At first, I was confused when I started seeing posts from the University of Alabama freshman girls on my TikTok For You Page. I graduated college several years ago and I’ve never stepped foot in the state of Alabama. However I was in a sorority, and I loved college so I watched the first video that showed up. And then they kept coming. And coming. And somewhere along the line I became emotionally invested in Alabama Rush TikTok.
But what exactly is “Bama Rush Tok’ you ask? Well, there are several facets to it. First, the girls who are going through rush. If you’ve spent any time on TikTok you’ve seen girls do their OOTD, or outfit of the day posts. They show each item of their outfits and then tell you where it’s from. There are tons of girls doing these posts every day. Below is an example.
If you aren’t too familiar with sorority recruitment or rush, it is a huge deal. Especially in the south and Alabama is one of if not the largest and most competitive recruitments in the country. All of these outfits have probably been planned weeks or even months in advance. Every detail is carefully thought out. And honestly, I’m living for it. These girls are so cute and excited and having fun. Also, I find the clothes so adorable, I may or may not have looked up some of the boutiques and added to my cart.
Rush is stressful and hard. It’s long days. Alabama’s rush is a week-long process. It’s an emotional journey as well. Girls can go in with their hearts set on certain houses and if you get dropped it can be devastating. Throughout my investment in this, I’ve learned that the dorms the girls live in (they move in early to go through the process) are on high alert for suicide watch. So, while some people may find these videos cheesy or strange (I can only imagine what it looks like to somehow who has no idea about greek life), if it makes them happy I think its wonderful.
But the PNMs (potential new members) aren’t the only ones on TikTok. The sororities have their own accounts and posts as well. A lot of the current members also took to the social media platform during “workweek”- the week leading up to recruitment when they practice all day every day.
Yes, it’s overwhelming. But you have to admit it’s fascinating. There is a lot to digest as an outsider. The houses, the outfits, the energy. My school didn’t have houses this nice when I was there, but they are in the process of transitioning to a similar style for Greek Row. Fashions have changed, but the songs, the entrances, and how it works that’s the same. And apparently, it’s not just me that has gotten on this side of TikTok. Chances are you’ve seen at least one video over the past week and a half. And the world is watching. No one quite understands how they got here though. When I tell you strangers are invested they are invested:
A lot of people understandably have questions but luckily alums of Alabama greek life and other schools are stepping in to explain exactly what is happening:
Perhaps it’s the nostalgia for college I get this time every year. That Target dorm stuff gives me the feels and the denial sets in. Or maybe it’s the awe of a peek and just how big rush is in Alabama. For some people, it’s a completely different world that they had no idea even existed. But for whatever reason (and honestly I don’t think anyone will ever know why the first got shown these videos) the TikTok universe is intrigued. People want a Netflix show or documentary, for several reasons I don’t see that happening but I would absolutely watch. But until then I’ll be on Alabama Rush TikTok, browsing stores like The Pants Store, Martins, and I Just Have To Have It, and waiting for Bid Day to see who ends up in what house.