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Yesterday morning, upon signing her bid, Leigh became a member of the PanHellenic Council sorority system. Now, with the intense week of rush complete, she moves on to pledge the house that she chose -- and chose her. "I feel like I'm not quite sure what I'm getting myself into," Leigh said yesterday. But she is looking forward to the daily experiences that go along with being in a house more than anything else. "It's the little things like getting my pledge pin, being able to wear the letters and getting my big sister," she said. With the rush process a thing of the past, Leigh took time to reflect on a long week. "There's a sense of relief," she said. "Not only because I got the sorority of my choice, but because sorority rush is over." · Leigh visited four houses in the Second Round of parties, and she said at the end she liked three of those houses even more. But one house she disliked. "I walked out of the house and said to myself, 'I'm not crazy about that [house] anymore," Leigh said. "I had good conversations [at the other houses], but at this one house we never really got past the small talk." The added five minutes at each house, along with tours and videos, helped her narrow her options to two sororities for the Preference round. But on Friday night, before the Pref parties, she still did not know which house to choose. "Part of me is hoping I'll go to one house [on Saturday night] and hate it," she added. Because of her desire to be in a house she liked, she was nervous going into Pref but also excited for it. "I'm definitely looking forward to Pref," she said Friday. "I'm not looking forward to making a choice." At the Pref parties, the sisters described their houses in detail, attempting to persuade the rushee to chose their house. In earlier rounds, the rushee attempted to make a favorable impression with the sisters. When the Pref parties were finished, Leigh said she was happy with the way the two hour-long parties went. "I really enjoyed Pref," she said. "It was intense, and you got the feeling that they wanted you. Saturday was amazing." The completion of the parties on Saturday night marked the beginning of her final round of decisions. Following the Round Two parties, Leigh, along with the other rushees, narrowed her choices to the one or two houses she would Pref on Saturday. "I'm still not sure which one I like better," she said Friday evening. "In a lot of ways [the two houses] feel very different to me, but I love them both." Leigh, like most other rushees, did not "suicide" -- only attend the Pref party of one sorority. Rushees who "suicide" usually only want to pledge one sorority and are unwilling to join another. She noted that since most people enjoyed the Pref parties, choosing between houses was not easy. But on Friday, before Pref, she said: "Whichever house I rank first, if I get into the other one, I'll be just as happy." · Yesterday, Leigh described her first-choice house as "the one house where the people I met I would normally become friends with anyway. I was very excited to go back there Saturday night." At the beginning of rush, Leigh said she would visit each sorority with an open mind. However, she added she expected to feel more comfortable in four of the eight houses. Her final choice was among those four houses, yet she chose it because of what she had learned this week rather than her preconceptions about the chapter and its members. "I was pleasantly suprised" about the house, Leigh said earlier this week. After she decided which house she liked best, there was nothing for Leigh to do but wait. Leigh said she heard people who wouldn't receive bids would be called by noon yesterday. She said she sat by the phone for over an hour and that she jumped whenever it rang. "Yesterday morning was nerve-wracking," she said. The call Leigh was dreading never materialized, which meant that some house had given her a bid. Along with approximately 350 other women, Leigh picked up her bid at Bodek Lounge in Houston Hall early yesterday afternoon. "Bodek was crazy," Leigh said. "There were girls everywhere. People were excited. Some screamed. All this energy in one room." When she got her bid, she was too nervous to open it. "I tried to look through the envelope to see what it said," she said. She was thrilled when she realized that she was going to be a sister in the house where she wanted to be the most. · With the process complete and Leigh safely in a sorority, she had time to reflect yesterday on the system and the process, and acknowledged that there are pros and cons both to PanHel and to rush. "There's been a lot of talk comparing fraternity and sorority rush," she said. "I definitely couldn't handle five weeks." Leigh added that "the time factor [of sorority rush] makes it high-pressure." She also noted a rushee only meets a relatively small number of the sisters in the house she eventually pledges. "The few people you talk to [in each house] are going to make the decision," she said. "If you get cut, you didn't make the right impression in the short time you spent with one person. It's not as personal [as it could be]." "Houses that I wasn't asked back to, I don't know at all," she added. But even before she got her bid, Leigh said that rush was an experience to remember. With the process complete, she said the system works, on the whole. "Obviously I'm happy with the system because it worked for me," she said. · Now that she is in the sorority of her choice, Leigh is looking to the future. "I'm going to be at my house this afternoon . . . it sounds strange," she said yesterday. Leigh added that being in a sorority is a commitment that she is excited to make a part of her life. "Ten years fom now, when people ask me if I was in a sorority, I'll say I was an alumna of this house," she said. "It's just the beginning for me."

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