Didn’t Get The Sorority Big You Wanted? How To Cope

It can be quite disappointing not getting your dream sorority big. Learn what you can do to cope after not getting the sorority big you wanted.

During the Big Little matching process, the New Member Educator will try her best to match each new member to her top choice for sorority big, but it doesn’t always go as planned.

Although rare, some new members will not get the sorority big they wanted and this can be quite upsetting for new members who were so set on getting their #1 choice.

If you end up in this situation, what can you do to cope? How can you continue to thrive in your sorority when your dream of getting the perfect sorority big is crushed?

There are several ways to cope if you did not get the sorority big you wanted. You can (1) drop your sorority, (2) get to know your new sorority big and try to make the most of the situation, (3) focus on creating strong friendships in your sorority, or (4) get a new sorority big by being “adopted” by another girl in your sorority.

In this blog post, we will discuss in detail these 4 ways to cope with not getting the sorority big you wanted.

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Option 1: Dropping your sorority

The simplest solution is to drop your sorority and not commit to your new sorority big.

However, this can be quite insulting for your new sorority big who has spent money and time creating the perfect sorority big little baskets for you and planning a Big Little Reveal for you.

And just as bad as you may feel about not getting the sorority big you wanted, she too, your new sorority big, had to grieve the loss opportunity of not getting her dream sorority little.

Dropping your sorority has 2 consequences as well:

  1. It makes you ineligible to go through recruitment again until next formal recruitment because of the MRABA you signed at the end of Preference Rounds. And if you got into your dream sorority chapter, why drop it just to have the perfect big?
  1. It leaves a bad taste in your chapter’s mouth if you drop just because of big little. Although big little is a huge deal for many new members and initiated sisters, it is not the end-all-be-all of sorority life. You can 100% have a fulfilling sorority experience without having the perfect sorority big.

I wouldn’t drop your sorority just because you did not get the sorority big you want. This should be a last resort, and honestly, you should only drop your sorority if you:

  1. Absolute hate it. You realize that sorority life isn’t for you.
  2. Your grades are slipping because of your sorority.
  3. You’re finding it difficult to balance sorority events with work or other obligations.
  4. You’re unable to afford your sorority dues.
  5. You are being bullied by sisters in your sorority or in the Panhellenic community.

Option 2: Get to know your sorority big and make the most of the situation

The first step you should take when you find out you didn’t get the sorority big you wanted is to stay positive and focus on getting to know your new sorority big.

But first, here’s a quick reality check…

The honest truth about the Big Little Matching Process

Random vs a preference based Big Little Matching Process

Generally speaking, any initiated women in your sorority chapter could have become your big as long as she was in good standing with the chapter financially and academically.

Although the Big Little Matching system is preference based in most chapters, randomly matching sorority bigs and littles would be 100x easier for the New Member Educator.

By randomly matching bigs and littles, there’s:

  1. Less drama (i.e., no big or little claiming/stealing)
  2. No need for weeks of “dating”
  3. Faster to match bigs and littles together.

However, the preference based matching process was designed to make the new members feel more comfortable and welcomed into the sorority. It’s like a group project, would you rather do a group project with your BFF or a total stranger? Probably your BFF.

But think about it: if your chapter’s “culture” was based around the random selection of bigs and littles you wouldn’t have an issue with it because you wouldn’t know any other way. Preference-based matching is a total luxury, and you shouldn’t take it for granted.

Preference-based matching is not perfect

During every big little season there will always be more littles than bigs. And this does make matching difficult especially when not every big little pair is a 1-to-1 match.

During the big little matching process, the New Member Educator will take each new members’ and potential bigs’ preference list and start matching 1-to-1 pairs. In other words, bigs and littles who are #1 on each other list will be matched first.

After that, she will have to resort to 1-to-2, 1-to-3, 1-to-4, and so forth matches.

If a potential big is unable to take twins or multiples or a new member is not ranked high (top 3 or 5) on any of the potential bigs’ list, the new member may end up getting a random big.

Related post: 7 Tips For Picking The Perfect Sorority Big Or Little

However, the New Member Educator will always try her best to call one of the new member’s top preferences and see if they will take her as a Little BEFORE the new member is placed with a random big.

