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Dear Her Sorority Journey, What Do I Need to Know Before Recruitment?

Going through sorority recruitment is a nerve-racking, but exhilarating experience. With the glamorization of primary recruitment (often referred to as 'rush') through social media platforms, it is extremely easy to become overwhelmed with worry and questions. Is recruitment as scary as it seems? Does it matter where my outfits come from? Does it matter if I am not a legacy of any organization? No, no, and no. We will take you through some things we wish we knew before going through primary recruitment.

Don’t Be Nervous!

More easily said than done, right? We will be the first to share that the active members are just as nervous as you are. We promise! Darby shares, "During my first year recruiting, I was a nervous wreck, just as much, if not more, then when I walked into the room as a PNM."

These chapter women are just as excited to talk with you as you are with them! They are so excited to find their future sisters in the recruitment groups coming through the door. The weeks leading up to recruitment are all about preparing sisters to talk to you, and by the first round, they are so ready to get to know you!

Know yourself (and a little about them, too)!

Before recruitment, spend some time intentionally naming the values and characteristics you’d like your future sorority to embody. This can be anything from taking an online quiz to help determine your results, talking to friends and family, or simply sitting alone with a journal and jotting down some ideas! Once the rounds begin, superficial things like outfits, themes, and chants can easily get in the way and take the spotlight off of what really matters: how well your values match up to an organization’s values! So, during any given round, focus on the conversations you’re having, the sisters’ experiences you’re learning about, and the nitty-gritty of what this organization holds dear, as these are the most indicative of what membership in that chapter will be like. Our recommendation- have a section in the notes app of your phone or bring a notebook with you to jot down notes after rounds of things that may help you determine if the sororities you visited have reached some of those values and characteristics you earlier identified.

Do your research ahead of time! First, we recommend following ALL chapters on your campus and your school's Panhellenic Council on Instagram. This is a great tool to keep up with important dates and take a peek into their membership experience. However, Instagram isn’t everything! The chapters on your campus all have websites where they often feature member achievements, details on their philanthropy, and recruitment information specific to their chapter. This is a great tool for getting familiar with the chapters' values and basic characteristics (think: mascot, colors, Greek letters, the year they were founded on your campus) before you step in their door for Round 1. Taking the extra time prior to recruitment to find out some of these values and characteristics will save you precious moments during rounds and also give you talking points or questions to ask. Having some prior knowledge of the sorority also shows your enthusiasm to join an organization of like-minded women!

Additionally, consider how sisters treat each other and others outside of the recruitment room or at recruitment events. Our biggest ‘don’t’- don’t look at GreekRank & YikYak! These are hives of gossip, and will never provide accurate information useful to you as a potential new member.

Image courtesy of Samford Greek Life

Do outfits really matter?

Your clothes should be polished and look professional, but they absolutely do not need to be crazy expensive or a specific brand. The name of the game is professionalism. Our recommendation- don't wear anything you wouldn’t wear to an interview!

Sororities don’t (or shouldn’t- it is a glaring red flag if they do) care about brand names, but we do care if your clothes are not appropriate for recruitment. Nothing should be too short, show (too much) cleavage, and bra straps should not be visible. We recommend trying on all of your clothes at least 2 weeks before the first round and asking someone to look at all of your outfits. Also, try on your shoes and make sure you can walk longer distances in them.

Other than that, dress how YOU want to dress! Clothes are an important form of self-expression, and chapters want to get to know you, not someone else! Wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident! There is nothing that will make you shine more than feeling your best. The rounds will get more formal as they progress and we recommend talking to a recruitment counselor for specifics about outfits on your campus! Every school is going to be a little different, so instead of looking around at others, focus on diving into your style and showing up as you feel confident. During recruitment, it can be easy to dress how you think others would want you to. It can feel overwhelming when deciding what to wear, but no one knows your style better than you!

Listen to your body, mind, heart, AND your recruitment counselor!

Be resilient. Recruitment can be hard, especially after getting invitations back to chapters after each round, trekking from house to house all day (or campus room to campus room), and talking to lots of different women from different chapters. Remember that each sorority offers unique opportunities for personal growth, leadership development, philanthropy, and community service. Every organization has something special to offer, and there are incredible opportunities in every chapter! What truly matters is finding the one where you feel most at home and can envision yourself thriving. Don’t let comments from others or failed expectations get your excitement for sorority life down!

Listen to your gut! More likely than not, one (or more!) chapters’ philanthropy or values will resonate with you, the sisters you meet will remind you of friends you made in high school, or the round flies by and you don’t want to leave. These are all signs you might be a good fit for that chapter. Also, don’t let other opinions sway you; in fact, avoid talking about your opinions on chapters with other PNMs as much as you can. Every chapter will be a good fit for someone, and you don’t want to miss out on your ‘perfect match’ in an attempt to fit in with a crowd.

Lean on your Recruitment Counselor! Your Recruitment Counselor is there to help you through the whole process and is the perfect person to ask for last-minute advice. Her own recruitment experiences and membership in her chapter (regardless of which one it is) make her a great resource for you, and she will be more than happy to answer any questions you have. Don’t get distracted by your recruitment counselor’s affiliation (or trying to guess it); instead, see her as an embodiment of the Panhellenic community as a whole. After all, she has been in extensive training and workshops and she was carefully selected to help guide YOU through your unique recruitment experience.

Go with confidence! The chapters on your campus are so eager to meet you and welcome you into a sisterhood that you will cherish lifelong. And know that you always have a sister in Her Sorority Journey!

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