Recruitment is just around the corner. It will be here before we know it. In the past I have posted some recruitment stories. You have read about girls who have gotten their first choices, second choices and no bid at all. While you were reading the stories did you ever wonder about the emotions the story-teller was describing? Phrases like, “I didn’t feel a connection” or “it was awkward”.I know that many of you are sitting and shaking your heads. How could anyone write off a sorority…especially on a competitive recruitment campus.
Let’s dissect a recruitment story and talk a little bit about some of the emotions and feelings that happen during recruitment.
Round One Parties:
“Steph went through recruitment as an out-of-state student and knew almost no one at her university. There are 14 sororities as well as one colony. She is a legacy to three, but has an aunt and cousins in others.”
- Remember!!! Just because you are a legacy or related to members of houses on campus that does not automatically get you a bid. Go in with an open mind!
“1st house, and even though Steph knew to expect the loud cheers, nothing could prepare her for the noise. She met three sisters, and had okay conversations, but she had to lead them. Overall, she left unimpressed.”
- If you have never seen or heard door songs the first time can be a little overwhelming!!! In the SEC the sorority members may not step over the door frame so they are “stacked” in the doorway. At other schools the sorority members will spill out onto the side-walk to grab a PNMs arm and escort her through the door!
“This is the sorority Steph’s mom is a member of so she was very excited for this house. Linus did not disappoint! Steph connected with her three rushers and did not want to leave!”
- Often legacy houses are the ones a PNM will connect to at the first party rounds. They have heard about them from mothers and sisters. There is an underlying expectation that this might be “the house”. Remember the actives know this PNM legacy is coming through and will attempt to give her some “extra tlc”to see if she is a potential fit.
“This is her older sister’s sorority (her sister attends a different school) so she really wanted to like it, but didn’t seem to connect with several of the women in the chapter. She’s willing to give it another shot because of her sister though.”
- As much as PNM wants to connect with a legacy house sometimes, no matter what, the magic just isn’t there. Don’t close out any sorority after just one visit though. Always give them a second chance to connect.
“This is a colony. Steph wasn’t sure if she wanted to get involved in the colony process but would be willing to give them a shot if recruitment didn’t work out.
- Keep all of your options open. In cases where sororities are colonizing, remember if you feel a disconnect during formal recruitment or if you do not receive a bid that there is the option of going through the colonization process.
Round Two Parties:
“When Steph got her schedule, she was pretty excited that she had a full schedule, even though she lost one of her favorite houses. She was a little confused why that house had dropped her, but she also knew better than to make a big deal about losing one house this early when several girls in her group did not have full schedules. She would be returning to one of her bottom ranked houses in place of the favorite.”
- Don’t be surprised if one of your bottom ranked houses comes back up into your party schedule…it happens. Rather than dwelling on the loss of a favorite house look at your party schedule with excitement and anticipation.
“She got paired with the shy sister from her major that she met before. However, this time she seemed a little more talkative. She also made sure to introduce Steph to other sisters with their major. She left feeling good about this sorority.”
- Sometimes an active member will feel like she really connected with you even though you may not feel that same connection. In this case the active will request that she pick up her “rush crush” at the door and introduce her to some of her other sisters who may have a connection.
Round Three Parties:
“Once again, Steph had a full schedule. However, this time she had lost two sororities from her top 6, including her mother’s legacy house. She realized it hadn’t gone as well as the day before at that house , but she like the idea of being sisters with her mom.”
- As the parties get longer and more intimate you will find that legacy houses will cut PNMs who they do see as fitting in. If a legacy house invites a PNM to preference then they must put her on their first bid list. Being cut from you legacy house can be disappointing but remember to focus on the great houses you have.
“Steph was met by someone she met the day before who had the same major as her. Their physical house was the least impressive of the ones she saw that day, but she did like the sisters who lived there. However, as she left, she realized the only thing she really had in common with the sisters she met were their major. Did she have anything else in common with the rest of the sisterhood? Or did they keep pairing her with someone with her major on purpose?”
