Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sorority Recruitment Do's & Don'ts

Hey everyone! Last fall I decided to take the leap and go through sorority recruitment at my college. It was a move that I honestly had never thought about previously, but one that I am so incredibly glad that I took. If you are planning about going through recruitment, I'm sure you are already planning, hoping, and stressing out about it. But my biggest advice, is to just have fun! I must say, recruitment has been my favorite week in college without a doubt in my two years.

So hopefully this tips will help you plan a little more, and ease some of your worry!

Do check out your college's Greek Life page on their website!

This is so important! It tells you when it is, if there are like Meet the Greek events or informational meetings before, what clothes to wear, and most importantly, the organizations at your school! I might be a little bit of a nerd, but I had not only memorized all five sororities at my school (major pet peeve of mine, was girls going through recruitment not knowing which sorority was which), but their philanthropies, how long they had been on campus, and random things like their mascots! You don't have to do this, but I think it helps give you something to talk about. (Some chapters even have their own blogs or websites! It's a great way to see them in action!)

Don't have your heart set on only one sorority!
Seriously, recruitment is a journey. And you can't enjoy the journey if you think you already know your destination. Yes, it's really difficult to not to root deep inside for one house. But keep an open mind. Almost every girl I went through recruitment with changed their mind at one point or another (including me!!).

Do prepare in advance!
Most girls love shopping and primping, so this isn't a super big one, but it's still important. After taking note of each day's dress codes/suggestions, start to plan out what you want to wear each day. That way you can avoid have that perfect top in the dirty clothes when it comes to the big day. It also helps ensure that your outfit will be completely put together.

Don't dress in the colors of your dream sorority.
Yes, this does in fact happen. And yes, people will notice. If you want to join Delta Zeta, please, please please, don't wear pink and green every day of recruitment. It's just creepy! Show that enthusiasm through your personality! Now it's easy to wear red and just so happen to visit Alpha Omicron Pi, but just don't do it on purpose!

Do make sure you have all the necessities in your purse!

Recruitment is a long, grueling process. So to be prepared, I loaded my purse with a survival kit of sorts. I had a few snacks (I actually had biscotti, but granola bars and trail mix are great options because they won't melt if you are in a warm climate!), lip gloss, chapstick, mints, mirror, oil blotting sheets (at my campus, none of the houses have air condidtioning, so when you pack a room full of like 50 girls, it gets hot!), and bandaids! The bandaids came in handy because I had killer blisters!
Just so you know, your purses are not allowed in the houses. Your Rho Chis (every campus has a different name) will watch them while you are in the house.

Don't talk badly about houses!

This is the number one problem I saw when I went through recruitment! Girls would stand in line in front of a house and instantly start to talk smack about the house. "Oh that's the nerdy house." "Did you see what they were wearing." "Ugh...I'd die if I went there." That is totally unacceptable in my opinion. Yes, there will be houses that you won't gel with. And there will be houses with spectactular decor, outfits, and other recruitment parties. And there will also, sadly, be houses that don't show well in a formal recruitment setting. However, you give each houaw, each girl respect. They love their sisterhood and they are showing special and important aspects of their life with you. Be polite and nice and get over it. Plus, no one wants to be sisters with someone that is snotty. And those girls in your recruitment groups, could very easily become your sisters. I know there a number of girls that I prayed wouldn't become my sisters on Bid Day. Some actually did become part of my sorority. However, in a strange twist of fate, all of them quit before initation.

Do wear clothes and shoes that are comfortable!
If the weather is going to be in the hundreds, please don't wear sweaters! Some colleges have buses that take you to each house. Unfortunately, mine did not. We had 10 minutes to get across campus. Heels were not an option. I was wearing flats and still had to take them off (major blisters running across pavement barefoot. Goodbye pre-recruitment pedicure!!) to run. And then a sprinkler hit the entire group, so we were kind of soggy (good times haha). Wear clothes that portray your individual style (I wore lots of dots and my Toms on the casual days!).

Don't quit just because your favorite house or the "it" house dropped you!

This is incredibly frustrating to me. If you are invited back to houses, go! You never know what connection you'll make to the girl talking to you! Give everything a chance. It's better to see through the entire experience than to cut it short. I've heard a number of girls say that they regretted quiting before Bid Day (this is different than not being asked back). But I've never heard of of someone wishing they hadn't gone through each day.

Do relax and take care of yourself!

Recruitment is super stressful. No doubt about it. The nerves of what houses want you, talking to new people, and it is physically demanding. So when you have down time during recruitment week, relax. I took a few naps (I NEVER take naps), watched a few favorite movies, took long showers, and walked to my University Center for Starbucks and fresh air. Take care of yourself. More than likely, you'll get sick afterward (hopefully not as sick as me, I was one of the only confirmed cases of the flu in my state last year), so eat well and sleep lots. I know I definitely didn't eat as healthy as I should have.

Do know all of your options!

All the sorority talk can be confusing. And every single campus is different. At my school, it is usually not very competitive. Usually everyone finds a home on Bid Day. However, this past fall recruitment was the most competitive in school history. So that meant a lot of girls walked away with broken hearts and tears. At times like that, try not to take it personally. Talk with your Pi Rho Chi, call your mom, and consider your options. If you really want to be in a sorority, usually a few chapters will have an informal recruitment soon after called COB. Lots of girls do this, and most actually prefer it! It's a lot less stressful and much easier to make connections with girls in the house. There is also always Spring recruitment too (sometimes formal, sometimes not), so remember that too. Just try to take everything in stride and have faith in the system, because about 99% of the time, it works.

Do understand the process!

Sorority recruitment is called "mutual selection." Meaning, that both the houses and the potential new members (PNM's) mutually pick each other. However, keep in mind that despite the name, the sororities usually have most of the power in choosing what girls they ask back. Here's a little example:

I attended five parties tonight. I ranked them in the order of favorites: Red, Pink, Green, Yellow, and my very least favorite Blue. I don't want to go back to Blue. However, the next night my slip says that I have parties at Pink, Green, Yellow, and Blue! Why?! I thought I dropped Blue!

The maximum number of houses I could be asked back to are 4. Unfortunately, Red, a house I really liked, didn't ask me back. However, the Blue house does want me back. So the sorority gets the upper hand and can ask me back. When you listed Blue last (or regretted them), you actually weren't dropping them. You were just saying that in case EVERY house wants you back, Blue was the house you wouldn't go back to. Confusing. But that's why there are Pi Rho Chis and Panhellenic and lots of people there to ask. Just know, that in no way are you dropping them.

So I hoped this helped a little. I'll probably post more about recruitment, because it's my favorite thing ever. If I could go back through recruitment, I would in a heart beat. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Thanks for reading!

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