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I’ve had low self-esteem my entire life, but nothing made me feel like a bigger sack of shit than watching Shelby Rose’s “What’s in my rush bag?” TikTok video for The University of Alabama sorority recruitment for the first time.
I was mindlessly doom-scrolling on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the dark at 2:00 p.m., and this betch — I use the term endearingly — appeared from the heavens on my FYP in a video where she pulled SO MUCH shit out of her tote bag in preparation for rush: a first aid kit, Tylenol, blister patches, a Tide to Go pen, blotting sheets, hand sanitizer, extra earring backs, hairspray, scissors, toothpicks, and a fucking poncho for crying out loud. She came out of nowhere like a Gen Z Mary Poppins, doomsday prepper, and my 65-year-old mother all in one, and suddenly my entire existence felt inadequate.
But, there was still a bright side. In that moment, the clouds parted, the flowers bloomed, and I knew one thing to be true: There is no one, and I mean no one, I’d trust more with my life than Shelby. In fact, it would be a dream to be trapped alone on a deserted island with her. I wouldn’t be struggling to survive, I would be thriving. SPF me up, Shelbs. We ain’t dying out here.
With MAX’s Bama Rush documentary out in the world and Shelby living her best life — or so we all think, since she pulled out of the doc and the rest of her story was replaced by director Rachel Fleit’s entire autobiography — at UA, I started thinking: What would I put in my Bama rush bag if I was trying to pledge a top-tier sorority?
All The (Prob Useless) Shit I’d Actually Put In My Bama Rush Bag:
-My second emotional support water bottle
-2 king-size Reese’s to inhale when no one’s looking
-A Lean Cuisine I could heat up in the sorority house’s kitchen
–Tweezers in case I forget to pluck my one annoying chin hair
–Deodorant for my pits but also thigh chafing
-Xanax in case the Lex isn’t hitting
–Tissues to wipe away my tears and snot from ugly crying
-A foldable chair to sit in so I don’t flash my soon-to-be sisters and the house mom when I try to get up off the floor
–A push-up bra to make my itty-bitty titties look good
-A piece of paper that tells me how to pronounce Chi Omega
-A pack of nuts I can pretend to eat
–Flash cards with notes about myself like my favorite color in case I forget everything
-A huge pack of black hair ties to hand out to the other pledges so the sororities mistake them for mics, kick them out, and give me a bid by process of elimination
-My therapist’s phone number
-A Chase credit card pamphlet I can hand out to get that $200 referral bonus
-45 extra pairs of underwear
-A pocket bible so I fit in (Anyone know where to buy this? Amazon?)
-$50 cash in case I have to bribe a betch
–Poo-Pourri ‘cause sorority girls probably don’t poop
-On that note, Lactaid pills
-An emergency Diet Coke
All images courtesy of Max