Whew!!!! Life’s getting a little stressful these days with recruitment beginning on some campuses and others just around the corner. Emotions are running high so I thought that a fun post was in order. So sit back and enjoy :).

For those who know me, they will share with anyone who asks…I LOVE reality TV. Whether it’s Survivor with my husband or Dance Mom’s with my sorority daughter I really enjoy watching the dramas of others every day life unfold. I think my favorite show of all time is The Bachelorette. From Ryan and Trista to Emily and Jef…I guess it’s the incurable romantic in me that just enjoys a good old fashioned love story. I was having “bachelorette” withdrawals this morning and I began thinking that the process of recruitment is very similar to the process the Bachelorette goes through to find “true love”

On the Bachelorette a young woman first mets 25 eligible bachelors and then spends the evening having short, pretty superficial conversations with as many of the bachelors as she can. At the end of the evening she then assesses the men and is told by the Host Chris Harrison that she can only invite so many back for the next round of dates and so she must eliminate a certain number of men.Since she doesn’t really “know” the men she has to base her invites back on the short conversations they had and whether she feels a “connection ” with each guy. In addition there’s the physical looks of each guy that come into play. I wanted to note that the “look” of the guy is not the deciding factor but I’d be lying and we’d all be kidding our selves if we didn’t acknowledge that it plays a part. I mean there’s the whole Bachelorette standing in the room full of the guys head shots..looking at each one and talking about what he brings to her life. The men who survive the cuts are given roses as invitations to return for the next round of dates.

Now tell me..really…doesn’t this sound like Round One Recruitment parties? Let’s think about it. There’s the room with all of the guys pictures..all head shots just like a PNM sends into a sorority. As I’ve shared those head shots get used in power point presentations for the chapter to “discuss” the PNM and make a decision on whether they are issued an invite back (a rose? “will you accept this rose?” or “will you accept a party invitation?”..remember some do not and choose to leave). In addition there’s the initial process. PNMs go to ALL of the houses that are participating in formal recruitment. They have short, pretty superficial conversations with active members ( like on the Bachelorette) and then the sorority (The Bachelorette) has to decide whether it wants to ask the PNM (our guys) back. They use a lot of different tools to make this decision but the conversation and the pics accompanied by recommendations and a resume seem to be the biggest factors. I don’t know folks but this process seems to be almost a mirror image of the process we all watch on TV on Monday nights.

So lets jump to Round Two parties or the next episode of The Bachelorette. Selections have been made and invitations issued and accepted. Now the guys (PNMs) go on a series of dates with the Bachelorette (the sorority houses). On the Bachelorette there is a possibility that a guy be eliminated immediately if the date (part and talking) doesn’t go well, we know that is not the case during recruitment (a discrepancy). But…just as with the Bachelorette conversations become more personal and connections are being formed. Just as our Bachelorette beings to “crush” on a guy or two our sororities (and PNMs) begin to develop Rush Crushes as well. Again the show or evening ends with the Bachelorette (the sorority) standing in a room gazing at the guys pictures and talking about the connections that she did and did not form (just as the sorority will again look at the pictures and conversations of the PNMs they talked with this round and decide who they do and do not have connections with). Oh and one more thing..the initial first day of conversations just takes place at the house (sorority house) and is pretty vanilla in that there’s no flashy theme (hence names like Ice Water tea) but as the dates (parties) go on there will be particular themes (in the Bachelorette they change locations which doesn’t happen in recruitment but you get a shift in the theme of the day..Philanthropy Day, Skit Day..Preference…you get what I mean? Just like the Bachelorette might go to London and then to Morocco). I digress…sorry :). Anyway so at the end of the day guys are eliminated (just like PNMs) and invitations are issued and accepted for the next round of dates (parties).

