So I know that some of my “loyal” readers are in the process of packing suitcases, printing off Mapquest directions or confirming flight reservations in anticipation of heading to a large SEC school for Preview Weekend.  I also know I’ve already posted about my experiences at Preview but I thought maybe a list of possible questions might be helpful.  There will be A LOT of girls and their mothers and in some cases fathers and siblings and so going prepared is a MUST….Preview gets a little overwhelming and intense.  When we attended there were over 1000 girls alone!  It was very fun but crowded.  We stood on line to check in for quite a while.  I was amazed and truly enjoyed standing in front of where we checked in and just looking at all the girls.  It was interesting to see what they had chosen to wear and what parents went with what girl.  It seemed that everyone was anxious because many were there much earlier than when check would start.

I know that you have all received the little brochure that Panhellenic sent out.  In the middle was an agenda for you and your daughter.  Upon arrival as you go to the designated area where Preview will be held you will see tables decorated by each sorority.  I would suggest that you get to the stadium by 11:30 (when we went we got there at 11:00 am and there were already lots of people there!).  Take your time and go to every table.  Each sorority should have printed flyers that will tell you a little about their house.  In addition, there should a paper that gives the estimated costs for new members for Fall 2012.  They also should have pictures (they are called Zaps) and t-shirts and decorated boards that tell the story of what they participate in.  In addition there should be several girls available to talk with and answer questions.  Those girls should be wearing name tags that will have their name, their hometown and in some cases if they hold an executive position that will be on the name tag as well.  Your daughter will be wearing a name tag with her name on it and her home town.

As we went from table to table the conversations were the same…”Hi.  Where are you from?”.  My daughter and I laughed about it because it was printed right there on her name tag!!!!  This was her first chance to “connect” with the different sororities and well first impressions are a big deal.  Now don’t get nervous!  My daughter now says that honestly they really don’t remember the girls who come through but boy did those sororities make an impression on MY daughter.  Some had girls that were so sweet and chatty while others immediately disconnected and well….. it was awkward.  So…. go to every table.  Collect all the papers and information.  In addition to the 17 National Panhellenic sororities there will be several others represented.  These sororities do not participate in formal recruitment and as of when we attended they did not have houses so they did not participate in the house tour portion as well.

Since there were so many girls and parents at times we felt rushed and jostled along.  You won’t be able to carry on in depth conversations with the sorority girls but do try to spend a minute talking to each table. I have to tell you we got so excited.  It was just so much fun to look at all the pictures and t-shirts.  The girls all seemed so pretty and put together…my daughter was SO ready to part of this 🙂 !  We immediately picked out our favorites based on nothing more that how nice the girls were and what the table looked like :).a

So a couple of things.  This might be your daughters first initiation into “tent talk”.   As your daughter meets other PNM’s she will hear lots of things.  I just can’t stress enough how important it is to keep and open mind.  Each sorority will have its own personality and I guarantee that your daughters opinion about these personalities will change throughout the recruitment process.  It’s easy to get swayed by a group….even those girls who usually aren’t followers will “listen” to what they hear at’s inevitable.  You just need to remind her to keep an open mind.  As you listen to the different presentations you will hear the phrase “maximize your options”.  It’s so important to go into the recruitment process with this mind set.   Preview is like shopping…you really shouldn’t buy the dress unless you try it on.  The trying on part is Formal Recruitment in August….right now you are just “window shopping”.  Enjoy it!!!  It’s fun!

Panhellenic will put on a great and informative program.  They will talk about the whole process of recruitment and will touch on many the subjects discussed in this blog.  From GPA’s to resumes, they will discuss a lot of subjects.  In the past they did a cute fashion show about what to wear or not to wear for Formal Recruitment.  Look around you….just looking at the girls at Preview will give you a good idea of what type of clothing is appropriate.  If you still are concerned about what to wear ask some of the PNM’s you meet.  When you get into your Rho Chi groups ask your Rho Chi.  I think this is really pertinent for girls who are OOS , especially those who come from the Northeast or areas where the style is a little more edgy.  Of course no one expects you to abandon the clothing styles you feel comfortable in but you might want to adapt a little softer, southern look.

At the end of the first part of the program there will be a break and hopefully the sorority girls are still around to talk to for a few minutes.  The girls will then be divided into Rho Chi groups (it’s done alphabetically) and then they will head out to visit each sorority house for a quick peek.  The parents stay and have their own little session where things like grades, resumes, recommendations and finances are discussed.  You will several different perspectives of sorority life and how different parents handle different financial situations.  Take a notebook and write down information that you think will be useful.  You might also jot down questions as the parent part of the program progresses. Ask questions….lots and lots of questions!  Ask about Greek Resources, the house bill and what’s on it, how to buy t-shirts, the Purchase fund, when bills are do, Bid Day. There will be lots of questions don’t be shy…ask your :). This is a great time to “parent network”.   It’s also a great time to pick up any of those missing recommendations by making new friends :).  (I actually had a couple of rec packets in my purse in case someone agreed to write on of the few missing recs).

At the conclusion of the parent program you will go over to sorority row and meet up with your daughter. Sometimes several of the sororities will stay open for about 30 minutes so parents can peek in.  If this happens “do it”!!!!  It’s so much fun to see inside these beautiful homes.

Many of you will be running to pre-recruitment events.  Have fun at these. Again check out what everyone is wearing.  No jeans at these events,,,,sundresses and cute skirts.  most of these are come and go.  If you can’t attend it is only polite to let the sorority know.  These are fun come and go events that are yet another tool for YOU to get to know the personalities of the different sororities.  Enjoy them..they’re meant to be fun.  Yes, the sororities will be checking you out as well but truthfully they are not taking notes, there won’t be any voting and for the most part they too are just getting a feel as to what types of girls are going through recruitment.

So are you ready??  I hope so!  I am secretly jealous that you all get to go and I will stuck at home…it was such fun!  Enjoy!!!!