For some recruitment is off and running, for others it is imminent and for the last group…they are still waiting (it will be here before you know it!). As the emails have been trickling in about different experiences the girls (and the moms) are having I thought I’d share a few last-minute suggestions.
First and foremost, you have to approach each and every day of the recruitment process as if it were a “do over”..a new start. You can’t worry about what you did or didn’t do yesterday. You can’t go back and change it…it is what it is. Each day is a new day. You get to start fresh as well as hopefully, relaxed and refreshed. For many of you this is and will be exhausting. Walking from house to house in heat and humidity combined with the emotions of it all is just plain exhausting. It’s a fact. Try really hard to take care of YOU. Get plenty of rest, eat healthy and drink lots of water! Smile..be confident. You are your best advertisement. Sell yourself. If you are proud and excited about who you are that positive energy will pass to the members of the sororities you are talking with.
Approach each party as if you are meeting with friends. Don’t put the sorority members on a pedestal or be intimidated. They are girls just like you and they remember what it was like to be in YOUR shoes. Hey many of them are just as nervous if not more nervous than you are. You can be honest and open with them. If you do this, talking and getting to know each other will be easier. Don’t feel like you have to tell your life story but try to share things about you that are interesting and help the members to see where you would fit in their house. Make connections. Let them know that you are interested in what they have to say. Be an active listener. Don’t let your body language send unwanted messages.
Don’t complain….don’t talk about how tired you are. The sorority members are tired as well. While you were at home the week before recruitment packing and getting ready to move, these young women were spending 12 plus hour days getting ready for the recruitment process. They are tired as well. Your complaining will send the message that you aren’t invested in the process, you aren’t interested, and perhaps really don’t want to join a sorority. I know that many of you will say..”but I am tired”..and hey I know you are and so do the sorority members you speak with..just don’t complain about it. If they ask if you are tired be honest and answer but just don’t make it a 10 minute diatribe.
Be true to who YOU are. It’s easy to be swept up in all the glitz and glam. Houses of beautiful girls. Houses that are beautiful structures. I always tell my children..what makes a house a home is the loving family that lives inside the four walls. So….as you are going through recruitment separate the “eye candy” from core values of each sorority. Ask yourself..”What makes this HOUSE a home?” You should also ask yourself, “Can I see myself here?” Try and picture yourself living everyday life with the members around you. It’s really easy to live the honeymoon…you know that party that is getting the t-shirts, going to the swaps, game days and all the “fun stuff”..but remember there’s just the everyday life in between. Going to classes, eating breakfast, study hall, chapter meetings. Try and picture your self living the everyday stuff as well. Do you see yourself at this house everyday??
I have said this many times but it’s really important..when you get your party list don’t morn the losses but rejoice in the houses that are listed. They are there because they wanted YOU. They chose YOU. They are looking forward to seeing YOU today. AS much as you wanted to return to certain houses if they couldn’t see you as a member then you need to let them go and move on. sometimes it’s hard because even though a house wanted YOU, you can’t see yourself there. Remember each day is a new start. Wipe all of the preconceived ideas and experiences from the days before away. Give each house a clean slate. Go in with the attitude “Wow..I wonder what amazing things I will learn about this house and these sisters today?” Oh I know I am not in your shoes and all this preaching sounds easy enough as I sit here at the computer writing but you can do it!!! I know you can. And I promise..if you do…the process will be so much better.
Cuts do happen. They happen to EVERYONE…period. There are VERY FEW girls who go through recruitment at competitive school that get full party schedules every day filled with all of their very favorite houses. It may seem that way but it’s not realistic. So be ready. I know so many girls that go in with the knowledge that they will lose houses but they think “it won’t happen to me” and then it does. Pow!! They are shocked. So I am telling you to go in with your eyes wide open. When you hear that there are big cuts after certain days of recruitment..yes there probably are. Be ready.
I want you to remember this…if you are not invited back to a house IT’S NOT PERSONAL! The members of that house did not sit in a room and single you out and say hateful things about you. In many cases it’s a numbers game and although they might have liked YOU, they liked someone else a little bit better. So don’t take it personally..they didn’t hate you, it wasn’t because you are a bad person…they just didn’t have enough slots for everyone and so they had to make a choice.
Finally I want to share this quote from Pollyanna..”The game was to just find something about everything to be “glad” about, no matter what it was….you see, when you’re hunting for the “glad things” you sort of forget the other kind” Eleanor Porter, Pollyanna
Ladies…play the “glad game”….each and every day of recruitment. you can make a choice how you think about recruitment. You won’t regret it :).