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PNM Survival Guide

Going through recruitment this fall and don't know what to worry about? Our intern, Beth Marshall, has been in your shoes and is here to help! Keep reading for her top 10 tips to focus on the right things to not just survive but thrive in sorority recruitment:

Many of you are preparing to go through primary recruitment in the fall, which is insanely soon, or maybe you’re planning ahead for spring recruitment in the Spring! Thinking back to my recruitment experience, I wanted to share some advice of things I wish I had known or focused on that hopefully can create an amazing introduction to sorority for you.

When I went through primary recruitment, I honestly had zero idea what I was getting myself into. I barely knew the schedule, winged all of my outfits, and the only conversation prep that I did was a quick Google search of good back pocket questions. I ended up doing well and being a part of a great chapter, but I wish I had done more research going into formal recruitment.

I’ve compiled a condensed list of 10 things you need to know going into recruitment!

  1. Outfits

Have your outfits prepared but don’t stress too much about your outfits! Yes, you want to make a good impression and seem put-together, but in reality, the recruiters are not going to be scoring you based on your outfits, and if you feel like they are, then do you really want to be a part of that chapter? I bought my outfits about a month before recruitment and started looking for accessories way before. My advice is to be prepared and know what you are wearing for each day (including shoes and accessories) before going to campus (this will save you some last-minute stress), but don’t be too anxious about what you are wearing. Also, don’t worry about spending lots of money on your outfits - you probably already have many cute items in your closet that you can wear!

2. Your First Chapter

Your first chapter is going to be the most awkward. You won’t know what to expect, and it’ll be your first conversation! Trust me, after the first chapter; every party gets easier! Walk into your first chapter with confidence. Show this in your body language- stand up straight, smile, and look like you belong. The conversation in your first chapter will probably be pretty basic. You have to remember that this is also probably the first conversation that the recruiters are having, so they might be nervous too. Don’t worry if the conversation in your first chapter seems basic or shallow.

3. Forming Your Own Opinions

Do. Not. Look. At. Online. Reviews. Of. Chapters! Stay off of YikYak and GreekRank! This will absolutely ruin your recruitment experience. Form your own opinions based on your own conversations, and don’t look at what others are saying online.

4. Wellness

Self-care is super important during the week of formal recruitment. You want to make sure that you are getting enough sleep, eating, and drinking plenty of water to sustain your body's energy. I will be honest, I was not good at this when I went through formal recruitment, and it hurt me. I did not get enough sleep because I stayed up too late on my phone or pondered my opinions and woke up extremely early to start getting ready. I also was not drinking enough water (trust me, you need lots of water if you are talking all day and walking from house to house), and I was not eating well. By the end of the day, I was exhausted and hungry - and it showed in my conversations. Don’t be like me.

5. Talking to Other PNMs

When talking to other PNMs after their experiences, do not form your opinions based on what they think. You should rank the chapters only based on what you think. Trust me; I have many friends in other chapters. I am just as close with members of other chapters as I am with members of my own chapter. So it will be okay if you and your friends end up in different chapters! If this is the case, it might even be great for you! It is good to branch out and meet new people!

6. Make Friends With Your Recruitment Counselor Group

The women in your recruitment counselor group are the ones that are going to be with you through it all! Formal recruitment will be so much more fun if you make an effort to get to know them, even before meeting them (it might be cool to FaceTime or text them and introduce yourself!)! You never know; these women could also end up in the same chapter as you!

7. Trust Your Instincts

Deep down, you will know which chapters to rank first and which to rank last. You will know which chapter you feel like you belong in! Trust your instincts! Do not spend too much time contemplating which chapters you like the most. When it is time for you to rank chapters at the end of a round, go with what feels right. Just like a test, do not go back too many times and change your answers because, most likely, the first answer that came to mind was the right one.

8. Conversations

Have a list of five back pocket questions about chapters that you can ask recruiters. These should make you interested in learning more about the chapter and that sorority experience. Ensure the questions are related to the chapter and sorority experience, not the recruiter. Rank the chapters, not the specific members.

Here are my five back pocket questions:

  • How did you know that this chapter was the right one for you?

  • Did you live in the house? What is it like to live in the house?

  • What kinds of leadership positions are available?

  • What is your favorite memory so far being in this chapter?

  • Who is your best friend in this chapter? How did you meet your best friend in this chapter?

You should aim to ask at least a few questions about the chapter during each party. Again, this makes it seem like you are super interested in joining the chapter and gives you more information about that chapter. These are great questions to pull out when the conversation is feeling dry or your turn to ask a question. It also gives the recruiter a break from thinking of questions to ask you or carrying on the conversation.

9. Give Each Chapter Your Best Effort

Even if you do not feel like a particular chapter is right for you, still give them your best effort! It is best to always be respectful and courteous. Being rude to chapters you dislike can have significant consequences in your recruiting process. You never know, you may end up loving the chapter and the recruiters that you meet!

Don’t go into formal recruitment with only a few organizations in mind that you like. There’s a good chance that your opinions will change once you go through recruitment and meet every chapter!

10. Bid Day is Awkward

Bid Day is awkward, and everyone knows it. There’s a good chance that your Bid Day will not be like what you see on YouTube and Instagram. The reality is that you are running home to a chapter where you have only met a handful of people! Bid Day is an excellent opportunity to get to know more people in the chapter and relax! Try to have fun on Bid Day, talk to as many people as possible (especially those in your new member class), and relax because you are home!

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