I have received such an overwhelming response to yesterdays post I reached out to the “girls” and asked if I could share more of our conversation and they said sure….so here goes.
I asked them what was the hardest part of recruitment for you?
Leah…”It was the enormousness of the whole thing. Going in I just kind of thought that all the hype was just that..hype but it wasn’t. My school had about 1300 girls go through recruitment the year I did. I kept hearing that it was “competitive” and I did worry that I wouldn’t get a bid but I never realized how really BIG it was until I got on campus. I had helped move my brother and sister into their dorm rooms but this was another whole level. girls had interior decorators who were instructing workers where to put items. In one case they actually removed all of the built ins for custom-built ins…it was crazy! I had all of my recruitment things organized and was really feeling good about my clothing choices until I met a girl down the hall. Her mother had hired a “coach” and she had been prepping since the beginning of her junior year for recruitment. She had garment bags full of amazing designer clothes, gorgeous jewelry and shoes…wow she must have had 100 pairs..I’m not kidding. I know she was the exception to the rule but when you are from out-of-state and feeling like you’ve just been dropped in a foreign land..well this just did not help! My parents and brother were great…they were so positive and calm (while I was just falling to pieces inside!) I actually told them to leave early the next morning…I just had to get my hear around this.”
Maggie….”Yep…I agree 100%. Just wrapping your head around so many girls…all wanting a bid to just a handful of the “good” houses was hard but I think the hardest thing for me was that I had some really hard decisions to make. I didn’t get the deep cuts that some of my friends did. I was lucky, I felt like I really had a lot of control in the process. I was so confused when it came to Round 3 parties. I had 7 amazing houses and I loved a little bit about each one. There was a dark horse that hadn’t even been on my radar going in that was a front-runner. I really loved these girls and I could just see myself there but I also had a house that a really good friend from high school was in. I love her like a sister! I really struggled because I could see myself with her sisters as well but I kept getting pulled emotionally back to the one house. I also had 2 other houses that I had made really strong connections with. I ended up sitting and talking with my recruitment counselor for a really long time…trying to make the right decision. I cold only pick 3 houses and well….my struggle was the house my friend was in. It was in the #4 spot. My recruitment counselor told me if she was really my friend she’d want the best for me…so I put them in my bottom 4. that was so hard but it was the right choice. My recruitment counselor was right…my friend totally understood!”
Kasey…”I think the hardest thing for me was the waiting. Not just the waiting for recruitment but I kind of felt like I was waiting to make friends. Since our recruitment is deferred I was afraid to bond with girls for fear that it wold sway my decisions during recruitment. When I look back on that now I realize how silly it was, but at the time it really scared me! I wanted to make sure that I made the right decision for me. I tend to be a follower and so I was just hyper-sensitive about making sure I went through the process with an open mind. Some of the girls looked up the different sororities on a couple of different websites that ranked sororities on college campuses. They’d sit and talk about what houses had good scores and what houses had bad ones. I wanted to stick my fingers in my ears and not listen but my curiosity got the best of me. Interestingly enough what I found was that I knew more than the websites just by sitting back and observing. Trust your gut….it will tell you the truth.”
Annamaria..”.I think I actually knew too much going into the process. I had friends in houses on campus and they had all told me about what to expect and how each party went. I knew what questions were going to be asked and how girls were rated. I analyzed every move I made and I think that made it harder to be myself. I found myself trying to be the perfect girl for each house I visited. As I mentioned before I also had thought I was “golden” with every house I had a friend in. They all just kept reassuring me that I would do fine and I took that to mean that no one would cut me and I would have one of those perfect recruitments you hear about all of the time. When I didn’t get invited back to some of my friends houses then my “in the know paranoia” kicked into full gear. I would analyze every move that each member made while we were talking…I nearly drove myself crazy!!”
Beth…”.Hmmm…the hardest part for me was not wanting to disappoint my family. They never really said anything out loud…at least my mom didn’t. My sisters told me that I should look at every house..don’t get me wrong they were great but there was this unspoken assumption that I wold go that house. My mom and I made this deal that she wouldn’t ask about my legacy house. My sisters still had connections on campus and so I knew they had been calling and checking to see who I’d talked to and everything…it was awkward and I kind of felt all alone. I wanted to just LOVE the legacy house..and I did but I LOVED others as well. The sense of “I owed it to my family” really got the best of me in the end. I put my legacy house first after Pref. I knew if I did this that I’d get a bid. You know it’s funny…girls kept telling me all went how lucky I was that I had this safety net to get a bid but truth is I was just as scared and nervous as they were.”
