I clicked with a lot of the girls I met. Now, I know plenty of people in their house that love it, but it just truly was not for me. It was definitely disappointing at first because I had such high expectations for joining a sorority, and my roommate joined one so I had a lot of FOMO. But now a lot of time later, I’m glad I didn’t join somewhere I didn’t belong and glad I don’t have to follow all their super strict rules and be in environments I dislike (like consuming illegal substances in frat basements.) I never discourage people from rushing, lots of people love their sorority, but I also want to tell everyone that it’s okay if it doesn’t work out. UW is awesome because Greek life isn’t necessary at all to have a social life the way it is at other schools. You can still go to all their parties and tailgates without all the hassle! It’s hard when expectations don’t become reality, but everything works out in the end.
To hear more about my negative rush experience, you can watch this video I posted on my YouTube channel!