There was a post on the Alabama 2016 Rushing Facebook page today that noted the count down for girls going through recruitment at Bama was in the single digits and that got me thinking….it’s time to “REVIEW”.  Lets look back at how to act and what to talk about (and not talk about) at recruitment.

Since you’ve most likely been packing all of your dorm room items don’t forget to pack your positive attitude and smile :).  Not only will you need them for college but you will also need them for each day of recruitment.  When I talk about the days of recruitment girls immediately pick up on the fact that those days can be pretty stressful sometimes. You really want to find the best fit for you. In addition you’re making new friends and you are trying to make a positive impression on the sorority members.

Here’s a few hints on how to act during recruitment that may help take a little of the stress away.

First of all there’s all the “talking” that goes one hour after hour and day after day.  Some girls actually become hoarse from all the talking during recruitment week.  So how do you talk to perfect strangers and not feel awkward and forced.  Approach the conversations as if you are talking with a friend.  Not a best friend kind of friend but someone who you know and have spoken with before.  Speak clearly and use sentences not one word answers when chatting with the sorority member.  Answer question intelligently. While chatting you might want to share some interesting facts or stories about yourself that will be memorable.  My daughter had been in People Magazine by accident a couple of months before she went through recruitment.  It was a great story to tell and she later learned that she was remembered for her story and how she shared it.

Act interested and engaged, even if you’re not.  Going to parties all day and answering the same questions can be exhausting!  Remember the sorority members you are speaking with have also had long days.  Your mood, attitude and body language will get noticed (just as you will notice the sorority members).  Participate in and enjoy the activities the sorority has planned even if it’s not your most favorite thing to do.

Say hello to each sorority member and try to call them by name.  I know this can be hard but if you think about it you liked to be called by your name so try.  If you call someone by their name it shows that you care. At many houses the members will be wearing name tags but try any way.  This is especially true for parties that happen on the second, third and fourth days. When you leave make sure tell the member it was nice to meet them.

Relax and enjoy yourself.  If you are relaxed you will be able to have more relaxed conversations.  Be confident in who you are.  Present the “you” that you can be. If you do all of these things you will be remembered and in a good way…YAY!!!

So now you’re relaxed..have good body language and having fun what in the world to you actually “talk” about?  Let’s first discuss what “not to talk about”.  It’s the 4 B’s…boys, booze, beds and bucks.

Boys..its ok to mention you have a boyfriend at home if it comes up in the conversation but DO NOT go on and on about all how you can just hardly wait to go to your first fraternity party and all the fraternity guys you’re going to meet and date.

And that brings us to number 2..beds.  Shacking is not a conversation to be had during recruitment.  You do not want to be known as “that” girl.

Booze…telling stories of how drunk you were at a party this past summer IS NOT a good idea.  Asking if the sorority members Big buys her alcohol..another no no.  When it comes time to discuss PNMs you will be labeled a “liability” and no sorority wants girls who are liabilities.

Finally there’s Bucks…going on and on about how much your dad makes, what a HUGE house you live in and how expensive your recruitment outfit is …yep another no no!  sharing that you spent time in Paris during summer vacation is ok but divulging the cost is not.

So what are okay things to talk about?

A lot of the conversation will be generated by the sorority member who you are chatting with.  During the first round of parties the conversations will be pretty vanilla.  You will get asked over and over “What’s your major”, “Why did you choose this school”, Where are you from”..pretty basic stuff.  Remember not to answer with yes and no and one word answers.  If you do then you give the sorority member not nearly the information they need to make a decision whether you will be a fit with the sisters of this house.  So add an interesting story or little anecdote that has a tie in to the question.  For example if  you’re asked what your major is and it happens to be Education tell the member that and then follow-up with something like….”I had this amazing kindergarten teacher named Mrs. Neeb and she would dress up as some of her favorite book characters when she read to us.  She made me love to read and I want to be able to share my love of learning with children.”

As you deeper into recruitment week the parties get longer and the conversation gets more serious.  Here’s some questions you might get asked and some suggestions for answers.

Why do you want to join a sorority?  Be honest.  Hopefully you have asked yourself this question before you ever began the process but just in case you haven’t you might want to think about it now and have a REALLY GOOD answer.  If your answer is one or more of the 4 B’s…rethink your answer and why you are doing this.  Hint:  this question is a good one to pull in the topic of philanthropy.  You can then turn the conversation to talking about that particular sorority’s philanthropy.  See one question leads to another and this will keep the conversation fresh and flowing.

Another spin-off question might be “What were you involved in high school?”  A couple of things here…first of all if you are going through recruitment at a competitive recruitment school they’ve seen your resume..if not that’s ok either way just be open and honest.  This question often gets asked because the sorority member is fishing for how involved you might become once you join a sorority. Now is a great time to toot your horn…if planned events, organized meetings, was a captain of a team, was an honor student who took really hard time-consuming classes make sure and share that information.  Take your strengths and turn them into attributes that would make you valuable as s sister.  Hint: if you are one of those girls who took a lot of hard classes and therefore spent a lot of time studying and so you weren’t really involved you can turn that into a plus by sharing that information and then adding that you would love to be there for other girls who maybe need extra help with studying and classwork….an in house tutor of sorts…get the idea?

This then leads to the questions like “What attributes could you bring to this sorority?”  or “How do you plan to get involved on campus?” Again be honest…but also be prepared to share at least one way that you could make a difference.  My daughter played basketball all through high school.  When she got asked this question she launched in the topic of intramural sports and how she would love to not only play basketball but other sports as well.  Talents like singing and dancing are important to share. Greek Week, Derby Days and Homecoming will have opportunities for girls who like to “perform”.  Usually sororities ask members to be involved in at least one activity on campus.  Be prepared to share what that is for you.

You might get asked “What types of girls do you hang out with?” or “What type of sisters are you looking for?”

My daughter was asked who her favorite role model was growing up…bless her heart she said her mother 🙂 and then went onto explain how I worked full-time as a teacher, had 4 children and was involved in various clubs and activities but that each Sunday I would cook all day so that at dinnertime they had healthy meals.

Finally I just wanted to remind you that the sorority members you speak with will share their conversation they had with you, with their sisters.  You want her to speak about you in a positive manner.  You want her to WANT you tell her sisters that they NEED you!  So if you need to before you leave practice your conversation skills again.  A great way to do this is to make questions that if you were in a sorority you would want a PNM to answer. Write them on little strips of paper, fold the strips in half and put them in a bowl.  Get a friend, or your mom or dad or even a boyfriend or brother and have them draw questions, one at a time.  You then practice answering those questions…it’s not perfect but it helps.

So a little review….it’s a good thing 🙂