In short, I would 100% recommend participating in Recruitment at your university. Being involved in a sorority has been an incredible decision since it has brought so many supportive and inspirational women into my life, given me another platform to make a difference in my community, and allowed me to be extremely involved on my campus. Read on to learn everything you need to know to go into Recruitment prepared!
What’s the Recruitment process like?
Recruitment can vary depending on the school, but at my school, each PNM (potential new member) is placed into a small group led by an RC (rush counselor). Your RC serves as your mentor during Recruitment and helps you with any questions/concerns throughout the process. She also often provides your schedule each day. During my year, Recruitment consisted of five days: House Tours, Sisterhood Day, Philanthropy Day (which was technically broken into two evenings due to timing), Preference Night, and Bid Day. On House Tours, each PNM will visit every chapter's house and briefly talk to one (or more) active members. After their last event, they will rank the houses depending on where they felt they best connected with the girls they spoke to. The chapters have a similar ranking process each night. In the morning, the PNMs receive a schedule listing the houses they will return to. The process continues with each girl visiting fewer chapters per day until she is usually left with two on Preference Night. By the final night, a PNM usually has a sense of where she feels the strongest bond since each increasing day allows for longer conversations that focus more centrally on core values, rather than just introductions. Bid Day closes the Recruitment process and involves the girls receiving a bid (or invite) to their new sisterhood!
What if I get dropped from a house?
I know the idea of getting dropped from a is nerve-wracking, but I promise this happens to almost everyone at some point during rush week. In this situation, take a deep breath and remind yourself not to stress. The active members usually know multiple girls in each chapter well, so chances are that if a house didn't invite you back, it's because they knew you would be a perfect fit somewhere else! Keep an open mind when visiting all the houses that loved you; you'll end up where you're meant to in the end. :)
What should I wear each day?
Again, the guidelines for outfits can depend on the school, but generally, each day tends to be increasingly more formal. Check on this outfit guide for some inspiration! But regardless of your school, three important tips to keep in mind are:
- Wear what you feel confident and comfortable in!
- Make sure your outfit & hair look presentable; showing you made an effort to get ready tells the active members you care about being there.
- Try to pick a unique accessory and wear it each day. This will help you be easily identifiable among hundreds of girls, and it can be a great conversation starter. I was given this advice before I rushed, so I wore a constellation necklace for my zodiac sign, Sagittarius, each day. I ended up having countless girls comment on it!
Is there anything I need to bring with me?
I recommend bringing a tote bag with you during Recruitment. Your RC will usually stand outside the house during each event and watch over anything you don't bring inside. Here are a few essentials that got me through rush:
- WATER - You'll need to stay hydrated in between houses.
- A comfortable pair of shoes to change into - You'll be most likely be wearing heels or wedges to each event, so changing your shoes to walk to each house will save your feet.
- Snacks - At my school, House Tours lasted from 9 am - 9 pm. Make sure to pack some healthy snacks so you stay energized throughout the day.
- Oil Blotting Sheets - These things are lifesavers and quickly refresh your face.
- Mints/Gum - You'll be talking to lots of active members, so fresh breath never hurts :)
- Makeup - I wouldn't recommend toting around your entire makeup bag, but bringing powder and lip gloss for touch-ups helps you stay put-together all day.
- Perfume - My Recruitment week happened to fall on the hottest week of the year, so sweat is inevitable. A quick spritz of perfume before entering a house is always a good idea!
How should I present myself?
Remember to smile, act personable, and most importantly, be the best version of YOU! Being yourself will allow you to portray yourself confidently and connect with girls who will push you to be your best. It's important to be enthusiastic, outgoing, and initiate the conversation when appropriate. But don't pretend to be someone you're not. Often it's the most real statements, whether they're heartfelt or funny, that will make you a house favorite. One of my best friends forgot her heels outside a house on Pref Night and had to walk into her favorite house wearing flip flops. She told the story to the girl she was paired with, and she got a bid!
What should I talk about?
Often times, the girl(s) you're paired with lead the conversations. In addition to learning more about each chapter, House Tours is mostly introductions, Sisterhood Day usually focuses on the values that matter to you in friendships, and Philanthropy Day discussions usually consist of your interest in community service. By Preference Night, you'll typically already feel a bond with the two houses you have left, so conversations are usually deeper and effortless. Remember to talk as if you were speaking to a friend, but keep the conversations clean. A safe rule to stick to is to avoid bringing up partying or boys.
Remember to relax!
Nerves are absolutely normal, so just remember to close your eyes and take a deep breath any time you get anxious. It's natural to feel on edge as a first-year who hasn't adjusted to college life quite yet, but the active members you're talking to are just as nervous as you! The process goes both ways, and I promise they're just as focused on making a good impression on each PNM as you are about making a good impression on them.
-- Juliana Presto, Alpha Omicron Pi