I know what you must be thinking when reading this title. That I've graduated and I no longer have to do sorority recruitment. The last four years, sorority was my life. I didn't base my entire life around it, but I learned so much during my time throughout recruitment. I didn't have the typical sorority recruitment. In fact, I got to experience different sides of recruitment: the PNM (Potential New Member), the Recruiter, Gamma Chi (basically a guidance counselor for the girls going through recruitment) and Head Gamma Chi. With all these different experiences, I have five important things to know about sorority recruitment that sorority women might relate to as well as the expectations through the recruitment process.
1. It's not about the outfits- You can find the most gorgeous outfit in the entire world to make an impression, but it's all about the person you are. As a recruiter, I never paid attention to what someone was wearing, even if it was a Lilly dress. I was more focused on the conversation I was having with the girl and how her personality would fit in with my chapter. As a Gamma Chi, my girls always asked me if their outfit looked ok for a certain day. I always told them they looked great and I enjoyed the bounding experience with them, but I rather have them focus on questions they wanted to ask the chapter that made them stand out.
2. Rely on your Gamma Chi for guidance- When I went through recruitment, I fell in love with my Gamma Chi. Not because of her southern twangy (which I adored), but because she listened to what I thought and never tried to persuade me towards any chapter. She would ask me how I was feeling about certain houses and where I could see myself at. When I took on that role myself, I wanted to give my girls the same experience. Even if they had negative things to say about my chapter or positive. It was their forever home, not mine. I would ask them where they could see themselves for the next four years.
3. Sorority life is what you make it- Coming in as a new member, sorority life is what you make it. If you don't get involved or don't meet your new sisters, you won't enjoy it. I got my sorority big and I absolutely loved her from the first day I met her. Then I just started trying to find ways to get involved. For awhile, I was contemplating if joining a sorority was right for me. I would apply for pretty much everything, but never made the final cut. That all changed when I was nominated and slated for Panhellenic my sophomore year. At the time, I wasn't sure what my role would be. I watched the show Greek and knew little about Panhellenic. After a couple of months of weekly meetings I found the most exciting opportunities and wanted to continue with this side of leadership. Once I got my littles, it just seemed to come around for me. There are moments where I look back and wish I signed up for a few more things, but you have to remember you're a student first and a sorority woman second.
4. Be Yourself- During recruitment, you might be dressed up and act differently because of nerves. You need be 100% yourself because these girls will see you at your best and worst. In college you don't normally wear dresses or have a bunch of make up on. Half time your hair isn't really done when going to class. These girls are human beings just like you and if given a choice they would recruit in gym shorts and a sorority t-shirt. When looking at different sisterhoods, look at how other girls are mingling with their sisters. Can you imagine being in this certain type of sisterhood? Find the chapter that accepts you for you and not as a number to a pledge class.
5. Don't stereotype- Last, but probably the most important rule to take with you when going through recruitment and being a recruiter. Don't stereotype PNMs or the sorority! Just don't do it. I remember standing in line freshmen year at houses and I had no clue about the different stereotypes at the University of Kentucky. I would overhear girls with siblings in different chapters saying "Oh this is the rich one" or "this is the smart chapter." Every chapter is different on every campus and each person has their own views of every chapter. Stereotyping houses not only ruins it for you, but also ruins it for other girls who love the house and even the recruiter, who is trying to spark a fun conversation with you. On the recruiter side, the PNM is nervous and think that you are the most amazing person that they have ever talked to you because you are a sorority college girl. Make them feel comfortable and don't judge them so quickly. You were in their shoes once.
Sorority recruitment can be a stressful time in a girl's life. I hope my helpful tips will make you feel confident through the process. It should be a fun experience. Don't think too much about it because you will end up where you are meant to be. Though you have your sisters, it doesn't mean you can't be friends with girls in other chapters. Some of my best friends I found where in different chapters and that didn't stop us from hanging out together. Good luck during Fall Recruitment!!!!!