Now it’s time for Round Three. Definite connections have begun to form. Both our Bachelorette and our PNMs can begin to see themselves with certain guys (houses). You head language like “I am so glad to see you”…”I’ve looked forward to talking with you again”. This round of parties is like the “Home Town” dates on the Bachelorette. In most cases and on most campuses Round Three parties really show the personality of the sorority. Same with when the sororities show their personality in skits and videos. This is a little lane swerve only because in the “home town” date scenario the Bachelorette actually becomes the PNMs and the guys are now the sorority . Do you see what I mean? The sorority is really opens up about who they are and what their personality is like. But at the end of it all deeper connections are made. For many PNMs, sororities, our Bachelorette and bachelors the “ah ha” moment occurs when they can picture themselves a a sister in this house (married to that guy). Since there have been eliminations along the way there are just a few houses (guys left) and the decisions on who to keep and who to let go are much harder and who lot more emotional. I can just picture the Bachelorette tearfully handing out invitations and our guys (PNMs looking crest fallen..ok visibly upset when they are given a rose..or in our PNMs case when “the house” doesn’t turn up on their Preference Party schedule.

On to Preference. So there’s three guys right and as we know a PNM can attend up to three parties right?? Hmmm..see the connection? In addition the three dates are much longer (Pref usually lasts about 50 minutes), much more elaborate ( wait until you see the houses during Pref) and much more intimate (usually a PNM is picked up by a girl she has a real connection with and who they have bonded with). There is usually candle light (yep that happens at Pref) and special food (yep Pref again) and HEAVY conversations about a life of togetherness (remember sisterhood isn’t just for 4 years but a lifetime). There may be tears and in some cases drama but in the end both the Bachelorette (the sorority) and our guys (PNMs) have a really difficult decision to make. Ultimately our Bachelorette has to pick 1 guy..he has to accept and then ta da!!! Happily ever after. Same with our sororities and PNMs. Our sororities make their decision and hope and pray the PNMs they choose will also choose them (Bid matching!)

I have to jump back for just a minute because sometimes on the Bachelorette a guy who has been let go will come back, even if it’s briefly. This happens in recruitment as well. Sometimes houses that you place in your bottom numbers do come bak up and you get a chance to revisit them again. Use this time wisely as you may discover a connection you did not have before. Hey ABC if you’re reading this (LOL!!) then maybe a new story line for next season is that a bachelor could come back and the Bachelorette could actually choose him in the end…just saying..it would be new and different. Also there’s the guy drama gossip and talk…just like Tent Talk during recruitment

Finally it’s here …the moment we’ve all been waiting for (thanks Chris Harrison for those great words!!)….BID DAY!!!! Or the moment when our Bachelorette (the sorority) picks who she’s going to spend the rest of her life with (the PNMs that will make up their pledge class) and offers him (the PNM) the final rose (Bid card invitation). Whew!!! Sweaty palms and a racing heart here….can you feel it? The anticipation…on my goodness!!!! Just like the Bachelorette does this in a lavish ceremony so do Bid Days around the country unfold. There is the drama on the PNMs (the guys) waiting for the limo (walking to the stadium or where ever they get their bids) and then the moments before the actual event and then we find out who chooses who!!! There is a lavish party to celebrate (ok so I am stretching this one…We all know that Bid DAy celebrations are great on college campuses so I am just going to assume that the Bachelorette and her new guy are going to do something fabulous as opposed to going home and throwing on some sweat pants.)

Bid Day can come with its own drama…perhaps some how a PNM doesn’t get a bid offered from anyone..just like our Bachelorette decides she just can’t go through with it and tells each guy she can’t accept a proposal (hey remember Brad Woamck!). But in most cases its a “Happily Ever After” ending..just like recruitment. Truth is most girls get their Prince Charming (sorority) and the glass slipper fits 🙂 AND they go onto a great a fabulous sisterhood.

So did you have fun reading this?? Did it at least give you a few moments where you weren’t thinking about packing the car, last minute clothing changes…I hope so. It’s almost here (or in some cases y’all are in the middle of it..I’m sending you guys BIg HUGS!). I have the last season of the Bachelorette on DVR..now you know what I will be doing today :).