This is post 3 of a continuance of posts about a time line for getting ready for recruitment.  As I mentioned earlier a planner is really a necessity in this process…kind of your “recruitment bible” so to speak.  It really does help to have everything in one place and this is also practice for you to get in the habit of using a planner for college. Pledging a sorority will add more meetings and activities to an already busy freshmen schedule.  Good idea to get into the habit of writing down meetings, classes, activities and homework early.

We are currently up to December..the holidays :).  If you have been pro-active and had alums reach out to their various sororities you might get lucky and receive a Christmas card or two in the mail.  I remember how excited my daughter was when she received her first “sorority” mail.  I found a stack of cards that came through out her senior year in her room the other day while I was cleaning!  she saved them all and would get them out and look at them.  Want to know something interesting????  There isn’t one card or note from the sorority she pledged!Yep…she wasn’t even on their radar.  This is why I tell you that early on you will “love” certain houses…mostly based on social media and what you see and hear.  Everything changes when recruitment begins and get ready for it because as you go through recruitment it could change again. In the end it all works out …really it just have to go in prepared, with an open mind and trust the process!

Besides mail what else happens in December? First of all if you are still trying to get alums to reach out to chapters so that you can “get on their radar”, remember that on many campuses December is finals time.  It’s also the time when elections are held and new positions are filled.  So..if an alum is trying to get a hold of a recruitment chair she might have a challenge simply because it’s “between positions” time.  Most new officers won’t take over until January and so although you WANT to make contact December is a challenging time to do this..just be warned.

I always tell girls that December is a great time to do a little tidying and organizing.  You can continue to look for recs, add and clean up the resume (you really want one that you can send out initially in January), and now’s a great time to start to think about pictures.  If you had your senior pictures taken in the Fall (okay so 2 of my 4 did this…they had their done in the Fall..leaves and was beautiful but the other 2 did them last-minute in the Spring..drove me CRAZY!!!)  and you are planning on using them for your rec pics make sure it looks like you!!!  So many senior girls change hairstyles, hair color ett as they go through their senior year.  The purpose of the picture is to give the sorority a visual of what you look like so that you can be picked up at the door.  If you don’t look like your picture then that’s a problem! I telling you to wait until Spring to do senior…but just remember that if you are going to use them they need to look like you!  December is a great time to schedule senior pictures if you haven’t done them already.  People will jump on this in January and if you are ahead of the game a little then you can get a good time slot and get them back in time so that they can go out with your rec packets in April. So open the planner and pick a date in December to write “schedule senior pictures”.

If your alums have been reaching out their respective chapters and you are getting mail then chances are you are also getting Facebook requests from some sorority women.  I know that some times I sound like a broken record but ladies….MAKE SURE that your Facebook ,twitter or anything else that is tied to you personally is spic and span clean!!! We always sat if there’s something you don’t want your grandma to see then DON’T put it on any type of social media.  Sororities look…trust me on this one, I have sat in a room and watched them google PNM’s names and then find a few surprises on their Facebook pages.  Depending upon what they find that poor unsuspecting PNM can now become a Standards liability.  What’s a standards liability you ask? Well, simply put, it’s a girl who is going to bring a negative reputation to the sorority.  It might be morality based, she may have a drinking problem, she may be promiscuous to the extreme…there are lots of different kinds of standards liabilities but here’s the thing..YOU DON”T WANT TO BE ONE!!!!!  So as soon as anyone reaches out to any sorority for your behalf MAKE SURE you social media is squeaky clean.

I should also tell you that as an alum who gets asked to write TONS of recs each year, the very first thing I do after I get off the phone with the PNM or after I receive an email from her is google her…check her facebook page and look to see if she has a twitter.  In some cases those social media sites a private.  It’s okay to make your site private, many  PNMs do.  I personally like it if the site isn’t private but that’s my personal opinion. I understand that while a PNM might have a neat and tidy Facebook page her friends could post pictures and comments that might not be appropriate. Just know that this needs to be on your radar.

January begins the time when invitations will start being sent for pre-recruitment events.  Sororities will have their new officers installed.  You might check towards the end of the month to see if each chapter has changed the name of their recruitment chair.  If they have then you can address the envelopes that your resume and recommendation will be mailed in.  Depending upon what type of grading system your high school is on now is a good time to request copies of your first semester transcripts. You will enough copies to put one with each rec packet you are making.

If your campus is having a sorority preview weekend, sometimes registration will go live at the end of January.  The University of Alabama always hold their Preview Weekend around March 25th and registration usually opens up about the last week of January.  It’s important to find out if your campus hosts such a weekend.  If they do then I would most definitely plan to attend.  One problem that often arrises is that these weekends tend to be held around the time that is common spring break  for many school districts.  I know that many seniors take cruises or go to beaches for spring break but I would encourage you to find out if your campus has one, when it is and plan accordingly. In my opinion this not something to be missed!

You also might start scanning the newspapers for different recruitment workshops that will be held in your area.  Many different panhellenics across the country will host “sorority recruitment nights” where they will talk about everything and anything that has to do with sorority recruitment. This is a great place to network for those elusive recommendations to certain houses.  Go prepared with several rec packets and your trusty planner. These are very beneficial!  Don’t worry if they don’t happen in January..they generally go up for registration towards the end of January and often occur starting in late March or early April.

February is a time to continue to organize those recs.  You should be actively contacting women now and requesting them to write you a recommendation.  I know it feels like you have been doing this for a while (and you have) but if you have all of the components of your rec packet done (resume, 2 pictures, transcript, personal bio, thank you note) then you can start putting them together.  During the spring of your senior year a lot happens and if you aren’t organized with your recs then you will find yourself sitting in June, missing recs and wondering what to do!

Hopefully you’ve been invited to a pre-recruitment event or two. these are so much fun.  If you are from out-of-state then you will be doing some traveling to get to these.  Many SEC sororities travel from campus to hold these in big cities close to their school so if you live in Nashville, Lexington, Louisville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Charleston…these are all places that will hold teas and parties in the spring.  These events are great first connections with houses.

So we are now to March….taking a break tomorrow from the time line to tell you a great  recruitment story I got yesterday.  I think you’re going to love it!!!!