Totally overwhelmed by this sorority Big Little thing? Don’t fret, here’s a guide to how Bigs and Littles work in sororities.
Running home to your second home, aka your sorority, on Bid Day is literally the BEST FEELING EVER.
But whether you know it or not, the second Bid Day starts is the moment sorority Big Little also starts. And before you know it, you will have a sorority Big to call your own or a sorority Little to call your own.
If you’re totally confused, overwhelmed, or nervous about the sorority Big Little process, don’t worry. In today’s blog post, we are discussing all things sorority Big Little and getting to the nitty gritty of how Bigs and Littles work in sororities.
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What is sorority Big Little?
Sorority Big Little is a mentorship relationship between an initiated sister and a new member of a sorority chapter.
What is a sorority Little?
A Little Sister or a Little is a new member of a sorority chapter who is paired with an initiated Sister. She is mentored by her Big Sister or Big throughout her sorority life, college experience, and post-college life.
Once she, the new member, is initiated into the sorority she will also have the opportunity to become a sorority Big herself through the sorority Big Little process.
What is a sorority Big?
A Big Sister or Big is an initiated sister of a sorority chapter who is a mentor to her Little Sister or Little. She is pretty much a mom to her Little and helps her adjust to sorority life and college.
She also is part of her Little’s initiation process and seeks to guide her Little towards becoming a loyal sister of the chapter who understands and uphold its values.
Why do you get a sorority Big?
You get a Big because adjusting to sorority life (and college) is tough. With all the new lingo, events to attend, and things to learn about the chapter, you’ll need a sorority Big to guide you through it all.
Do you have to have a sorority Little?
Once you are initiated into the sorority, you are eligible to become a sorority Big as long as you are in good standing with the chapter (i.e., your dues are paid and you are not on academic probation).
However, you don’t have to become a Big if you don’t want to.
Not all sorority women want to or can afford to become a sorority Big. And that’s totally ok if you do not want to become a sorority Big.
It’s actually more responsible to not become a Big than to take a Little and end up being a bad Big. Trust me, it’s horrible for both parties.
What happens if I don’t get a sorority Little?
Unfortunately, during every sorority Big Little process there are always more Bigs than there are Littles to go around. With that being said, there are girls every Big Little process that do not end up with a Little. If that happens to you, don’t beat yourself up.
Sometimes, it is simply a numbers game with the Big Little matching process. And perhaps your perfect Little hasn’t gone through sorority recruitment yet.
So, if you don’t end up getting a Little, be patient, help your sorority family out with their reveals, and focus on developing and maintaining your current friendships in the sorority.
Then when the next Big Little process occurs, you’ll hopefully get your shot at being a sorority Big.
I honestly didn’t get a Little the first time I went through the Big Little process. I was absolutely devastated and bawled my eyes out to my sorority Big over the phone for an hour, but I ended up getting my perfect Littles the following two semesters. And it was definitely worth the wait!
How does the sorority Big Little process work?
Every sorority chapter does their Big Little process differently, but it will look similar to the following:
The Big Little process “unofficially” begins on Bid Day, which is the day potential new members receive their bids and run home to their new sorority chapter after going through the recruitment process.
On Bid Day, girls in your chapter will begin seeking out new members who they could see as their potential Little.
You may notice, as a new member, receiving Instagram DM’s from girls you met on Bid Day or random text messages asking you to come over for a game night or out on a coffee date with a sister.
Don’t be scared or nervous if you get these–these girls are eyeing you as a potential Little and just want to get to know you!
As a potential Big, it’s a good idea to start being proactive after Bid Day by reaching out to new members and inviting them out to eat, go to a movie, or go bowling.
Not only will you help the new members feel welcomed into your sorority chapter, but you may meet a new member who could be the perfect Little for you.
After Bid Day
About two to three weeks after Bid Day, your New Member Educator, or sister with the equivalent position, will begin to survey who wants to become a sorority Big that semester and may have you fill out a form to help match you with new members to meet.
The New Member Educator will also double check that you are in good standing with the sorority. That means you have no outstanding dues and you are not on academic probation.
The Big Little “dating” process
Soon, it will be announced to the chapter and new members that the Big Little process has officially started. During the Big Little process, you will be required to meet with one to two girls a week to get to know them by going out on “dates.”
