Bid Day is only second to Christmas for college women, especially here in the SEC. As a member, you've put in weeks upon weeks of work to recruit 100 potential new best friends. Bid day is the day your sorority gains a whole pledge class of younger, cooler versions of yourselves. What could be better?! For freshmen, you've just spent the most stressful week of your life hoping that you get invited back to all your favorite chapters. You wake up every morning wracked with anxiety to see your schedule. On bid day, it's all over. Opening your bid card is the beginning of a whole new world. Bid day is equally the best and most overwhelming day of your entire life, or at least your college career, so just roll with it!
But before you can get to bid day, you have to conquer Rush Week. For seven days, you spend all of your time and energy trying to convince each sorority that you're just what they're looking for. You've most likely spent the last 3 months reading articles in Seventeen and Teen Vogue about how to get yourself a bid. You've done all the research online about the different chapters- you're educated. By the time rush week rolls around, you're ready. You walk into each house surrounded by perfectly manicured sorority girls and try to talk your best game. The night before your first party, you sat on the phone with your mom making a list of conversation topics to impress the members. It's crucial to be unique and memorable, so you're prepared to talk about everything from Kanye West to the latest line of Tory sandals. During every conversation you try to crack a joke or two and impress the girls with your nonchalant humor. You've probably never been more desperately witty in your life. If you thought you peaked in high school, you were wrong. Rush week is the height of your cool.
After a week of forced conversations and tired jokes, bid day is finally here! You're done convincing strangers to love you and finally you can join a group of girls that recognizes just how cool you really are. On that long awaited morning, you wake up early, do your hair, put on an extra coat of mascara for the inevitable pictures that will be taken, and walk to meet your group. The rest of the girls in your Gamma Chi group show up and you all wait together in giddy silence. Your gamma chi hands you the painfully opaque envelope holding your fate and..... you wait. For the next hour and a half, you'll hold that bid card in your hand and wait in agony.
And then you wait some more.
But then it's time! The announcements are over, the thank yous have been said, and the count down begins. If you're a legacy, you and your mom have been dreaming of this day since you could pronounce the word "sorority". If you're not, you've probably spent the same amount of time trying to explain Greek Life to your mom. Either way, this day is the beginning of an era and you know it. Finally, you open your bid card and see those beautiful Greek letters inviting you to join their incredible sorority. All your hard work being cool has paid off! Finally, you're a sorority girl. You feel more excitement than you ever thought could fit inside one body. You want to smile, you want to cry, so instead you just kinda shake and jump around until you've processed all the feels.
You've been talking to girls in this chapter for the entire week, building friendships and making a place for yourself in their sorority. The members of this chapter have recognized value in you, as well as showing you what they have to offer. During the last week, you've gotten to experience their sisterhood and watch the members engage in genuine friendship. The comfort and love the members have with each other is something you knew you wanted to be a part of since day one. Being welcomed into the house that you felt at home at for the past week is the best feeling you can imagine. As soon as you've jumped as much as you can jump and all the feels have been processed, you run to find your bid day buddy. You spend the next 2-15 minutes climbing over screaming girls hugging and flailing around. When you finally find your buddy hidden in the crowd of amped up girls covered in glitter, you guys jump around, maybe cry a little, and hug like there's no tomorrow.
Once you go through 15 minutes of intense hugging, you run to your new sorority and meet all your sisters.The distance home is much longer than anticipated, and by the time you get there most of your makeup is gone and you probably have mild signs of back sweat. When you reach the lawn, there are hundreds of girls in the same shirt as you taking pictures, throwing the hand sign, chanting songs that kinda sorta rhyme, and jumping all over each other. There's also a lot of glitter. Like a LOT of glitter. But best of all, there's food. You help yourself to all the funnel cakes, cotton candy, soft pretzels, and popcorn that srat row has to offer and strike out to bond with your new sisters. You quickly realize that you don't know anyone and your new sisters are actually strangers. This doesn't diminish the excitement, but definitely makes the day slightly more awkward than you imagined.
After several minutes of munching on your own in a corner comes more hugging! Upperclassmen are pouring out of the woodwork to smother you in hugs and attention. Somehow they know you, but you don't know them. The members of your new chapter have been hearing your name all week and cannot wait to welcome you home. Sophomores everywhere know your name, leap on top of you, and drown you in affection. They're your new sisters! But they're also still strangers. So you awkwardly hug everyone back like you've known them forever and hope that you'll remember their names (you won't). You may seem friendly, but internally the excessive physical contact with randoms has you feeling something like this:
After the older girls are finished jumping all over you and playing with your hair, they'll start forcing you to take pictures. All of the members throw the hand signs and you pretend like you know what you're doing. Instead of admitting that you're lost, you do your best and contort your hands into a really crooked version of your sorority's symbol. You're insanely eager to take pictures of this day so you can document your new standing on campus, and you won't let anything stand in your way. You're a sorority girl now and everybody has to know! Random people grab your phone to take pictures, and you strut your stuff. It's an absolute necessity to take an insta worthy picture today, so you smile and flip your hair like your life depends on it.
Eventually, the festivities of bid day die down. Girls part ways to go eat with their families, call all of their friends to tell them the news, or take a much needed nap. The excitement and giddiness doesn't go away for quite a while, but you're able to finally rest. This is the first time in the last week that you've been able to be relax and be yourself. You don't have to try to be cool anymore! Everyone already knows you are. So with no pressure on your shoulders, you go home and pass out like you've never passed out before.
Soon it's time for the last and weirdest phase of bid day: the return to your chapter. Throughout the last week, you've walked in the doors of your sorority to be greeted by girls that look somewhat equatable with Barbie dolls. All summer you've creeped their social media and found nothing but stylish, funky girls with perfect hair and accessories to rival Kylie Jenner's. Everything you've seen from your new sorority points to well manicured divas. Your world is about to be turned upside down. When you go back to your new sorority in the evening, you'll be astonished at what you find. In place of well groomed models are girls (?) in t-shirts, messy buns, no makeup, sweatpants, and mismatched socks. They're most likely cramming their faces with potato chips and watching reruns of New Girl. At first you're going to wonder if you walked into the wrong house. You might even walk outside and make sure the right letters are hanging above the door. To your dismay, you're in the right place.
You'll soon learn to love and even embrace the grunge of sorority life. It's not all glitter and lipstick. It's comfort and acceptance grounded in sincere friendships. While rush week was a wonderful experience that you'll never forget, you're thankful that it's over. The excitement that comes with bid day is unlike any other, and it's a day you'll be glad to repeat 4 times over.