Going to college is both an exciting and frightening prospect. On one hand, you finally get to get out and explore the world on your own, but on the other hand, you have no clue what's about to happen or how to navigate college life. When you leave for college, you will have the time and space to discover who you truly are and to learn the skills necessary to function as an adult. However, with this being the first time you're on your own, you may realize you have no clue what you're doing, which can make life challenging.
If you've just started college, you might feel lonely or out of place. In addition to leaving close friends back home, you will be looking for your place or purpose in your new home.
That's where Greek life can come in for many students. Greek organization members make up a huge percentage of the student body on most modern college campuses, and joining a sorority is a great way to gain an instant circle of friends and a network of support from seasoned students. If you find yourself wondering, "What is a sorority?", it can be the best part of your higher education experience.
Sororities are a major part of college life for many American college students. Sororities provide a home, activities, events, and a sense of community to young girls during their college years. They can provide young women with a great social circle as well as academic, leadership, and career opportunities.
If you're new to a school or haven't had a lot of exposure to college life, you might be asking, "How do sororities work?" Read on, and we'll walk you through everything you need to know about what sororities do and how you can join one.
- How Do Sororities Work and What Do They Do?
- First Steps to Joining
- Do Your Research
- Sign Up for Recruitment
- Provide As Much Information As Possible
- The Recruitment Process
- Make a Good Impression
- Accepting a Bid
- Living Your Best (Greek) Life
How Do Sororities Work and What Do They Do?
So, what are sororities and what do they do? The short answer is that sororities provide a network of support for their members. The longer answer is that they are typically national organizations that have local chapters located on college campuses in various states. Most sororities fall under the umbrella of the National Panhellenic Conference, a congress of 26 national and international sororities.
Sororities are made up of members, often called sisters. Sisters are groups of girls who support each other and engage with each other throughout their college years. Are you now wondering what you do in a sorority? A lot of times, all you might be doing is getting together to watch television or throwing parties, but being a sorority sister can mean a lot of hard work as well.
Sororities are frequently involved in putting together charitable drives and causes, as well as working with other organizations in the community, including fraternities. Sorority sisterhood is considered a big responsibility and time commitment, and allegiance to sorority identity is highly valued. In addition to community service projects, senior sorority members, or Big Sisters, are often tasked with mentoring new sisters and helping them adjust to college life.
First Steps to Joining
If you're interested in joining a sorority chapter at your school - also known as rushing a sorority - there are a few steps you'll need to take.
Recruitment is the term used to refer to how sororities attract new members. If you are wondering, "Should I join a sorority?", you'll need to do some research to find out when recruitment begins at your school. It will usually occur very quickly after the semester begins, but each school is different.
Typically, there are several mandatory events you will need to attend as part of recruitment, and you should familiarize yourself with these dates and make sure that you are available. Recruitment is an opportunity for you to learn about the sorority and for the sorority to learn about you.
Do Your Research
Before registering for recruitment, do your due diligence and look up the different sororities that have chapters at your school. Each sorority is different, and many have specific charities or organizations that they partner with throughout the year, so make sure you know what you're joining before becoming a member. There are national websites for sororities that will give you some general information about their goals, priorities, and general vibe.
Look more locally, and don't be afraid to reach out to current sorority members and ask them about their experiences. As you begin the recruitment process, try to gain a sense of which sororities feel like the right fit for you.
Sign Up for Recruitment
The process of signing up for recruitment will vary from school to school. It is easy to miss the deadline when trying to keep up with classes, so you should sign up early to avoid any mistakes.
Registration usually requires a small registration fee that you'll need to pay upfront. Most schools will notify you which registration group you will be a part of soon after submission.
Provide As Much Information As Possible
When applying for recruitment, make sure to provide as much information about yourself as you can. Include all high school activities you were a part of, leadership roles, and academic achievements. Anything that can make you more attractive in the eyes of a sorority is a plus. Remember, the sorority has to choose you, just like you have to choose them.
Regardless of their depiction on television and in movies, sororities actually hold academic achievement in high regard. They aren't all about partying. Some may even require a certain grade point average for you to be eligible.
The Recruitment Process
During the period of formal recruitment, you will be invited to attend events at various sororities.
These events are put on by sororities so that they can meet and get to know potential new members. These events are usually divided into rounds, with several different sororities having events in each round.
While the sororities are feeling you out during these events, this is also a good opportunity for you to do the same to them. Every sorority is different, and you want to find the one that works best for your personality and goals. At the end of recruitment, you will need to decide which sorority you want to be a part of. These events are perfect when it comes to figuring out which chapter you will feel the most at home in.
Make a Good Impression
Recruitment is not so different from a job interview. You want to put your best self forward and make yourself seem like an exciting prospect. Unlike a job interview, however, recruitment isn't a one-and-done process. Your actions in and outside of events will be judged, so be sure to keep up with your schoolwork and always respectfully conduct yourself.
Dressing well is a big part of making a good first impression. Generally, each night of recruitment will grow more formal as the week progresses, starting with jeans and moving to cocktail dress events. Pride in appearance and self-confidence can be a big tip-off to sisters when looking for new members.
While at these events, attempt to engage in conversation with as many sisters as possible. Be friendly, but not overbearing. A good way to get a conversation going is to ask questions about their experiences in the sorority.
Accepting a Bid
At the end of your recruitment events, you will make a list of sororities that you would be interested in joining and prioritize your order. At the same time, different sororities will begin to put out what are known as "bids" to various girls from the events. These bids are offers to join.
Look over the bids you receive at the end of recruitment and compare them to the list you've made. Choose the sorority that feels right for you. Upon selecting and accepting a bid, you will officially be offered a pledge position in the chapter and the beginnings of your sorority life will be underway!
Living Your Best (Greek) Life
If you are wondering, "What is the point of a sorority?", joining a sisterhood can be a life-changing experience for any young girl. Greek life can offer a meaningful and exciting college experience and create long-lasting connections that can continue to flourish after school.
Now you no longer have to ask how sororities work. With the information we've shared, you can get started on the recruitment process and be on your way.