During recruitment, it is so easy to speak on the amazing opportunities and friendships that are made in your chapter, and spark the excitement of a lifelong bond in conversations with a potential new member. But as a member, we all know that feelings of contentment & belonging in sisterhood are not always linear. Since joining your chapter, I am sure you have experienced that sense of belonging come and go. Maybe on Bid Day you did not feel at home in your chapter immediately. If it took time for you to feel that you belonged in your chapter, there is a good chance that the new members you recruit this fall may feel that way, too.
After Bid Day, members begin their new member period, which is arguably the most exciting, nerve wracking, inspiring and powerful period of your sorority journey. The days between bid day and Initiation solidify to each member that she is where she wants to be. This time period either confirms that she will be accepted by her newfound sisters or not. Often we leave this time to the new members to sort out what they want from their membership and forget that as initiated, experienced members of this chapter, we have a vital role to play! The way we include, support, and show up for the new members will have a direct correlation with how they feel about this new sisterhood they just joined. While recruitment has ended, you are still recruiting your new members to stay.
I have five ways for you to actively support the newest member class of your chapter in their journey to becoming an Initiated member! Keep reading to learn how:
Educate and Offer Help.
Being in college is about learning, both inside and outside the classroom. Share the same tough major as a new member? Invite her to study with you or to look over some of your notes from last year! Help educate her on important life skills and college hacks to prepare her in life. Sometimes the things we need to learn most are not in the textbook. Ask her questions; what does she want to know and how can you help her find answers?
Be an active listener and support her through life's obstacles. Sometimes, all our members need is someone to talk to and someone to listen to. Be sure to thank her when she shares information and her experiences. We know aspects of college can be challenging; let's help make them better!
Empower Her Leadership.
Encourage her to be confident in her abilities and give back to the chapter and campus community. This could be running for a leadership position in the chapter or another student organization. Help her identify her skill set and empower her to take action when achieving her goals.
When things seem tough, help her process thought about what is happening and give helpful direction on possible next steps. When you don't know the answers, refer her to someone who might be able to help. Know that you are not her only resource; connect her with other resources that can help guide her in the right direction.
Remind her what it means to be a real strong woman and motivate her to always seek the heights. Be a positive role model and influencer that motivates her to make smart choices. Members look up to mentors to help set the example, so let's show her what positive choices can reflect dignity and respect.
Being a mentor throughout your chapter’s newest member class period is a very bittersweet experience for yourself as well! You are transported back to your own journey, and the moments that defined your membership, or moments you wished had happened sooner. It is important to take in mind your own experience and build UP from it, knowing that you are now the older member you looked up to a year ago. Share this blog with a fellow recruiter or friend that experienced you new member experience alongside you!
Andrea is one of our incredible interns who has contributed to Her Sorority Journey programming & development during the 2021 summer! Meet our rockstar team of interns here: https://www.hersororityjourney.com/about