McKenzie….” I got sick during the week. I think because I was so nervous I just couldn’t eat and I just got really sick. By Preference I had no voice and a gross cough. oh and I guess I’d better share this because it WILL happen to one of you..I got my period!!!!! And even worse I got it during a party!!! I thought I was going to die. I had that “oh oh” feeling and so I was lucky because i had a break and so I ran to the bathroom and yup..i had it!! I didn’t have a tampon or anything but my recruitment counselor had a bag of stuff she carried with her and she had one so I was good until I could go back to the dorm. I wasn’t even supposed to get it them but I think all of the stress of moving in and all made it come early. I would tell you to be prepared for that. If you can carry a tote bag around with you make sure you put tampons or pad in there just in case. I would also put breath spray, mints, Band-Aids (I had a horrible blister from my Jack Rogers sandals!), Tylenol, flip-flops, deodorant, blotting pads, extra mascara, a granola bar, cough drops, lip gloss..just anything you think you’re going to need.”
Maisy and Zoey….Zoey spoke first. “I think the hardest thing for us was that we each wanted to make our own decision independently of each other but we are really close in a “twins” sort of way (Maisy nodding her head) and so sometimes we don’t even have to talk we just kind of know what the other one is thinking. We didn’t room together and in fact we were in the same dorm but on totally different floors. We did have the same recruitment counselor (even she couldn’t tell us apart until we told her in the morning…she made us each tie a different color bow to our tote bags so she could ).”
Masiy…”Zoey and I decided before wen went that we wouldn’t talk about the different houses in the gossipy sort of way. We decided that we would only say positives about each one. That was really hard!!! I had one house where all they wanted to do was talk about my twin (she had been at the party right before mine) and I felt like they were more focused on her than me. It made me feel like I was competing with my sister and I really didn’t like that!”
I then asked them if there was anything as actives that they now knew that they would like to share?
Zoey…”I think that you have to know that we, as actives, are really nervous as well (especially if it’s our first year). We want YOU to like our house too. We want to make a good impression and we don’t want you to leave and go out there saying “Well that house sucked (ooppss!! sorry!).”
Maisy….”I would tell you to ask questions to the active that you are talking with. We like to talk about ourselves too. Sitting there listening to girls go on and on party after party about themselves can get a little boring. If we ask what you did during the summer then turn around and ask us what we did. Ask us what we love about our sisters? What we do in our down time? What’s our favorite room in the house?”
Leah….”Remember that we too went through the same process as you are going through. We felt all those squeezy stomach emotions and cried the same tears. Most of us didn’t have the “perfect recruitment” (glancing at Maggie and winking). Some of us didn’t end up with our first or even second choice but I can tell you this…if we had to go back and do it again we all would (everyone nodding) because I for one and I am sure everyone here would agree that the bond we have with our sisters is something that will last a life time.”
Beth…”I would agree! My Godmother is one of my mom’s “sisters”. The bridesmaids in my mothers wedding were her “sisters”. When she has something exciting to share she calls her best friend who just happens to be one of her “sisters”. I can hardly wait for the day that I can tie my engagement ring on that candle, sing the song, pass it and then receive the hugs and squeals of joy for my “sisters”. It’s worth all of the other stuff, the tears and emotions and craziness we put ourselves through.”
McKenzie….”Some people question “Why” we do this. Why run around like a crazy person having coffee with blue haired ladies so that they will write you a rec to a house, maybe not even on the same campus that they went to school at, so that you just might receive a bid? Well we do it because the prize in the end is so great that it’s totally worth it.”
Kasey…”I’ll share something special. My Sophomore year I couldn’t go home for Thanksgiving. It’s no secret that the whole sorority thing is/can be pricey and well…I work every summer to help pay as much as I can of the dues. I’m at school on a good scholarship so I can’t work during the school year. I really wanted to go home because my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer before I left for school. I hated to leave her..she had to have chemo and it made her sick and we just couldn’t afford to fly me home. I had lots of sisters who offered to take me home with them but I really wanted to see my mom in person (we skyped a lot), just to see that she really was doing “ok”. At chapter right before Thanksgiving Break the President of the house stood up and said that she had a special award to give out. She said it was called the “Brave Sister Award”..given for bravery and valor in a time when the chips were down, times were tough this one girl had shown amazing courage. She went on to say that this girl was inspiration to the entire sorority. She kept a 4.0, was involved as Philanthropy Chair, sent little pick me up notes to sisters who were having a tough time and at that moment I began to cry because I realized that she was talking about me. My sisters formed a circle around me and the President of the house handed me an envelope..inside was a round trip plane ticket home for Thanksgiving. I cried so hard and we all hugged…that’s why it’s worth it ladies. Remember this when the stress of recruitment gets to you…the emotional roller coaster gets too hard to ride. Hang in there and hold on …..it’s worth it!”