Embracing Rejection During Rush
Here is the final installment in my 2017 Rush Series! This piece hits really close to home, which made it hard to write but I hope my experiences and advice can help girls going through rush this coming fall! Before I share my advice with you, I think it would help if you had some background on what I went through during rush last year. (This one is a pretty long and semi-emotional post, so buckle up!)
Both of my parents had been a part of Greek Life when they were at Michigan State so I had always been sure that I would become a part of it too. Because of this, I went into rush feeling very confident. I was a legacy for three different sororities on campus and I was more than excited to find out which house I would become a part of. During the first day (Spirit Day 1 at MSU) I loved all of the houses that I visited. All of the girls were so sweet and I had great conversations even though the parties only lasted for 20 minutes. They were all very pretty but I wasn’t intimidated. I felt good about how I looked and I knew that I would be able to let my personality shine through. On the second day of rush (Spirit Day 2) I found some houses that I didn’t care for, but that was fine with me since I enjoyed the majority of my parties. I thought I had made great first impressions and I was sure I would get invited back to the maximum number of houses.
But when I opened my schedule the next day I was devastated. I had been dropped from not only my top house, but the house that my mom had been a part of. I had thought that since I was a legacy I would get invited back to that house at least once. All of a sudden I had awful thoughts run through my head: I was too ugly for them, I was completely unlikable, I wasn’t worth any sorority’s respect, I should just give up now. I had been so sure that I would be a part of this house and I had placed so much weight on this new connection that I would have with my mother that this rejection had crushed me. To clarify, I do struggle with mental health, especially with intrusive thoughts (like the ones mentioned above) and self-harm thoughts. These feelings of rejection only intensified the feelings of depression and anxiety I feel on a regular basis.
Even though I was upset, I quickly called my mom, cried a bit, then dusted myself off because I wasn’t about to quit. I went to all of my parties and came back feeling more confident. I once again thought I had great conversations and had presented myself in the best way possible. But as fate would have it, I was dropped by my new top house and wasn’t invited back to the maximum number of parties. At this point my mental health was in the toilet and my mind was full of intrusive thoughts telling me to hurt myself and that I wasn’t worthy of anything. I had persevered through the ultimate rejection already, but here I was not even getting asked back by houses that had been low on my list.
So I did the only thing I knew to do, I called my mom again. I told her about my mental state (which obviously worried her) and she decided to drive the hour from our house up to campus to see me in person. I only had two parties scheduled for that day (far below the maximum allowed), which gave us time to go to my dorm (where I cried some more), and then to go see a movie. By this time, my mom had told me multiple times that it was ok to quit. She saw how much this was hurting me and knew there was a possibility that Greek Life wasn’t for me. However, knowing that I am not one to quit, she encouraged me to attend my last party of the day which she dropped me off at.
With my makeup redone and my shoulders rolled back, I walked confidently up to the house. At this point I knew I had nothing to lose. If I didn’t like them it was no big deal. I didn’t have to accept a bid from them, I just knew I wanted to see this process through. With a small smile on my face I walked through the door and was immediately greeted by the most genuine-seeming girl I had met through the entire process. Her smile was warm and she gave off vibes that made me instantly feel comfortable. I remembered liking this house, but it had never been one of my top choices until that day. When she told me what their sisterhood meant to her and how accepted and loved she felt, I was instantly moved. The way she talked to me made me feel like this house was actually interested in me, and that she was personally interested in what I had to say. I couldn’t even tell you what we talked about except I remember feeling the best I had felt through the entire rush process.
As you probably guessed, this house extended me a bid (after a very emotional Preference Day) and I had never been so grateful for my need to persevere. If I had given up on rush before that day, I would have never seen my current house the way I do now, and I wouldn’t have met the amazing friends I have made. In a twist of fate, the girl I talked to at my lowest point during rush (the one I mentioned above) became my biggest supporter by becoming my big (this is all so cheesy, I know). Overall, I am grateful for what rush taught me about myself and that it led me to the house I was meant to be in all along.
Now that you know my rush story, here is a summary of what I learned from it:
- Greek Life isn’t the end-all-be-all. The process ended up working out for me but it isn’t for everyone.
- Its ok if you need to quit. I trust this process and my experience shows that it works, but if you don’t like it or the stress becomes too much, you don’t have to finish it.
- Remember your self-worth and that what these girls think of you doesn’t define you.
- Take time to vent to someone you trust. It’s important to get your feelings out but it is probably better to talk to someone not going through rush so you don’t influence their decision.
- Be sure to practice good self-care. Taking care of yourself physically can make you feel better mentally, and looking your best will do wonders for your confidence level.
I hope my story and advice can offer some guidance for those of you about to go through rush- good luck!
What ways did you deal with rejection during rush?
Be sure to check out the other posts in my 2017 Rush Series: