It’s no secret that my youngest daughter went through recruitment at one of the most competitive colleges in the country…and survived!!! I say the last part jokingly because there were days when I actually doubted whether either of us would. I’m not kidding..oh the stress of it all!
I was reminded of that feeling today as I read an email that I received from a parent asking for recruitment help. It seems that she and her daughter are having a tough time getting all the recs they need. Yep, you are now glancing at your calendar and one of several things is running through your head, “Crap….we need recs? I didn’t know we needed recs!!”, or “It’s February 10th and recruitment is in August. Seriously this woman is way too an over achiever”, or ” That poor lady. I really feel bad for her. I am so glad I don’t have that problem”.
Many of you are right in the middle of this process and come on…I know that you all have had that sheer moment of panic when you realize that you don’t have recs for half of the houses on campus and you have NO IDEA where to find them! Oh ladies..I have walked in those shoes.
When we started out, my second daughter had already compiled a rather lengthy list of sorority women she knew who would be willing to write recs for her baby sister. We went over the list by phone (this child lives in Washington DC), I made a flow chart type list of the houses and the rec writers. It was January 1 and I have got to tell you I felt very smug and satisfied when I looked at this list. I had this…a piece of cake!!
Flash forward to February. We had kind of just been meandering along in the process when I pulled out the list to look and I noticed a few holes. Yep…there were glaring holes where the name of a woman,( who would write this glowing rec about my fabulous daughter), should have been. It was about that same time that my daughter had begun roommate search. She had actually started back in November after we had returned from visiting and the deposits were paid. She jumped on the Facebook page for her college and announced she was coming and needed a roommate. She chatted with quite a few girls and finally found one that she thought she could live with. All went well until after Christmas when my daughter found out that this two timing girl had promised to be roommates with 5 other girls!!!! The tears flowed..she was crushed! So mom rode in on her white horse and saved the day. After a little retail therapy and a cupcake she was ready to begin the search again. She finally found a couple of girls and in talking to them she learned that they had been invited to some select events during Preview Weekend in March.
She immediately came to me as I was staring at the holes in my rec flow chart and begged me to get her invited as well. After all if she didn’t get asked to these parties then her recruitment life was over (or so she had been told). I had to do some thinking on this one and that’s when the panicky feeling set in. You know it….in fact can’t you actually feel it right now just reading this. If you don’t, please bottle up whatever you are drinking and send it here. I will distribute it to those in need :). It’s that squeezy feeling in your stomach and your heart is beating so hard it feels like it’s about ready to jump out of your throat!!! Yep..that’s the one…admit it ..you can feel it right now..right?
I made a few panicky phone calls. I am pretty sure the woman I talked to at Nationals thought I was certifiable! In the end my daughter had 6 good invites to a variety of sorority parties… I felt pretty good about the invites until I started thinking about why she hadn’t just gotten invited without me helping. OH NO!!!! Was this a precursor of what was going to happen during recruitment? Would no one want my precious child???? There goes that squeezy feeling again. I mean I can just feel it in the pit of my stomach even though I am not even going through this right now. I made my mind that I couldn’t dwell on this or I was going to be sick. If I showed my daughter I was worried sick then the worry would be catching and she would turn into a huge mess. I had to find a way to keep these feeling in check! Side note….I wish I could tell you I had a magic remedy for alleviating this feeling but I did not find one :(. I resorted to long walks, ranting, wine and tears. Good news is I did survive..you will too!
Ok back to the recs. I scrambled and asked everyone we knew if they knew anyone who had a sorority affiliation. By the time late April rolled around we were down to needing two for ADPi and one for AOPi. I was doing a pretty good job of keeping the panic in check. By this time we had settled on a roommate and her mother and I were talking regularly about bedding and curtains and first aid kits. It was one of these early morning phone calls that sent me in a tail spin once again. Roomie mom launched into a whole dissertation on how her dear daughter had been going to lunch and to tea with all of these sorority women who were now writing her these wonderful, personal, letters of introduction and fabulous recs. I could just feel the panic rising in my throat. What if my plain old recs weren’t good enough? What if the people who my older daughter had contacted didn’t send them in? What if her resume didn’t give enough information? what if, what if what if???????
I fled to my den where I ripped through the piles of papers on my desk to find the “list”. I scrutinized each name and how we did (or in some cases did not) know the writer. I felt pretty good about most of the people and their reliability but there were a few who I had “doubts” about so that’s when I embarked on the crazy mission to find one additional rec for the 6 houses that made me feel less than confident. So in less than 30 minutes I went from need 3 recs to 9!!!!!!!
My husband is all about these little mole skin books that he keeps all kinds of information in so I went into his den, found the stash and took one. This was to become the new sorority bible. Small enough to fit in my purse, I could list all the recs I had and when I me someone new I could put their name and info in the little book. It would all be there neat and tidy:). Looking at the calendar I figured I had a good month to seal the deal…9 recs..one month, sounded like a pilot of a new reality tv show! Let the games begin!
I think I went a little crazy that month to tell you the truth. Not only was I on the quest for the holy grail of recs but I was also trying to put together the graduation party of the century (hmmm……I should post about that at a later date..it really did turn out fabulous!). My book and I became best friends and I transformed into the ultimate “lurker”. I eavesdropped on conversations at the grocery store, the dentist, the post office, restaurants, parking garages. Hey….. don’t laugh at me!!!!! I actually got a ZETA rec from a woman in a parking garage after I noticed the sticker on the back of her car that bore the name of the college my daughter was attending. Since it’s out of state, it is unusual to see this so when I asked her if she had gone to said college and she said yes and she had gone Greek I then had to hold her hostage until I got her info and had secured a promise that she would write and SEND a rec for my daughter. We all know that a rec from an actual alum of that house is GOLDEN so you can imagine my euphoria !!!
On our way down to Orientation (just 2 days after graduation) my daughter and I surveyed the list. We needed 2 ADPi recs..that was it. I couldn’t figure out why those two recs were so hard. I kept telling my self we would meet someone at Orientation but we didn’t. To make matters worse rommie mom bragged the WHOLE time how they had all of their recs done and mailed. I hinted that we need the elusive ADPi rec and maybe, just maybe her person would write one for my daughter but the woman didn’t take the bait! We headed home, tired, happy from a great visit but that squeezy feeling was resurfacing again!!!
The day after I got home I sat at my computer, head and hands, a defeated woman. What was I going to do and then it hit me….Facebook :). I would creep on the alum page of ADPi! I would creep and look at pics and find the nicest, kindest looking profile pics, message them and sweetly ask for a rec fr my daughter. Yep…that’s exactly what I did. I chose two women to reach out to….one was a recent graduate from a chapter at a local college and other was a woman about my age who had grandkids and looked “nice”. I then wrote on their alum wall explaining the situation and friend requested each lady and voila!!!!!!! they accepted!
I know some of you are going OMG!!!!!! SERIOUSLY!!!!! this woman is insane…and yeah well at that moment I might have been just a teensy weensy bit! Desperate times call for desperate measures. Both women were very nice and ultimately were more that happy to write my daughter a rec. I explained we were in a time crunch (it was now about June 10th and recs had to be in by July 1) so they did not ask to meet with her but just used her rec packet. Ok…brag on mom and daughter for a minute. I have to tell you that my daughters rec packet was REALLY good. We had worked so hard on it and it was extremely well put together and complete.
I shipped them off and left the rest for the gods..I could do no more. I had a brief moment of squeeziness on July 1 when I pictures all of the sororities sitting down to begin to look at recs but at this point it was out of my hands and the sorority gods now took over the process.
The reason I am telling you this story is because I KNOW that right now…today…many of you who read this are going through this process.. Y’all have the squeezies and you are micro managing every detail. I get it….crazy times….but I am here to tell you it all works out in the end. So here’s the end of the story :).
On Bid Day….while I stood on the lawn of the palatial sorority mansion that my daughter that my daughter had put first when she had listed the night before I glanced over at the Greek letters that graced the entrance and read ALPHA DELTA PI…..yep that’s right! The house my daughter received a bid from was the one house that caused us to go the extra mile, to put ourselves out there and wooo hooo it was all worth it in the end!
When I returned home from Bid Day I had an email from the younger of the ADPi alums asking about recruitment and what house did my daughter pledge. I proudly told her ADPi and thanked her profusely for the rec she had written. She was so sweet and told me that even though she had personally not met my daughter she could tell from her resume that she was a young woman who this alum would be glad to call “sister”. This made me smile!
So, as you are scratching you head trying to find those recs… leave no stone unturned. Reach out to everyone you do and do not know. They are out there and just when and where you least expect to find them you will. The squeezies will come and go but they will give way to happiness and satisfaction that through all this craziness your daughter will find her letters and a sisterhood that will be hers for a lifetime!
(oh one teensy weensy suggestion in the pursuit to quell the squeezies….I might ask the people who are writing your recs to just shoot you a little email when they send them off. I know that sounds like I am micro-managing again but that way you could at least have some peace of mind knowing at least one rec got there…right???)