This weekend I was tidying up the files on my computer and I came upon the folder I had made when my youngest daughter began the recruitment process. She attends a large SEC school where Greek Life is very prevalent and recruitment was extremely competitive. I had downloaded so many different types of articles and advice on this process, putting them in a file so I could reference them whenever needed. I spent a few minutes strolling down memory lane and then it hit me….”Why doesn’t someone publish a guide or brochure for moms when it comes to recrutment”? So here goes…….
DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
Remember that it is your daughter going through this process not you! As much as you want the experience to be perfect with the perfect outcome ultimately it is you daughter who controls her own destiny here (or at least the part on her end). SO……let the little things go. Things like accessories, and how her hair is styled and whether she wears that shirt that YOU just don’t like to convocation are all worries that you can just shelve away. You will drive yourself crazy if you try and micro-manage every tiny detail.
THE CALENDAR IS YOUR FRIEND
At the beginning of the recruitment process get a calendar or day planner or even pages of a calendar that are taped together so you can begin to put all the dates and important events coming up. Trust me as you are navigating your daughter’s senior year and recruitment dead lines and events can just creep up behind you before you even know it. I color coded everything…red for recruitment, purple for my daughters high school events, pink for Panhellenic sponsored events, green for her sporting events…you get the idea. I actually started this back when all four of our children were little. With teaching full time and four children in a variety activities we had a tough time keeping everything straight. So we instituted this calendar system with the moto, “If it’s not on it you don’t go”. Using this plan get your daughter involved. It’s good practice for when she is at college juggling classes, extras and sorority life :).
BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET
We found that as we began the process that it seemed to us that we (or rather my daughter) needed so many “things”. She needed new dresses for pre-recruitment teas and gatherings. She needed extra senior pics for her rec packages not to mention resume paper, the big envelopes, stamps, printing (major $$$ at the local stationary store). She need highlights, manicures, pedicures, and hair trims. She needed a tanning package. There was also the travel expenses for the preview events and the fees for Preview Weekend and Recruitment itself. All of that added up to some serious moolah. So sit down and try to budget and anticipate what your expenditures might be. Your check book, credits cards and husband will thank you!
THIS IS HER RECRUITMENT NOT YOURS
Ultimately this is your daughter’s journey not yours. I got so caught up in the process that sometimes I was very guilty of losing sight as to who was REALLY going through recruitment. I became the helicopter, suffocating mom. While it was helpful at times (my daughter to this day credits me for actually pulling it all together) it can be exhausting, frustrating (perhaps you and your daughter aren’t exactly on the same page) and you really don’t have as much control as you think/like.
DELEGATE RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES
I think this refers directly to getting recs and letters of introduction. I would suggest you sit down together, make a list of all of the sororities who you have recs for and who you need recs for. I would then divide and conquer so to speak. I will admit that I did not use this method and since hind sight is 20/20 I wish I had. Remembering your daughters’ current schedule delegate some of the responsibility of finding those rec writers to her. you can kind of mico-manage the process by following up with her but give her some of the responsibility. Here’s the important part….do you then swoop in at the end when she drops the ball and it’s a week before the recs have to be in and she still needs some AND she’s now boo hooing because if she doesn’t have them she will be cut from houses…….I ….personally would swoop, but that is just me and I’m not sure that’s the right answer. This one is up to you!
LET YOUR DAUGHTER TOOT HER OWN HORN
Kids are funny…some have no problem standing up, waving their arms and shout “Look at me! Look at me!” Other just prefer to melt into the wood work not calling any attention to themselves what so ever. You know what kind of child you have. It’s important that YOU let HER decide how she approaches this process. She will be required to carry on conversations with girls about random information. Unfortunately, it’s these brief sometimes superficial conversations that will shape her destiny and sorority life. We made a list of all of the things my daughter was “proud of”. We then talked about how no one else but she could “toot her own horn”. She said she felt so much more confident knowing that she had these topics to talk about and that she wasn’t bragging but just sharing information. Hint: We actually did this when we were making her resume…it was a great time to make sure we had all of the information we need to make her resume top notch!
When I went to Preview Weekend with my daughter I met this species for the first time!!! What an experience! The girls had been taken and split into their Rho Chi groups so they could go visit the sororities and the parents had just been fed some much needed refreshments (although gotta tell you the ice tea and cookies really should have been chocolate and wine!!!!). We were sitting and sharing information about where we were from and our daughters when Momatron appeared. I need to digress and tell you that I had been reading this blog about recruitment and sorority life and was fascinated by a woman who kept posting the most outrageous posts about random stuff. Okay back to my story…so this woman comes up and sits down …kind of butting into the conversation and just launches into this story about how she had TWO daughters here this weekend and that although her senior daughter was invited to private events by EVERY sorority on campus because “SHE” (the mom) had information that she was the number one in coming PNM (remember the rating system??) she was actually “SHOW CASING” the junior daughter who, Momatron said , was far superior to her older sister! We all just sat in astonishment…I mean what do you say to that???? Don’t be a Momatron…you daughter will thank you for it!
ENJOY THE RIDE
Ok, so if you are anything like me…even as I write this…the emotional roller coaster was one that I wanted to get off of more than once. My words of advice….Enjoy the process! It will all go by so fast and before you know it you will be sitting on lawn of a sorority house, it’s bid day and it’s all over….and what’s left are the memories. Do you want memories of stress levels equal to a major earthquake???So kick back and enjoy the ride…for what it’s worth.
Alright This is the first installment of your Parent Handbook….part two tomorrow (you excited right???).