I have been doing a lot of talking lately…a lot of sorority talking.  With recruitment quickly approaching, recs and resumes sent, clothes bought the focus is now on packing and moving onto campus.  For many PNMs (and their families) this will be the first time they have been away from home for an extended period of time.  Not to mention that it will begin with probably will rank up there as one of the most stressful weeks they have experienced to this point. So I thought I would talk about a few things that you need to remember to stay focused, maximize friendships and find your new greek home.

Since I know you all have taken my suggestions about bagging and labeling each days outfits, shoes and accessories, all you will need to do is each night decided which one you will wear.  Make sure everything is ironed..wrinkle free and ready to go.  If you are a last-minute girls like mine is then make sure both options are ready to go.  Lay it all out so there’s not searching for anything.

You need to figure out how long it will take you to get ready in the morning.  With today’s super suites that are springing up on campuses you might have the luxury to have your own bathroom but most likely you will at least share a bathroom with a suite mate. Make sure you have a conversation about how much time you each need in the bathroom. some of you may be in a traditional dorm situation (like my daughter was).  In this case you will be sharing a community bathroom with at least half if not all your floor.  Again..you will kind of have to get a feel for what the crowds are going to be like in the morning.

Make sure you se t your alarm, giving yourself lots of time to wake up, shower, do your hair and makeup.  you should give yourself a little extra time just incase something goes a little off course.

You need to make sure to get plenty of sleep.  i know this will be hard, especially if this is your first time away from home.  If you find yourself very tired from all of the move in activities you might really sleep well..in that case make sure you have your alarm set as well as back up alarms.

Be sure to eat!!!  This is going to be a very long week.  you are going to need as much energy as you can get.  Presenting the best you that you can be requires lots of energy fueled by a healthy diet. I know that with the stress of the week it might be difficult to eat but you really need to try to eat three meals a day.  As the parties progress you may be offered snacks or light meals..those don’t count as meals.  Find other girls who are going through recruitment to go with you to eat.

Drink water!!  If you are going through recruitment i the south it will be hot. You don’t want to be the girl who faints.  If you are dehydrated you won’t be able to have good conversations.  It will be hard to focus, you will get a headache and I can guarantee you will not have nay energy.  With the terribly hot weather across the US this summer there’s always the possibility of heat stroke.  you certainly don’t want to withdraw from recruitment due to a hydration problem.  If Panhellenic doesn’t provide water bottles or water stations then see if they will allow you to take a water bottle in your ziplock or small tote.

Although telling you to relax between parties or when you have breaks is easier said than done..please try.  You can use the time between parties to just take a break.  At many of the southern recruitments there will be big tents set up in front of the houses and you will often see PNMs sitting and chatting if they have a break.  Take those opportunities when they present themselves but remember , “NO TENT TALK!!”

The first rounds of parties  will be shorter and will have more PNMs that attend. As each day progesses the parties with get longer and the amounts of PNMs will decrease.  Since I know you al have had recs sent to every house and your GPAs are in the acceptable range then it is super important you your very best impressions at these first parties.

Do your best to remember names.  The sorority members will all have name tags on.  If this seems overwhelming at least try to remember the name of the active who brings you into the house. When the party is over go into your tote or ziplock and get out the small notebook or recruitment magazine you were sent and write the name of the girl who picked you up at the door and the names of any other girls you remember. You should also make a few quick notes about anything you remember about each house, conversations, anything at all that will help you when the time comes to rank houses.

When you are having conversations with sorority members be upbeat and happy.  don’t complain you are tires, your feet hurt, it’s hot, you are sweaty, hungry, having a bad hair day..you get the idea. Chances are that the active you are talking to has had one or more of emotions complaints as well.  Part of what members are looking for is the impressions you make while dealing with less than ideal circumstances.  Put your worries and discomforts behind you as you walk up the sidewalk..your job is to convince the women of each and every sorority that there is nowhere you’d rather be than with them at that very moment!

AS conversations go you will be asked lots of questions about you based on the resume that was submitted with your rec.  You’ll be asked about your home town, being away from home, move-in, what you’ve been doing in your free time ect.  Answer these questions with descriptive sentences and then flip the question back to the active you are speaking with. Everyone likes to talk about themselves and if you practice this art of conversation not only will you be known as the girl who was easy to talk to but the girls that they enjoyed getting to know.

When asking questions try to ask ones that require more than a yes or no answer. If by chance you are paired with an active who is not easy to talk with you can ask questions about the sorority house, “I walked past the new house you are building..it’s amamzing.  Can yo tell a little bit about what it will look like on the inside?” Or you can chat about campus activities…”I heard that on Get on Board Day you can sign up for lots of different clubs.  What club did you sign up for.?”  Listen to the answer you get and then make notations in your notebook..  If you show interest in the sorority itself, symbols, house, philanthropy, campus involvement , it’s a good way to convey enthusiasm.

At many of the parties you will be handed off to another member as having a short conversation with the girl who picked you up at the door. this is called bumping.  don’t be offended, the girl is not trying to get rid of you she just needs to meet as many PNMs as possible.  Talking with more members allows you to stand out in a crowd. It’s actually a good sign if you are introduced to 2 or 3 actives at a party.  You will get to make more new friends and make a good impression with everyone you meet.

Be kind and polite to everyone at every house. Treat everyone the same….as if this is the house that you are most interested in.  Walk through each doorway with confindence..even if you are certain that this is not a house you wish to return to. Remember you want to have as many houses as possible invite you back so that you will have the most choices possible. Don’t act rude or uninterested.  We had a girl last year who came to every house and made it known that she was just putting a body there..her heart belonged to XYZ and she was getting a bid from them.  Well…she did get a bid from XYZ but the way she behaved was terrible!

You also should not be overly enthusiastic…that can come off as just plain creepy. No one likes to see a desperate girl. Loud conversations, bragging about yourself or being hyper can only come back to hurt you.  However..you also don’t want to walk in the door and expect the sorority to jump and cater to your every whim. Recruitment is a mutual selection process…you need to put your best foot forward, the sorority needs to put their best foot forward.  Adopt a personality full of cheerful confidence!

Keep smiling!!!  Things happen and recruitment is no exception.  At the end of the day who would a sorority rather invite back ..a PNM who laughed when cake was dropped on her dress or one who pouted and explained to everyone within earshot that this was a designer dress that was now ruined.  Just remember that you want to make a good impression..you never know who is watching or listening, both in and out of the parties.

Finally…and this is kind of a strange suggestion, but if at all possible don’t ask to go to the bathroom unless it’s an emergency.  Even if you are really having an emergency this can be interpreted as a signal of disinterest to the sorority.  If you are not feeling well tell your Rho Chi,an alumna representative that is helping or a Panhellenic representative….they can help you.  If it’s going to possible be “that time of the month” during recruitment (funny how that happens :/) make sure and plan accordingly..which means carrying what you need just in case.  Make sure you take every chance possible to visit the restroom when the opportunity is presented.

So that’s just a few things to talk about today.  Those of you who know me know that I can talk forever so guess what..the next post…more things to talk about :).