Before classes even start, before you’re fully moved into your dorm, heck -- before you have even started packing for the move away to college -- you’ve probably been thinking about what sorority chapter will consume the next four years of your life.
The stress that might come around figuring that out (what rush week will be like, if you’ll make a good impression on your top chapter picks, what you should wear) can sometimes cloud the whole purpose of what you’re trying to accomplish: finding your perfect sorority fit. This opportunity to choose who your sisters will be for the rest of your life doesn’t have to be as stressful as it sounds.
How can you figure out the house that is just right for you? These tips will help you decide which houses to pref.
It’s a judgment-free zone. Self-consciousness aside -- where you feel like everyone is noticing how you look -- aim for a house that you feel isn’t eyeing you and judging your external appearance. While women that tend to be more attractive are more often chosen by sororities is an inevitable aspect to Greek life, not all houses embody that. Pick a house where you feel you can relax without judgment, where girls seem open and their eye contact isn’t with your shoes.
Respect is in the air. As much as you can sense whether or not the environment is one where judgments pervade, see if you can gauge whether there is an air of respect in each house. Bullying is as real in college as it is in high school, and making sure the house you’re in values respect and etiquette is important.
Learn about the sorority’s values. Take no sorority at face value. Do a little research into who they are, what they stand for, and their mission and values. What philanthropy do they support, and why? What do their activities look like? What leadership or growth opportunities are available if you join? Learn about how the sorority will actually help you develop as a woman and a leader.
You feel like you can be yourself. When you’re talking with girls and a sense of ease and comfortability are there, take note. Keep track of the houses where you feel like you can be your most authentic self, where conversation flows easily and the vibe is relaxed. Can you picture yourself there, hanging out with the girls on a casual Wednesday night watching Netflix? Or getting ready to go out on a Thursday night? If it feels like a good fit, it probably is.
Embrace diversity. As humans, we all have a tendency to want to be with people who look and sound like us. Seeking out familiarity is comforting. But know that when you’re surrounded by all like-minded women, you hurt your chances for developing a broader view of the world, inclusive of religions, ethnicities, or even political opinions.
Notice where you have deeper conversations. As you’re talking to a sorority’s sisters throughout rush week, pay attention to the quality of the conversation. Sure, you want to feel comfortable, but you also want to feel like you’re broadening your horizons and having conversations that encourage growth. Talking about only the minutiae or sometimes petty material may be easy and enjoyable, but it’s the conversations with depth that you want to be involved in longer-term.
Let go of preconceived notions. As much as picking the right sorority is about the house, it’s also about letting go of what you think the right house is for you. Plenty of women have the tendency to choose certain sororities because of legacies, rumors, GreekRank rankings, or what they’ve always thought to be true. Drop the expectations you’ve set about what you think should be the right place for you to pick, and base your opinion on what feels most right in your gut.