Yesterday I wrote about the misconception of PNM’s “cutting” houses during the recruitment process.  Hopefully, you now understand that the process of “ranking” and “voting” on your sorority choices after each round of recruitment parties is not actually “cutting” a sorority from your list but just ranking them at the bottom.  By placing a house at the bottom of your list it then becomes what I like to call an “alternate”.  Having “alternate” houses are important.  These can help to fill gaps left by houses that you did not successfully match with, giving you a full party card for that particular round of recruitment parties.

We have discussed what happens after the first round of parties …what happens after the second round?  The answer is….tah dah…the same thing.  After attending all of the parties you were invited back to for Round 2 (remember you might not get invitations for all of your our example we had 11 and I only received 8 matches), the PNM then goes and “ranks” or “votes” on those sororities that she visited.  The sororities will again make lists of PNM’s they want to invite back for Round 3 and also which girls they would like to release (not issue invitations to at this time).

Hypothetically you would now list your “top 7” houses and your “bottom 4” (alternates).  Since I only visited 8 houses I would list my top 7 and then 1 alternate.  Hopefully after Round 2 you have found that you made a “connection” at some of the alternate sororities that came back up into your party schedule.  Remember sometimes you might not “click” with one particular girl but upon returning may find others who you have now made a connection with.

It’s really important to keep an open mind when it comes to this whole process.  Going through recruitment can be hard on a girl’s  self-esteem.  You have to remember that in most cases not being invited back to a particular sorority is not personal.  They did not want you” or “not choose you”.  What I am trying to say is that the women of that particular sorority didn’t sit around and say, “Let’s not invite back Patty PNM, we don’t want her.”  In many cases the PNM’s name just simply wasn’t far enough up on the list to make a match.   Remember…especially at VERY COMPETITIVE recruitment schools, if Panhellenic says you can invite back 500 PNM’s after Round 1, chances are 300 of those spots have already been determined BEFORE recruitment ever began.  REALISTICALLY YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE INVITATIONS TO ALL OF YOUR TOP HOUSES….it can happen but prepared for it not to happen.

Back to ranking houses after round 2 parties.  We visited 8 houses, you can list up to 7 to return but wait a minute……you don’t like 7 houses enough to “rank them” in the top 7 spots!!!  RANK THEM ANYWAY!!!!!!  Do not leave any sorority off the list.  Even if you REALLY feel that there is not chance of a connection, list the sorority.  I know, I know, that you all are shaking your heads, saying to yourself, “But I REALLY didn’t like that house”.  One of several things are going to happen…either that sorority will also feel the disconnect and will either not invite you back, they will list you way down on their list or they truly do see something (something that you may not see yet) that makes them feel that you would make a great sister and so they have you on their first list and THEY WANT YOU to return.  Remember….maximizing your options means you will give them another chance.

So you will list your top 7 and 1 alternate.  One more thing!  For the sake of helping you to understand that you list your top houses in order of preference (In the example I used numerical order) I wanted to let you know that not all Panhellenics or campuses do it specifically that way.  You may list all of your houses minus numbers or they might all be 1’s and then you rank you “alternates” 1 through 4 numerically.  Just as recruitment differs from campus to campus so does the process of ranking but the general outcome is still the same.

Round 3 party invitations come out and now you only have invites to 4…and three of those 4 are not any of your top houses!  What do you do????  I know that some of you are going, “oh my goodness..why all the doom and gloom?” The reason I am giving you this scenario is because I want to portray a realistic picture of what could happen at a competitive recruitment school.  I could paint the rosy picture of how the PNM got all her first choices and it all worked out perfectly but realistically that is probably not going to happen to most of you and so I wanted to discuss, options, feelings and emotions you might encounter.

So back to our list.  After shaking off the disappointment and shock LOOK at the names of the sororities on your list.  They WANTED YOU!!!  As disappointing as it is to not see the names of the sororities YOU wanted, these sororities wanted you to come back again.  I know it’s hard to have to think this way.  The “rejection” factor is hard to deal with.  There’s all the emotional baggage that comes with “Why didn’t they LIKE me?”  We tell girls not to take it personally but that’s really hard to do.  Even more difficult is when the “HOUSE” know…the one you’ve heard all the tent talk about…the one that EVERYONE gets into, doesn’t invite you back.  It’s hard emotionally, there’s not doubt but you have to reach deep and rise above.  I always tell my girls that everything happens for a reason and though we may not see the “why” initially know that it is forthcoming.

If you have a chance to go and recoup, whether its back to your dorm, the student center or in your Rho chi’s it!!!  Then put that beautiful smile back on that face because today YOU are going to visit 4 sorority houses full of girls who want you! Remember ladies it just takes 1 BID :).

Round 3 parties are longer than the two pervious days of parties and you will most definitely get a more personal picture of the sisterhood of each house.  Take time to LOOk around the room at the other PNM’s who are there.  These young women could be your potential sisters.  Do you see girls you have made connections with?  Can you picture yourself hanging out with these girls?

At the end of Round 3 parties you will again go and “Rank” the 4 houses that you visited.  In our hypothetical case you would list or rank your top 3 and then you would have 1 alternate knowing that the maximum Preference parties you can attend is 3.  Again LIST all 4 houses….even if there is one that you REALLY don’t like.  Think of it as a safety net.  If by some chance you receive a bid to that sorority you can always try it and explore your options (more about this tomorrow).

This is the stopping point for today….again LOTS of info and things to think about right???  I want you take away this from today’s post……..for most young women the “Perfect” recruitment where they go to all of the top houses, receive invites back to the maximum amount of houses for each party and ultimately get a bid to their first choice house doesn’t exist.  Oh it can happen but realistically you should be prepared for some soul searching, disappointment and a ride on the roller coaster of emotions.  Whew!!!! Just writing this has me exhausted and has rekindled a lot of the emotions and feelings I had while watching my daughters go through this process.

Tomorrow: Preference parties and BID DAY!!!!!!