But as hard as the New Member Educator tries, she can’t always convince a sister to take a little she doesn’t want or can’t afford.

It actually can be quite risky for the initiated sister because some New Member Educators will hide the identity of the new member until the potential big agrees to take this new member as a little.


For example, one of my sorority nieces, we’ll call her L, initially received her #1 choice as a little. It was a 1-to-1 match. She was thrilled!

However, at the end of the matching process, there was another girl who wanted L, but was not placed high on L’s list or any other potential big’s list. But the new member placed L on the top of her list (in the top 3, I believe).

The New Member Educator called L and asked her if she would be willing to take twins. However, the identity of the second girl L would take as a little could not be disclosed until L agreed.

L ended up taking the second girl as a little and then found out who she was, but there was some initial hesitation before she agreed to take a second little.


Getting to know your new big

Getting a random big or simply a big you did not want in the first place, can be a HUGE shock and disappointment. But you need to at least try to make it work, because you never know truly what opportunities or support your new big could offer you.


In my sorority, we had random big little pairing and they actually became best friends, started the Disney College Program together, and lived together for quite a bit too. So it is possible to have a fulfilling “random” big little relationship.


I would suggest trying to get to know your new big for at least a year, unless things go totally south and she isn’t putting in the same effort and time in as you.

But if you are both trying to make it work as big and little, then great, keep on pushing.

Here are some suggestions on how to get to know your new sorority big:

  • Plan reoccurring big little dates like going out to lunch once a week, study dates, or shopping together for semi-formal/formal.
  • Connect a few times a week via text, Snapchat, calls, or FaceTime.
  • Sit together during informal chapter meetings.
  • Reach out to your new sorority family, like your grand big, sorority cousins, or your sorority twin (if you have one), and invite them out to eat and speak with them often.
  • Plan double dates with your sorority big if you both have significant others.

Here’s NOT what to do if you do not get the sorority big you wanted:

  • Immediately drop from the sorority (should be a last resort).
  • Ignore her.
  • Speak badly about her to other sisters in your sorority or pledge class.
  • Start looking for a new big (please just give her a chance).
  • Sell her gifts she gave to you during Big Little Reveal Week.

Option 3: Focus on creating strong friendships with girls in your sorority

Whether you get your #1 choice as a big or your #10 choice as a big, you need to always be connecting with girls in your chapter and in your pledge class outside of your sorority family. But this is especially vital if you do not end up with the sorority big you wanted.

Not getting the sorority big you want can be heartbreaking, so you’ll need a trustworthy sister or a girl from your pledge class to confide in.

It’s also important that you don’t make your sorority family you entire sorority life, because there will be family drama and girls in your fam will drop or graduate, so you need friends in your sorority to hang out with and go to events with.

Making friends in your sorority can be difficult (especially if you are an introvert like me), and you won’t get along with every sister in your chapter, but just having 2-3 friends in your chapter (outside of your sorority family) can make your sorority life feel more fulfilling.

Here’s how you can build strong friendships in your sorority:

  • Go to as many events as you can. Girls will start to recognize your face, they will want to connect with you, and you’ll also have more opportunities to get to know girls in your chapter.
  • Instagram DM girls in your chapter. I know it is weird making the “first move,” but you never know if you don’t try. Like seriously, Instagram DM one girl in your chapter or pledge class and ask her to meet up for coffee. You never know what could happen! You could be literally meeting your future BFF.

Related post: 5 Practical Tips To Help You Get The Sorority Big You Want

  • Take on leadership opportunities. Joining the leadership team in your sorority, whether its Executive Council, committee leader, or an appointed position, these can be great opportunities to make friends with other girls in your sorority who are serious about the chapter and want to make an impact.
  • Host your own get togethers with sisters. Whether it is planning a movie night with girls in your pledge class, inviting girls to go shopping for recruitment outfits with you, or just a group study date in the library, don’t be afraid to take matters into your own hands by reaching out to girls in your sorority and inviting them to do something or go somewhere.
  • Carpool to events with sisters. For some sorority events, you’ll need to provide your own transportation and this can be a great opportunity to make new friends in your sorority instead of driving by yourself to the event. So clean out your car and reach out to sisters in your chapter who may not have a car or anyone to ride with to an event.

