I get emails every day asking about going through recruitment.  Many are from seniors in high school who are anxious about the process.  They are looking for reassurance that the process will successful.  They are looking for affirmation for who they are and that they will be accepted into a sisterhood.

I also get emails from moms who share their daughter’s anxiousness.  As mothers we are protective of our daughters, only wanting the best, not settling for less.  These mothers are also looking for reassurance that the process will be successful.  they too are looking for the affirmation that their precious daughters will accepted into the sisterhood they desire.

I decided that today I would give you some just plain old simple advice.  So here goes…

Recruitment can be very exciting, stressful, fun and challenging! It really helps to enter into this process with an open mind.  I can’t be gin to count the numbers of girls who have told me they only want this or that sorority.  Many times this judgement is made from just “knowing” a couple of girls in that particular sorority.  Sometimes it’s a girl from their high school or from their home town but basing a judgement on a whole house of girls by just a few is trouble.  You are setting yourself up for disappointment. I will even take it a step farther.  Sometimes these girls will “promise” that they will support you and they are just sure you will get a bid.  This is so wrong on so many different points!  First of all that is called “dirty rushing”…no one can promise you a bid. Secondly, one girls doesn’t have the power to unite her sisters and get a PNM a bid.  Don’t count on this..it doesn’t happen!

So ….keep an open mind.  You will hear rumors and talk about houses…don’t listen.  Be open to what each sorority brings to the table.  Each one will have its own special personality.  Sure there will be some that may not be a good fit for you but make sure that as you cross each and every threshold you do so with an open mind.

First impressions are just that..first impressions.  Sure it’s important to make a good one and that goes both ways in the recruitment world. A PNM needs to have done her homework and be prepared.  If that means you need recommendations for each house, then you need recommendations for each house. I repeat…if Panhellenic even hints that you need recs…GET THEM!!!  Not just for the houses you “like” but for every single house. This goes back to “keeping an open mind”.  I did have a girl call me after she had gone through recruitment and actually got a bid from a house that she did not get a rec for.  She told me I was wrong…that even at this uber competitive school you did not need a rec.  I told her to check again and she did.  Low and behold an alum who had been contacted by another Panhellenic member who our girl had contacted wrote her a rec for this particular sorority.  Moral of the story if it says you need recs…you need recs!

You will hear as a PNM that recruitment is a mutual selection process.   It is…kind of.  I have to share though that the power does  ultimately lie with the sorority.  You can select houses to return to but if you aren’t on their list then that invitation will not be there.  Again goes back to keeping an “open mind”.

And so that’s where the sorority’s first impression comes in.  We all have off days.  you hope and pray you don’t have them during recruitment but sometimes it happens.  If it happens to you as a PNM you hope and pray that the sorority gives you a second chance and the same is true for the sorority itself.  There are times when the active who picks you up at the door may be having an “off” day.  You may not click.  It happens. Don’t write off the other members of the house simply because of one bad conversation. Make sure you list all of the sororities you visit.  I can tell you, from experience, that many times over when a house that has been less than desirable to a PNM in the first rounds keeps coming back onto her party list it’s for a reason.  That reason is of course that those sisters feel a connection.  Sometimes it’s really hard fora PNM to see/feel this connection.  I attribute it to all of the emotional stress that is occurring as well as the fact that like it or not, many PNMs “hear” what other PNMs are saying and whether is subliminally or not they take that talk into consideration.

I remember a particular PNM who went through recruitment at a pretty competitive campus.  She swore up and down she had a n “open mind”.  this PNM knew lots of girls on campus and had several friends in a few of the different houses.  though we never actually spoke about it I am pretty sure she was confident that her “friends” were convincing their friends that their sorority should bid her.  One by one those houses did not invite her back.  To this sweet girls credit each day she tried to find the “good” in her party list until Bid Day.  She was convinced that one of the houses she visited for Preference was going to be her new sisterhood.  She was SHOCKED when she opened up her bid card and saw not her first or second choice but her third choice house.  She called me in tears.  All she kept saying was “I don’t want them”.   I convinced her to go to their bid day festivities and the rest is history.  When she got there she discovered a whole group of girls she had never met to talked to.  She called to tell me about her new sisters and to tell me that I was right.  She had based her opinion on a couple of bad first impressions fueled by the tent talk she was hearing from the other PNMs.  Keep and open mind.

Finally this is a lifetime decision.  A decision that should be made by you.  Listen to your heart.  These girls will not only be your sisters but will also be attendants in your wedding and god mothers of your children.  It’s true.  Of my 10 attendants 7 were sorority sisters.  I was maid of honor in my big sis’ wedding.  I still talk to these ladies daily even though we live thousands of miles apart.  And to add I now have my new sisters here…where I live.  It’s an amazing group of wonderful women.  I am proud to call my sisters!

So see..the advice is simple…keep an open mind, be prepared and listen to your heart.  Three small pieces of enormous importance.