Here's Where The ‘Bama Rush’ Girls Ended Up After Recruitment
Content warning: discussion of sexual assault.
Two words: Bama rush. In August 2021, the hashtag #BamaRush, which explored the intense sorority rush process at the University of Alabama, exploded on TikTok, and gave the entire world insight into what it's like to join a sisterhood at a big southern school. Now, a new documentary from Max (formerly HBO Max) takes an even closer look through the stories of real girls going through the rush process.
Bama Rush primarily follows four young women as prepare for 2022 recruitment: Shelby, Holliday, Makayla, and Isabelle. Each come from different backgrounds, and have various reasons for taking part in "rush." Two of the girls are rushing as sophomores, and the other two are incoming freshmen. Rachel Fleit, the documentary's director, also makes several appearances throughout the doc, connecting her own experience growing up with alopecia, with the girls' search for friendship, sisterhood, and acceptance at their university.
The documentary left off just as the women were starting their college (or rush) journeys, so it's only natural to be curious about where they are now. Luckily, Women's Health has all the deets. See what the Potential New Members (PNMs) are up to these days.
Shelby started her Bama Rush journey in Quincy, Illinois. She was serious about the recruitment process from the very beginning (based on a very thorough planning binder she showed off in the documentary) and ended up pledging Phi Mu. Shelby abruptly stopped participating in the documentary after rumors about filming spread on campus—so the audience didn't really get closure on her story.
However, Shelby recently posted a TikTok about her experience filming with Max. "I did not film with them once during rush week, because what they were doing did not align with my morals and values," she said in her post. "I love the University of Alabama, it's given me so much."
Based on her Instagram, it looks like Shelby just wrapped up her freshman year—and is already missing being on campus. She's spending the summer in her hometown, working part-time at a spa. Oh, and Shelby still does some casual influencing on TikTok, so you can keep up with her journey there.
Hailey Holliday, or Holliday as she's referred in the doc, planned to rush a second time in 2022 after being kicked out after making it through rush and becoming a pledge. The reason? Holliday was wearing the "wrong sticker" a.k.a. wearing a sticker from another sorority (which, ICYDK, is a big no-no in most sororities' codes of conduct).
She ends up dropping out of rush a second time after hearing a rumor that she was blacklisted from all Bama sororities. The college student is laying low these days, but it doesn't look like she has any FOMO about sorority life.
In fact, Holliday was crowned Miss Orange Beach 2023, per her Instagram, and it looks like she still works at a tanning salon.
Makayla, 19, was planning on rushing for the first time as a sophomore at University of Alabama, but ultimately dropped out of recruitment before the end of rush. "I realized that since being a sophomore now, you don't have to be in a sorority to enjoy your life," Makayla said in the Max documentary. "It's just me personally. I don't think I could do it, but I know other girls that love it."
Makayla initially hired a sorority coach to help her with the process, so dropping out from rush seemed like a huge decision for her. Now, the incoming college junior is enjoying life at Bama outside of the Greek organizations. Although her Instagram is public, it seems Makayla is trying to keep a relatively low profile after the doc dropped.
Isabelle, who hailed from California and talked in the doc about wanting to fit in with the "southern" vibe at Alabama, also hired a recruitment coach to help her through the rush process. She ended up bidding her top choice sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. "I loved my rush experience," Isabelle said, while also plugging the Max documentary on TikTok.
Her TikTok also gave more insight into the SEC sorority experience. Isabelle explained that fraternity pledges have to bring sorority dates to football games (and their date must sit with them the entire time). She also said that women dress up for game days, and participate in "pomping" during homecoming. ("Pomping" is the act of creating extravagant tissue paper art work for a university homecoming float. Most southern sororities require their new members to meet a certain requirement for pomping, either by quantity or hourly increments, Isabelle explained.)
Isabelle also opened up about her experience with sexual assault, which was briefly touched on in the Max documentary, in another recent TikTok. "Honestly during rush, that was all I could think about," she said. "It's hard to have conversations with girls about your outfit and where you went to high school when you are really struggling mentally."
The University of Alabama student said she ultimately decided on her sorority because of the genuine conversations she had with its members. "If you are going through a hard time, you are not alone and I love you," she said on TikTok.
These women deserve the world. Sending so much love to them all!
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