One word that is guaranteed to get a reaction out of most girls – rush.

It’s a dreaded process of finding a home and a group that you fit into and that like you back. It’s the ultimate speed dating experience and you will leave the week as a new person. And while there are multiple different outcomes, it’s still valuable.

The whole idea is to look for a group that you can invest in and you can better. To some it is about looks; to some it is about smarts; to some it is about connections; and to some it is about how friendly you are. But isn’t that every group in the entire world? From playground pals to coworkers and business decisions, aren’t most all of them based off of those things? I would say yes. So that can dispel any misgivings you may be having about the process. It’s a blown up version of what everyone else does everyday.

At my college, the first two days of rush are spent wearing the same shirt and visiting every chapter on campus. This makes sense; they see 1,100 girls and the first impression shouldn’t necessarily be our outfits setting us apart. In a way it evens the playing field. The time you spend at the houses are brief and you just chatter with a few different girls and get a feel for the personality of the group. There is a lot of singing and a lot of unnecessary energy. But it makes it fun. And if you feel like that many jumpy girls isn’t your thing, my advice would be to remember this; these girls have to act that way during rush. What normal person in their right mind behaves that way every day? No one, including these girls.

The complicated part comes down to when you have to make cuts. It’s a mutual selection process so every girl going through has to narrow down her choices. For me, we went from all 11 houses to having to choose 8. So you would pick your top 8 and hope to get an invitation back to those houses. I got cut from one of my top 8 houses on the next day, so I had to go back to one of the three that I had cut. Which is normal, most girls don’t get invites back to all 8 parties that can be attended the next day. And this is how it works the rest of the days too; you go from 8 to 5 and then from 5 to 2 and hope the ones you keep keep you too. But you have to keep in mind that it’s mutual. If they cut you, then you wouldn’t have fit in there anyway.

The third day is about each houses philanthropy. Each chapter has an organization that they do fundraisers for and donate money to. The fourth day is a skit presentation and a house tour. The fifth day is preference night when you only have two houses left. (Whoot!) This night is basically all the girls talking about how their sorority has impacted them and why they love it so much. It is coupled with tears and lots of hugging, but hey, we’re girls and it’s what we do. Unless that’s not what you’re into, then no hugging for you.

The last day in this week is the fantasized bid day. After you’ve been forced to wait for hours to get your bid card with the house that you will end up in on it, girls take one look and run screaming to said house. Maybe out of happiness, maybe out of joy that the whole experience is over. For me it was both.

My rush experience was pretty good. I didn’t know much about the houses and just followed my gut. Another piece of advice would be to never let the title of ‘top house’ sway your decision. If the girls are awesome and you think you’d make good friends and have fun experiences, join that house. But if you don’t like any of the houses and you think being in a sorority isn’t for you, don’t join one. There’s no shame in doing that.

While many people think that rushing and joining a sorority is a waste of time and only for the shallow and conceited, speak to me or anyone whose done it after you’ve spent five days flirting with girls and putting yourself out on a limb. Nothing will test your confidence as much as running 8 blocks to a different sorority house in full makeup, a dress, and heels, hoping your favorite house doesn’t care that you might be a little sweaty and in need of a nap and maybe even a mint.

Rush is something I’m so glad I did but would never do again. Take that as you may, after all, it’s just what nugget says.