Option 4: Get a new big by being “adopted” by another girl in your sorority

Similar to the first way to cope, dropping your sorority, getting “adopted” by another sister in your sorority is a last resort measure if you didn’t get the sorority big you wanted.

What does it mean to be “adopted” in a sorority?

Being adopted in a sorority is when an older sister, who is not your original sorority big, takes you in as a little. You then become their little and you essentially have a new sorority big.

Is it bad to be adopted in a sorority?

Adoption in sororities is not necessarily bad, but it is not advised either. In most cases, it is best for original big little pairs to stay together throughout their entire sorority lives.

However, sorority chapters and its members know that drama and life happens, so there is no real rules against adoption in a sorority.

However, being adopted in a sorority is an unofficial event. Meaning, there is no “adoption” event like Big Little Reveal.

Instead, your “announcement” that you have been adopted by another sister in your sorority is done in an Instagram post or story.

Also, being adopted in a sorority can be a huge dramatic, ugly situatuation if there is no solid communication between the original big and little.

For example, if a little starts talking to older sisters and starts searching for a new sister to adopt her, but the original big doesn’t realize she is being replaced and suddenly finds out while scrolling through Instagram… well that’s a huge slap in the face for her.

How do you get adopted in a sorority?

The first step is to try to make it work out with your original big. Don’t just jump ship on her without trying for at least a year (at most).

If you are finding the big little relationship a dead end after actually trying to connect with one another, then it may be best to break ties with your original sorority big.

When you end the big little relationship, though, try to communicate to your original big about your feelings and desire to find a new sorority big.

This conversation can be difficult–it’s like breaking up–but its better to keep the communication open and transparent rather than to start unnecessary drama that everyone in the chapter will gossip about.

Once you have communicated to your big that you are wanting to get adopted and have broken ties as big and little, start reaching out to older sisters and asking to hang out with them.

You may even have an older sister already in mind you want to be adopted by or a friend in the sorority who has a big that’s willing to take you as a little, but if you are starting from scratch, you’ll want to go through the same process you went through as a new member.

You’ll want to:

  • Reach out to older sisters on Instagram, Facebook, or via text and ask to hang out with them.
  • Get close with older sisters who you feel would be a good sorority big
  • Be vulnerable with the older sister you know you want as your new big and be honest and let her know you want to be adopted.
  • Make it official as big and little over social media

Unfortunately, the process of being adopted in a sorority will not always be smooth sailing.

There most likely will be drama, gossip, and even some tears shed, but if finding a new sorority big will help you thrive in the sorority and give you the big little relationship you dream of, then go for it!

I personally was adopted in my sorority after trying to make things work with my original big for 7 months.

However, our big little relationship was very toxic and there was a lot of tears shed (by me) and the relationship was taking a toll on my mental and emotional health. I ended up finding a new sorority big who truly showed me how wonderful a big little relationship could be.

So if you are really struggling to make a connection with your big and or feel like the big little relationship is doing more harm than good, then consider adoption, but only after trying to make it work with your original big.

Concluding thoughts on how to cope if you didn’t get the sorority big you wanted

Every new member dreams of getting matched with their perfect, dream sorority big. However, this is not always the case and there is always a small chance of being paired with a random big or a big you didn’t want.

If this happens to you, don’t panic. Consider this an opportunity to meet and develop a friendship and mentorship relationship with another woman in your sorority.

But also, it is ok to be upset if you do not get the sorority big you wanted. But also, don’t be irrational and drop your sorority just because things didn’t work out in the big little matching process.

Instead, cope with not getting the big you wanted by:

  • Getting to know your new sorority big by going out on big little dates and communicating regularly.
  • Work on friendships with other girls in your sorority.

If those two options above fail, then you can consider being adopted or dropping your sorority.

However, hopefully you will find that the big you never wanted turns out to be a blessing in disguise.

Related posts to how to cope if you didn’t get the sorority big you wanted

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