You can also choose to go out on more dates on your own time, but at minimum, you’ll go out on one to two dates with new members (or potential Bigs if you are a new member) as assigned by your New Member Educator.
Examples of dates or date ideas during the Big Little process:
- Coffee shop date
- Study date
- Movie night
- Taking an art class together
- Going to an exercise class together
- Going shopping together
- Lunch/dinner date
The Big Little dating process lasts for about a month, but sometimes shorter, and can vary quite a lot between each new member and each potential Big.
Sometimes, as a new member, you’ll be invited to hang out at an apartment or out to dinner with a few initiated sisters and a few new members. Other times it’ll just be you and the initiated sister hanging out getting ice cream or going shopping together.
Some sisters even have a “process” where they’ll meet with a potential Little individually, and then if they like her, she will invite her out on a second date, but this time with someone from her sorority family, like her Big or Twin, to get additional feedback if this girl is really Little potential.
When I was a new member, I was often invited to hang out in groups and I absolutely hated it as an introvert. So when I went through the Big Little dating process myself as a potential Big I always made dates with potential Littles 1-on-1 and they were usually coffee dates or lunch dates.
As you go out on more dates, you’ll come figure out who you want as a sorority Big or Little (or who you absolutely do not want as a Big or a Little). And as the dating process comes to a close, you’ll hopefully have a good idea of who you’ll want to put down as #1 on your list on Big Little Matching Day.
The Big/Little Matching System
The Big Little dating process ends on Big Little Matching Day.
On matching day, the new members will write down their top 10 choices for potential Bigs (with #1 being their top choice) and the potential Bigs will also write down their top 10 choices for potential Littles (with #1 being their top choice).
In general, the new member’s list will have priority over the potential Big’s list. It’s the goal of the New Member Educator to make the new members happy, so she will do whatever she can to make sure you, as the new member, get the sorority Big you want. This usually means within the top 5 girls on your list–so write down each name wisely!
After the lists are created, the New Member Educator and her assistants will match up all the lists. First, they will match up 1-to-1 matches, then 1-to-2 matches, and so forth.
The goal is to have a 1-to-1 match between a potential Little and the potential Big’s list. If there is a 1-to-1 match there is almost a 100% guarantee they will become Big and Little.
Once all the matching has been completed, the New Member Educator and her assistants will call all the potential Bigs and let them know who they were matched with or if they did not get a Little.
How are sorority Twins matched?
In each pledge class, there will be new members who will become Twins with someone in their pledge class.
This happens when two new members have the same #1 choice as Big on their top 10 list and the initiated sister who is their #1 choice is open to taking Twins.
However, Twins are a lot more expensive to take on than a single Little, so some initiated sisters are only able to take one Little. In that case, the new member who is lower on the initiated sister’s list may end up with her #2 choice or lower.
After the matching process is all said and done, the real fun begins with sorority Big Little Reveal.
What is sorority Big Little Reveal Week?
Big Little Reveal Week is a week where sorority Littles receive gift baskets from their sorority Bigs and the anticipation builds of who their sorority Big actually is, which they find out at the end of the week on the day of Big Little Reveal.
However, Big Little Reveal Week doesn’t occur right after Big Little Matching…
Between Big Little Matching Day and Big Little Reveal Week, the new sorority Bigs will have about two weeks to plan and scheme how to spoil their Littles and trick even the smartest of Littles who think they already know who their Bigs are.
During these two weeks sorority Bigs will be feverishly ordering items off of Etsy, going to craft stores every other day buying supplies for crafting, hitting up their sorority fam members for gifts for their Littles’ baskets, and planning the perfect Reveal for their soon-to-be-official sorority Little(s).
What are sorority Little baskets?
Sorority Little baskets are literally baskets that contain gifts for the Little to make them feel welcomed into the sorority and make them excited for Big Little Reveal.
How many baskets do Littles receive?
Typically a Little will receive 3 baskets during Big Little Reveal Week.
What goes in a sorority Little basket?
It’s chapter dependent, but each basket will contain about 7-10 gifts and they can range from sorority t-shits, candy, jewelry, sorority mugs, hats, blankets, food, etc.
While the sorority Big’s are busy planning, all the new members will be waiting in anticipation for Big Little Reveal Week.
