Influencer Reveals the Dark Side of the Bama Rush Phenomenon: Bullying, Price Tags, Misery, and More

By: Carissa Moore | Last updated: Oct 26, 2023

Each year, thousands of college girls strive to be accepted into an on-campus sorority. But the rush process is a competitive one, and only the most elite applicants make the cut.

Sorority life has largely been portrayed as more than an organization – it’s marketed as a sisterhood. Some girls will do whatever it takes to get accepted into the inner circle of high society, but some say being accepted into the coveted sorority scene comes at a high price.

Bama Rush Videos Are a Massively Popular TikTok Trend

The Bama Rush process has become a sweeping trend on TikTok, and nearly every video features Barbie-esque women who are dressed in designer clothing while performing a choreographed dance in unison.

Advertisement

Source: asudeltazeta/TikTok

The Bama lifestyle exudes prestige and affluence, and it’s easy to see why someone would want to be a part of it. But not everyone has positive things to say about Greek life.

Advertisement

The Trend Kicked Off in 2021 and Became a Sensation

The Bama Rush trend has taken off like wildfire since 2021, when several pledges trying to join the University of Alabama’s sorority circuit documented the process and shared their experience on TikTok.

Advertisement

Source: bamarushupdates/TikTok

Unlike some, these women thrived in the Greek life realm and they revealed in their journey of choosing one of the school’s 18 sororities. The popularity of Bama Rush videos skyrocketed, and millions of people became fixated on watching the rush process unfold. Since then, the #BamaRush trend has resurfaced every August as incoming freshmen seek to be a part of the sisterhood.

A Bama Rush Described the Rush Process as ‘Miserable’

One rejected Bama Rush has recently spoken out against the cruel realities of trying to join a sorority. Morgan Cadenhead, a university student originally from Crestview, Florida, has offered her brutally honest opinion on the demanding rush process.

Advertisement

Source: on_thedaily_with_morgan/TikTok

She insists that her experience was far from enjoyable and that the end result left her feeling ‘miserable’ and ‘exhausted.’ Despite her best efforts, Cadenhead was still rejected from every Greek house she tried to join.

The Recruitment Process Was Far From Glamorous

The Bama Rush hopeful shared a series of videos to her TikTok account chronicling her experience during rush.

Advertisement

Source: mchammer123456/TikTok

From spending hours outside in the blistering heat to trying to find the most ideal outfits to fit in, Cadenhead uploaded her candid take on the recruitment process. Her desire to join a sisterhood quickly turned into dismay and disgust when she discovered what being a Bama Rush was all about

The University Student Just Wanted to Fit In

At first, Cadenhead was apprehensive, yet optimistic about rushing. In her first video in her Bama Rush series, she can be seen talking directly to the camera while admitting that she felt her hair looked “ugly.”

Source: on_thedaily_with_morgan/TikTok

She got emotional when she struggled to find cute clothing and accessories, telling the camera, “I’m not dropping $100 on a bag that I’m not gonna use after this week. Absolutely not.” The college student was already unsure of what she had gotten herself into, but she was committed to persevering through the process.

Advertisement

A Fancy Wardrobe Wasn’t Her Only Problem

Cadenhead realized that she didn’t exactly fit into the typical Bama Rush mold. “I’m not Barbie, I look more like Lizzo,” she said in a video captioned “Send help.”

Source: on_thedaily_with_morgan/TikTok

The freshman further detailed her fashion challenges, saying, “I can’t walk like Barbie on my tip-toes, so I didn’t bring heels, which is a big problem. I don’t even have heels.” She stressed her desire to wear sensible footwear, saying, “There’s no way in this heat people want to walk around in heels.”

Advertisement

The Expectation of Being Wealthy Was Also a Heavy Burden

Achieving “the look” seems to be a very important part of being accepted into the exclusive sorority scene. Other influencers have gone viral after showing off their expensive rush attire on TikTok. Girls as young as 18 were seen wearing thousands of dollars worth of designer clothing.

Source: kaidenkilpatrick_/TikTok

In contrast, Cadenhead doesn’t care about designer labels. “I don’t have a whole lot of money, I’m broke,” she said in one video. “’You’re in college, it’s expected of you. Not all of the rush girls need to be rich. I’m not rich.”

Advertisement

Things Only Got Worse During Rush

By the third day of rush, Morgan Cadenhead described how she was forced to spend hours outside in the Alabama heat.

Source: on_thedaily_with_morgan/TikTok

“It was so hot, so sweaty, it was miserable,’ she said. She then referenced the many #BamaRush videos of girls looking happy during the process, saying, “Anyone who is smiling in their videos after a day of rushing is crazy,” before adding, “I am tired, thirsty. It was so bad, it was actually crazy.”

Advertisement

She Ultimately Didn’t Make the Cut

Although the rush process was stressful and unpleasant, Cadenhead didn’t want to give up. But she would later reveal in a tearful video that she “did not receive an invitation” to join any of the sororities at the University of Alabama.

Source: on_thedaily_with_morgan/TikTok

“I’m gonna be OK. I’m going to be fine,” she assured her followers while thanking them for their support. “I’m just so unbelievably thankful, they’ve been so amazing in helping me, and they mean a lot to me, and I just wanted to let you guys know that,” she said.

Advertisement

She Was Vocal About How She Really Felt

The college influencer was shocked to learn that the Bama Rush craze wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.

Source: bamaadpi/TikTok

Cadenhead felt bamboozled by the glamorous videos she had seen on TikTok and insisted that they didn’t reflect reality. “This is my petition to start a new trend on social media called Relatable Rush,” Cadenhead said in one of her videos. “I feel like I have been lied to and sold a pipe dream.”

Advertisement

There’s Always a Silver Lining

While Morgan Cadenhead may not have achieved her dream of joining a sorority at the University of Alabama, not everything about her rush experience was bad.

Source: on_thedaily_with_morgan/TikTok

Her rush videos have resulted in TikTok fame, with her #BamaRush series amassing millions of views. On top of that, Cadenhead has found a solid support system through her loyal followers. “We love you so much Morgan!” said one commenter, “You are a rockstar and we always have your back!”

Advertisement