Six Things I Wish I Had Known Going Into Sorority Recruitment
July 26, 2016
*EDIT: Moved from old website to new*
It’s that time of year again. Formal recruitment is upon us. As I’ve been preparing for being on the other side of recruitment, I began reflecting on my experiences going through rush my year. While doing this, I realized just how much easier it could have been if I had known some things in advance. Simple things, nothing too extreme, that I (having no experience with sororities at all yet) had not thought of and some things I felt stupid for not thinking of beforehand. So it is my hope that any incoming PNM’s (potential new members) reading this or parents of PNM’s or even friends of people going through recruitment can gain something from this and have as enjoyable a recruitment experience as possible while finding their future homes away from home.
(Some of this may not be applicable to recruitment in some other states, I’m not sure if the process is the same at other schools. I’m simply writing from my experience in Oklahoma)
1. Carry snacks
The first two days, this will not apply as much because you will be so busy running around in groups with your gamma chis and only have one or two breaks besides your lunch break. But when you are sitting around on your break, it is nice to have a bag of pretzels of a granola bar to munch on to recover some of your strength (because, believe it or not, walking around in the heat and talking to girls all day will work up an appetite). After the first two days when you are on your own, you will have much more breaks in between parties and while seeking refuge in whatever air conditioned building they let you rest in it is very nice to have snacks.
2. Bring an umbrella and a handheld fan
Okay I know bringing an umbrella sounds slightly ridiculous but hear me out. Keep in mind recruitment happens in August (or it did at the school I go to) when the sun is notorious for burning people who dare walk outside. When I was walking from the student union to greek row after lunch everyday, that normally short walk felt very similar to an endless walk through an oven and I gained deep sunburns on my face and shoulders. One day I saw a girl walking with an umbrella and thought she must have been one of the smartest girls on the whole campus. And you’ll make plenty of friends from your recruitment group who will want to hide from the sun with you. The fan seems kind of self explanatory, but something I neglected to bring nonetheless.
3. Bring a book or another form of entertainment
As I mentioned above, after the first two days you will likely have lots of free time during your breaks between parties. They may not do it this year, but my year they took our cell phones from us during the day so we could truly focus on the recruitment process. While this was a wonderful gesture, it left us with little in the form of entertainment while on breaks. Most people would probably tell you to talk to other girls during these breaks and make friends and such, but if you’re an introvert like myself you’ll likely be worn out from talking to girls during parties and just want to not for an hour and take that time to think about the houses you have been to that day. I wish I had brought a book to recruitment. It would have been a wonderful escape. But I did end up writing a wonderful story about a troll (heat man, it’ll do weird stuff to ya).
4. Take extra shoes
This could easily be obvious but I neglected to do it until the final three days. Trust me, you will not want to walk around all week in your sandals/wedges/heels. Carrying a comfortable pair of shoes with you and changing into your nice shoes when you get to the house you’re visiting is a good way to save yourself some pain later in the week (and gives you the freedom to wear those extremely high heels and not have to walk around in them to much).
5. Carry a backpack not a purse
One of the silliest mistakes I made while going through recruitment was carrying my tiny cross body Michael Kors purse that barely held my makeup, notebook, and pen. I very quickly realized my mistake and switched to my school backpack. No worries about looking weird carrying a backpack around recruitment, they do not let you take any bags into the houses anyway and the Gamma Chis will watch your things outside. Besides you’ll need the extra room for your shoes and snacks anyway 🙂
6. Pack a white dress
This tip is not necessarily for recruitment itself, but if you get a bid somewhere formal pledging events normally fall in the first week of classes and I knew way too many girls who had to go on a last minute shopping trip trying to find a white dress or beg their moms to bring them one (myself included).
Alright, those are some tips they won’t tell you in the recruitment book. Or they will, I haven’t poured over it this year like I did last year. One more tip though that they will tell you OVER AND OVER again is to TRUST THE SYSTEM. I repeat this because it is the best advice you can give someone going through formal recruitment. You WILL end up where you belong. It may not be the house you originally thought you would end up in but it will be your home and you will find your lifelong sisters. It will be a long, emotional, and stressful week. But you’ll make it through! If it gets overwhelming don’t be afraid to cry and let it out and call your mom. Being away from your home for the first time plus the added stress of recruitment can get to the best of us. It will all be worth it in the end!
Best of luck to all you lovely ladies out there! It will be an absolute blast so get excited!