I believe that being released from recruitment can be terribly devastating!  I’ve been blessed…both of our girls went through recruitment and received bids from their #1 houe but I know that’s not always the case.  If you are going to a competitive recruitment school you just have to be prepared…just in case.  I prepared both of my girls but am 99% sure if that horrible “thing” would have happened youngest daughter would not have been able to stay at her school.  So as much as we all say “stay positive” I think this is something you do need to figure out before you get ready to go through recruitment and how you will personally handle it.

First of all …..If YOU are considering releasing yourself (ie., dropping out) think twice. At most schools you will never have as good a shot at membership as your first eligible time to rush. Sororities are looking for women they can cultivate into leaders and the financial stability of pledging a younger member who will be around 4 years versus 2 or 3.  Even if you’re not happy with the groups you have left, stick around until pref night, no matter what. Even if you absolutely hate the group(s) you have left, you never know. Go through pref night and see what happens. You never know, the group you hated could end up being more amazing than you realized! Worst case scenario, if you still don’t feel right after pref, you don’t have to sign your card.

Also as the week goes on and the cuts are heavy….before you totally freak out.  Remember, it only takes ONE! You could be dropped by every single group except for one after the very first night, and still end up being part of an amazing sisterhood! Again, even if it’s the one group you loathed on the first night, give it a chance. You never know.

It’s absolutely fine to be disappointed if you’ve been released from recruitment. It’s even fine to cry. It’s crushing to really really want something for a whole summer or longer and have it not play out. So grab a tub of ice cream…some chocolate… a movie  or climb in the shower and just boo hoo… it’s ok to feel sorry for yourself for a day or two but after a brief period of morning you need to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and move on. I don’t mean that you have to stop feeling bad, but stop dwelling on the rejection publicly. The longer you act like a dejected loser, or the longer you whine about how mean the sororities are for cutting you, the more unflattering assumptions people will make about your personal character.

Just a little word for thought….. If you got INTO a sorority, but just not the one you wanted, don’t cry about it to your new sisters on Bid Night. It’s unimaginably immature, rude, and hurtful. Just depledge like a normal person and don’t drag other excited actives and pledge classmates down with you. If decide you’re going to give the runner up sorority a good old “college try”, don’t go on and on  about how bad you really wanted to be an XYZ. If you are really committed to giving this particular sorority a chance then you need to do just that…no buyers remorse.

Be honest with yourself:  If you’ve been dropped from recruitment, was it because YOU cut a lot of the chapters initially or because you had an unrealistic “XYZ or bust” mentality? I’m pretty sure a solid majority of PNMs believe they “belong” in Phi Beta Popular, but most probably don’t. On campuses with solidly stratified Greek Life, there are far more “lower tier” chapters than top tier chapters — there simply aren’t enough spaces for everyone to get in the “top” four or five sororities.

And you know what? At the end of the day, the “lesser” chapters stay open, meet or exceed quota every year, win Greek Week, have amazing sisterhoods with great parties, and nobody sits around crying because they don’t have Phi Beta Popular letters embroidered on their Vera Bradley tote. So you need to be honest with yourself, and move on.

I simply DON’T believe that all unsuccessful  PNMs are completely, socially ,incompetent enough to have had such brutally unfair recruitments.  I think more often than not, PNMs don’t “play the game” right or aim only for the top-tier sororities and end up disappointed. I know it hurts to get cut by all the “popular” sororities, but be realistic. If you’re an average looking brunette with average grades, average activities, an average bank account and average clothes (no matter what your mom says), you didn’t stand a chance at getting a bid to the sorority that only takes beautiful blonde 4.0 pre-med beauty pageant humanitarians from the wealthiest suburb in the state. You’ve been kidding yourself if you thought otherwise. Go back to my very first post about finding “the right fit”….apply this to when you go through recruitment.

Try, try again?:

COB can be a fantastic option for PNMs who had unsuccessful formal recruitments, and I highly recommend it, if you can have a mature and graceful perspective on the process. This means swallowing your pride — go back to chapters that dropped you, or that you dropped after the first night! Yes, as MANY as you can….even the lower tier chapters.

No, the chapters who initially cut don’t hate you. No, the chapter is not going to talk about what a desperate loser you are for showing up after you were one of 500 PNMs they dropped after the first night. Show grace, poise, and a general willingness to “wipe the slate clean.” Drop all the notions you developed about sororities during formal recruitment. I’ve often said this but PNMs AND chapters are allowed to shine during COB in ways that they can’t during 15min FR parties. Try to see the chapter with new eyes; they’re most likely returning the favor in spending more time to get to know YOU.

If rerushing or COBing, don’t make the same mistakes:

If you’ve been cut by every chapter once during FR, don’t KEEP setting yourself up for disappointment. Figure out what you’ve done wrong and what you can do better. Ask your most brutally honest friend to help you out. Do you talk too much? Are you a bad listener? Do you nervously laugh at inappropriate times? Is your voice too loud, or are you shy and conversation is difficult? Finding out what you did wrong or how you can improve can better inform your strategy for how you’ll conduct yourself during rerushing or COB parties. Also take what you learned about channeling towards only “certain” sororities and go to all of the COB parties available…again give everyone a fair chance.

Just because recruitment didn’t work out for you don’t hate on Greek Life….

Becoming anti-sorority in the wake of being released from FR just makes you look like you’ve got a raging case of the jealousy virus. Sour grapes are never attractive. If XYZ dropped you, talking crap about them does not help you “save face,” it just makes you look juvenile. If you realize sorority life isn’t for you after all, then that’s great! Move on with your life and don’t dwell on the disappointments.

Moving on:

Get involved with clubs, meet people (how do you think re-rushers have successful second recruitments? THEY GOT OUT AND MET SORORITY WOMEN!), put your money where your mouth is about how much you loooooove philanthropy and volunteer for non-sorority philanthropic efforts on campus, study hard, pick your major, start a workout plan, do some research with a professor, get a job…. keep your life busy and you’ll be that much more comfortable in your own skin. Maybe you’ll even decide you’re having so much fun at college that the idea of a sorority loses its appeal. Maybe you’ll want to be in one even more.

The bottom line is that YOU and ONLY YOU are responsible for your happiness in a given situation. Life doesn’t stop because you got dropped from sorority recruitment (although at that particular moment it might feel like it does), and college is not going to be a bust just because you didn’t get a bid the first time you rushed. Life is what you make of it, so dry your tears and get back in the game. Rejection can only make you stronger, and this is not the last time you’ll ever be this disappointed. Think of this experience as a class in the School of Life, and allow yourself to learn from it instead of fighting it.