- Sometimes sororities will get mixed signals and think you want to talk about your major, or philanthropy or football Saturdays. It may seem like you only have one theme in common. Look around the room. do you see only women with this one theme in common or do you see a diverse group of girls.If the conversation gets stuck on recurring theme try gently to steer the conversation to a new and different topic.
“Now Steph need to rank again. She knew there were two houses that she definitely wanted to return to, two houses she did not want to return to and then there were two houses that she just wasn’t sure how she felt about. She didn’t want to lose one of the houses but was confused what to do about the other.”
- Sometimes there are a couple of houses you just don’t know what to do with. you hate to put them at the bottom of your list because you kind of want to return but they are not a favorite house either. Remember no matter what maximize your options and list all of the houses you attended. Trust the process it will all work out.
“Steph lost her two favorites going into Pref. She had liked them both a lot all week, and she had really set her heart on attending Preference at both.. Of course, she knew a lot of other PNMs also had their hearts set on those two houses as well. But still, she had good grades, had been involved in high school, was attractive, had recs for these chapters, and seemed to be able to make connections with the actives. In her mind, she could not figure out why she had been cut.
She looked around and saw a lot of other PNMs crying, a couple were actually yelling at their recruitment counselors, and one girl in her group ripped-up her invite list and stormed out. After watching all that, she made the decision to not look like them and walk to her first house with a smile on her face.”
- Sometimes it takes losing some of your favorites to open up your eyes to other opportunities. As I have said over and over again Look at your party list as opportunities not disappointments. Tearing up a party list, even if you are terribly disappointed makes you look like an ungrateful person….especially since I can guarantee that there are PNMs standing next to you who would “love” to have your list. So put a smile on your face and embrace the exciting and maybe even surprising opportunities ahead.
“Steph was preffed by her tour guide from the day before. She didn’t really have any concerns about this house so they picked-up their conversation from where they left off during the house tour round. Their ceremony touched her more than the first house that she visited did and she left knowing that she would fit in well at this house.
The final house was a huge surprise for Steph. She was preffed by a girl she hadn’t met before. However, once they got to a quiet place to talk, Steph learned she was the big sister of a girl she had met during round 2 (that girl had come down with the flu and was not at recruitment). Steph read a beautiful letter written by the girl who was supposed to pref her, stating all the great qualities she had that this sorority valued. Then the sister she was paired with told her about her experience of coming to college from out-of-state and how this sorority had given her a second home. She was shocked how moving their ceremony was and that she even started to tear-up. As she left she knew she had a tough decision to make.”
- Preference parties can tug at your heart-strings. Sorority members are quick to share all of the emotional reasons why they call this house their home and these women sisters. It’s been a long and emotional week and Preference is the culmination of it all. It is not unusual to tear up or even cry at Preference parties. You may leave even more confused. Look to where you heart leads you…you can’t go wrong. Another amazing thing is that if you go back and look at your week many of you will be amazed to find yourself preffing houses that were not in your “top houses”…funny how that happens but it does.
“Steph didn’t get the phone call, so she knew she would get to celebrate bid day with a group of fantastic women. Walking to open her bid was so exciting. Standing in the room, all around her, PNMs cried tears of joy and tears of ‘why didn’t I get my first choice?’ So she opened her envelope and joined the PNMs crying for joy because her bid card revealed the house listed first after Preference.
Steph has enjoyed her time so far and looks forward to living in the house next year. Does she still think she would have fit in well at some of the other sororities? Sure. But at the end of the day, she’s happy.
- Waiting for the “phone call” time to pass on Bid Day can be excruciating but what a relief when it does. Walking with new-made friends to where you will receive your Bid Cards is exciting! Tears will flow again. There will be tears of joy and tears of sorrow. It is hard not to get your first choice but encourage PNMs to at least give it a chance. This sorority saw something in you that made them believe that you would make a great sister. Look into yourself to see if you can discover these qualities as well. If you got your first choice congratulations!!
So you have followed a recruitment story and have read between the lines…..now it’s almost time to write your own story :).