Those of you who know me (or read this blog, creep on me and feel like you know me) know that I run.  I run in the morning (3.5 miles) and walk at night (another 3.5…oh and I run this if I didn’t run in the morning).  I am OCD about this…I have melt downs if I don’t go!  And yet this morning I just couldn’t pull on the Norts and over sized sorority tank to go.  Bottom line…this process is getting to me.  I am experiencing the same stress and anxiety that I felt when our youngest went through recruitment at Bama in 2010.

I shared this with my husband last night as I was sitting on the bed, cutting laminating for one of my kindergarten teachers who needs help.  He chided me that I shouldn’t get so invested in girls and moms I barely know and I reminded him that in many cases I have been chatting with these girls and mommas for months and months.  We have bonded and I am invested!  So it makes total sense that when they only get 2 parties back on Philanthropy Day I took feel the pangs of panic, disappointment and squeezy stomach fear.

So this morning I have broken routine, am sitting here at the computer and wanted to pen a few words.  I hope they speak to you and yours, give you some solace and hope as well as explain the process and most of know that you are not alone and known or unknown to me…I hold you in my hear this week and the weeks to come as so many of you head down the recruitment road.

First of all I wanted to share that even though you prepare yourself for the expected (in this case I am speaking of deep cuts due to GPA issues or lack of recs) I know that when it actually presents itself to you the shock factor still slaps you in the face.  I think we all harbor the notion , “It just can’t happen to me”.  If you are a girl who only has 4 houses on your Philanthropy card take a deep breath.  Remember it only takes 1.  I have shared with so many girls and mommas about one sweet pnm last year who carried 1 house ALL week.  Her heart was broken after Ice Water Teas.  She went into the process late and with a GPA issue.  She knew the odds going in (I made sure of that) but still wanted to try.  Even having the knowledge did not prepare her for the shock of seeing just one house.  After chatting she embraced the house she had. As I explained there are no “pity” invites back.  She was invited back because this house saw something in her that let them know she was “sister” material.  She put on her big girl panties, smiled her beautiful smile and marched into their parties.  I was so proud of her and cried tears of joy when I discovered her on their lawn Bid Day morning wearing her letters.  Hang in there.  Even 1 house may not be a death sentence.

For some girls yesterday not getting a full party card of 12, even though your friends did, and having some (if not all) of your bottom 4 come back was as shock.  Don’t focus on the friends….you don’t know their legacy status, their unspoken connections, who wrote their recs (it’ amazing how cut throat this gets sometimes…friends may not have shared with even their best of friends their “ace in the hole” recs….this is especially true for in-state girls ). I always try to prepare girls for the eventuality that those bottom houses might come back up…again it’s the “it won’t happen to me mindset”…yes..well it can though :).  Remember ….they are there because they WANT to see you back.  They are looking forward to seeing you and this gets even more important as the next round of cuts occurs (for Alabama it’s tonight but several other schools will experience their first round of cuts tonight as well). I think it’s hard because in some cases you get you card …the shock hits and then you are off to your first party..still reeling from what’s on your card.  I know this can be unsettling.  Don’t let it affect your conversations at that first party.  It’s over can’t go back and change things, what’s done is done.  Instead embrace the houses that did invite you back.  Give them a good second look.  Look for the hidden gems you may not have seen before and most importantly try to relax, have fun and enjoy the process.

Tomorrow will bring another round of cuts. The grade cuts are gone so we are now down to the nitty-gritty of connections.  Even though you may be able to see yourself in a house the members may not have the same opinion.  For those full party card girls this may be the day of reckoning. What I mean is their perfect recruitment may be headed south.  Oh sure there will be that handful of girls who will have the perfect recruitment..there are every year but chances are tomorrow morning early some girls are going to get “the call” and those who thought they were sitting pretty may get a rude awakening.

I wanted so share some valuable advice.

First of all don’t force it.  What I mean is don’t try too hard.  Yes I know you LOVE a particular house and you would do anything for a bid but babbling on and on about their philanthropy or trying too hard to make a connection with a girl who is not connecting with you isn’t going to help to get a bid.  There are some girls that you won’t connect with. It’s a fact.  So I encourage you to keep and open mind and explore all of your options.

Secondly, and I am going to say it AGAIN…DON’T LISTEN TO TENT TALK!!!!  Period!!!  If you have a question that isn’t gossipy ask your Rho Chi.  To dispel a few rumors I have heard from girls this week. NO….there are not sororities that sit you on a washer while it is running and circle your fat with a sharpie.  NO….if a sorority cuts you they cannot change their minds and ask you back.  No…not all sororities do MSS with slide shows.  No….if you wear a black dress to pref you will not get cut because of the dress.

Yes….if you are a grade risk even if you make it to skit that does not guarantee that you are out of the woods with the GPA.  When listing PNMs if there is a tie then most sororities revert to GPA to decide.  Yes…if you maximize your options you are technically guaranteed a bid for all practical purposes. How ever things can happen so don’t count on that bid until you have it in your hand.

If a sorority tries to contact you during recruitment it is a violation of panhellenic rules.  Yes…even if they do it through a third party. Do not talk with them.  Yes…even if they have dropped you.  The house is subject to a huge fine and you may be released from recruitment.  It’s called dirty rushing.  Remember the walls have ears.  Watch what you say and do at all times.

Finally…with another round of cuts coming I would remind you again to trust this process. while at times I really dislike it, it’s the only one we have and for the most part it does work.  If you are one of those girls who is carrying 2 houses and you are dropped to 1 then you have a decision to make. Think long and hard why you went through recruitment.  If this house really does not seem like it is a fit at all then drop but if you have even the remotest feeling that you might be happy there (after you get over the trauma of recruitment) then you owe it to yourself to try it.  You don’t have to initiate and yes…you will have to wait a calendar year to go through recruitment again but it is worth it.

The day is now long gone and bed is calling me….good luck to all of you out there who are in the process. just finished this process or are ready to stat it in the future. Stay true to who you are, be confident in who you are and trust in who you are.