After almost two months of quarantine, we all have a list of exciting things to look forward to once this pandemic ends. Apart from hugging our best friends, getting ice-cream in the city again, and walking through a grocery store without a mask, we can’t wait to be reunited with our sisters!
We all miss our sorority life more than words can ever say. I talk to my best friends in my sorority every day via Zoom or text and even schedule FaceTime coffee dates and Netflix Parties to make up for not seeing each other in person all the time. And so, we are unbelievably excited for the Fall and recruitment season!
In reflection, going through formal recruitment as a sophomore was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Personally, as a first-generation immigrant-turned-U.S.-citizen, I knew that apart from working incredibly hard to chase after my dreams, I needed to establish a support system that would offer me love and encouragement, and vice versa. I learned the hard way that you need the right people by your side to help build you up as both an accomplished professional and also as a person. Therefore, I chose to go through formal recruitment in order to find my possible second family.
And I’m so blessed to say I did! Apart from finding my forever sisters and support system, my sorority has helped to teach me how to love myself as I am. I have been given a diverse array of wonderful opportunities to be a leader, educate myself on different societal topics, and learn teamwork while putting myself out there.
Therefore, because of this, I know just how important this first recruitment season is going to be for me and my Pledge Class. Our lives have changed in less than a year, and as initiated members of our sisterhood, we can’t wait to add more potential new sisters (and littles!)
And so, apart from the exciting memories we’ll make in the Fall, we also want to ensure that all the girls going through recruitment will have a fun and memorable time as well.
Here are the best tips I have on making sure that you and your sorority chapter are prepared for Formal Recruitment in the Fall:
Schedule & Attend Recruitment Workshops Online
It can feel discouraging sometimes to not physically be in the presence of our sisters. But just because we are apart, doesn’t mean the love and support isn’t there.
Going through formal recruitment for the first time creates butterflies in my stomach. But the best part is, this combination of excitement and nerves can be calmed, thanks to technology! You and your sisters can still schedule, host, and attend Zoom chapter workshops and Panhellenic workshops.
This way, even during the pandemic, everyone can still learn all the recruitment rules and expectations. This will ease our qualms because we will know the basics in the Fall, as we go through practice in-person. It is also an important and comforting way to ask any questions for first-timers (such as myself), and get a sense of what formal recruitment will be like.
Stay Connected with your Sisters
This is perhaps one of the most important things ever! It’s easy to feel alone during this crazy time, but you can find comfort in each other. Schedule times to talk with your sisters, and exchange stories of how you feel right now, and how you feel with recruitment coming up. Communication is key in setting ourselves up for a successful season.
In addition, building that bond with your sisters adds strength to your sisterhood! Plan study sessions for finals, organize a fun contest (my chapter had a pasta-making competition via Zoom) or set up a virtual coffee date with a sister you miss.
Plan and Journal your Ideas for Fall Recruitment
Talking to your sisters and swapping ideas is one of the BEST parts about recruitment! You are all in this together. And so, collaborating over graphics with your chapter’s marketing team and creating a look-book of potential recruitment outfits are effective ways to keep the positivity flowing in your sorority.
You can also plan out fun future captions for all those cute future recruitment photos! Psychologically doing this can help you to stay optimistic and hopeful during this stressful time. Recruitment can seem scary, but reminding each other that you are not alone is so important.
Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
Remember that you are in your sorority for a reason: because you are you, and that is beautiful!
It’s important to know the protocols and rules, but also equally important to remember that you are valued and loved. There is no need to change yourself to get others to like you because you are already enough just the way you are.
Follow the guidelines to proudly rep your chapter and make yourself proud, but remember to add hints about who you are during recruitment. This can be done with a cute accessory or a fun, personalized topic during your conversations.
In the end, with everything going on, it’s easy to be unsure of what the future will bring. But we have to keep persisting. This time apart will only make our hearts grow fonder. Finding methods of self-care and practicing optimism can help to get us going through this confusing situation.
Life does not stop for anybody, no matter how crazy the world is right now. Having something to look forward to, such as recruitment, helps to encourage us. Things may seem unsure, but everything will be better so soon, and we just need to hang in there and let our sisters know how much we love and support them.
Xx, Maria Cieslarczyk
Saint Louis University, Kappa Alpha Theta