Some things, for whatever reason, just seem to go together: sundresses and cowboy boots, tailgates and barbecue, vodka and Red Bull, fall semester and rush. I’ve always associated the fall with the start of school, scarves, and the glorious return of football season. When I arrived on campus in the fall of my freshman year, rush was a way to immediately integrate into the university.
This experience, however, was entirely different to what I had seen growing up, as I lived down the street from my university before attending college there. The stately sorority houses remained aloof throughout the fall, a steady stream of stylishly disheveled girls coming and going under the perfectly painted letters that adorned the doors. It wasn’t until spring that the relatively quiet houses morphed from icons of collegiate life into wildly active scenes of barely controlled chaos. There were balloons, hand-painted banners strung from second floor windows, and glitter–dear Lord, was there glitter. It was rush.
At the time, I was thrilled to have immediate access to likeminded girls who all knew as little as I did about our new home. We got to figure it out together, bound by the foreign letters on our shirts and the date on our pledge cards. It wasn’t until I was on the sister side of recruitment that the idea of fall rush began to deteriorate. We extended a bid to a girl who was a double legacy to our house, only to find out halfway through pledgeship that she was not an appropriate fit for the ideals and standards we held ourselves to.
It was this experience that prompted me to change my mind about rush. As exciting and charged as the atmosphere is at the beginning of the school year, I couldn’t help but think how everyone would be better off if recruitment was pushed to the spring. It would give incoming freshman an opportunity to get their feet wet, learn the ropes, and settle into college life without the extra burden of rush on their neophyte shoulders. When going through fall recruitment, you’ve hardly had a chance to buy textbooks before you’ve signed yourself into a house that, come Christmas, might not feel like the perfect fit you thought it was in September.
In no way do I regret going through rush in the fall, and I’m sure there are those of you who feel the same way. I just can’t help but wonder, with all the changes that occur during the first semester of college, if fall rush is really beneficial to anyone.