During this time, they’ll be guessing, second guessing, and even triple guessing who their sorority Bigs are.
Some new members may even start receiving anonymous text messages from their sorority Bigs who will drop hits about who they are (but they’re mostly lies).
In more rare scenarios, sorority Bigs may “break” into their Little’s dorm room, apartment, or even car and decorate it with balloons and small gifts. However, if this doesn’t happen to you, don’t get too upset. Just because your Big doesn’t go all out doesn’t mean she loves you any less!
Big Little Reveal Week
When the time finally comes for Big Little Reveal Week, the sorority Bigs will be assigned a time to drop off their gift baskets each day for their sorority Littles at the sorority house, a sorority sister’s apartment/dorm room, or in a specific room at the university.
The new members will also be given the time and location to pick up their gift baskets.
When the new members come to pick up their baskets, there will usually be older sisters helping hand out the baskets and taking photos of the new members opening up their baskets.
These photos will be sent to the Bigs so they can see their Little’s reactions opening up their gift baskets.
Below, you can see a preview of what my baskets looked like when I was a new member going through sorority Big Little Reveal Week.
After the last day of gift baskets, the following day is Big Little Reveal.
Big Little Reveal Day and onward
Big Little Reveal Day is the day where sorority Bigs finally reveal their true identity to their Littles and they officially become sorority Big and Little.
Big Little Reveal Day themes
Typically, each sorority chapter will have an overarching theme for Big Little Reveal Day.
- A box reveal
- A sheet reveal
- A car reveal
- Sock matching reveal
- Wrapping paper reveal
- Puzzle piece reveal
Then each sorority fam will put their own twist on the theme by making it their own. It’s like if you had a family reunion on Halloween, but even better.
Still confused? Check out these sorority Big Little Reveal videos:
Pi Beta Phi at the University of Alabama (2020) had a box reveal and this sorority fam chose a “angel/sports team” theme.
Alpha Phi at the University of Georgia (2020) had a car reveal and this sorority fam chose to do a Santa and his reindeer theme.
So how does Reveal work?
On the day of Reveal, the new members will be put in a location separate from the rest of the chapter.
For example, on the day of my Big Little Reveal (when I found out who my Big was), we were placed inside of the business building that was next to a big open field where Reveal was actually being taken place.
Everyone else will be at the location of Reveal helping the soon-to-be Bigs set up their Reveals and help to take photos and videos of this special moment.
Once everyone is set up, the new members may be called out all at once or they will be called out in small groups of like 5-6 girls at a time to find out who their Bigs are. It honestly depends on your chapter size and the new pledge class size.
When the new members enter the location of Reveal, girls will be chanting, screaming, and then a countdown will begin and then all the Bigs will reveal themselves to their Littles and there will be tons of hugs, photos, and screaming.
What happens after Big Little Reveal?
Once Reveal is over, you and your new sorority fam will take a bunch of photos together and then you’ll head out for dinner as a new sorority fam. Some fams may even do a sleepover afterwards, but it really depends on the traditions of your sorority family.
Then in the following days and months after Big Little Reveal you can look forward to:
- Going on plenty of dates with your sorority Big or Little
- Experiencing initiation with your sorority Big or Little
- Doing a paddle-jersey swap with your sorority Big or Little
- Experiencing your own sorority Little taking her own Little
- Experience having Grand Littles
- And simply enjoying being Big and Little in during college
Final thoughts on how bigs and littles work in sororities
Bigs and Littles are one of the most highlighted features of joining of a sorority. However, the process of how sorority Bigs and Littles work can be quite confusing.
So I hope in today’s blog post, your questions and worries around sorority Big Little were answered and you feel more confident and prepared going into it whether you are a hopeful Big or a new member wanting to get the perfect Big.
If you do have any other questions about how Bigs and Littles work in sororities, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I’d be happy to answer them!
Related to how bigs and littles work in sororities
- Sorority Family Terminology: The Complete Glossary
- 77 Cute And Creative Sorority Family Tree Name Ideas
- 15 Sorority Big Little Date Ideas To Try In 2020
- 5 Practical Tips To Help You Get The Sorority Big You Want
- 101 Unique Sorority Little Gift Ideas For Big Little Baskets
- 7 Tips For Picking The Perfect Sorority Big Or Little
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