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10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going Through Recruitment

The sorority recruitment process can be a very confusing and intimidating experience if you let it be. Aside from being overwhelmed with your freshman dorm room only half unpacked, professors badgering you to purchase textbooks, and running out of meal swipes on a Wednesday, you’re also going through sorority recruitment: something that has been fantasized in Hollywood to be a scary and exclusive process. Although I had the guidance of others during the recruitment process, like my wonderful Pi Chi, I definitely can’t say I knew everything. Here are 10 things I wish I knew before I went through sorority recruitment.

Come in with an open mind.

Even if recruitment starts only a few days after classes begin, there’s time to hear rumblings about each and every house. No matter what you hear from older students or friends also going through recruitment, remember that going into recruitment with an open mind will make things much easier for you. If you hear something about a certain house and then fall in love with them during a recruitment round, that one thing you heard might get in the way. It’s hard to sum up a group of over 200 women with a simple statement, therefore, it shouldn’t be taken very seriously.

Don’t obsess over your outfit.

Choosing outfits for each round can be a lot of fun, but don’t let it cause you any stress. Your outfits during recruitment will not sway your potential of being invited back to a chapter. If anything, they can show your personality! Have fun with your outfit decisions, but don’t make it your first and most important priority.

Be honest.

You won’t find the right house for you if you’re not honest with yourself and sorority members. You will never need to change your interests to get a bid from a house. Just because one member you talk to likes something, doesn’t mean the 200+ chapter all has the same interest. The same goes for values. If you hear about the chapter’s values and don’t seem to agree, it wouldn’t be the best idea to say you support those values if you really don’t. In the end, you will find yourself in a chapter you’re not completely happy in.

The sororities are just as nervous as you are.

I refused to believe this during recruitment. I couldn’t imagine the beautiful girls of all the houses nervous to talk to ME: a timid and awkward freshman. After being on the other side of recruitment, I realized this saying I heard over and over again from my Pi Chi was true. We want you to find the best home FOR YOU, and that might not necessarily be the same chapter as ours, and that’s okay! It’s alright to feel a little nervous, but defintely don’t let it eat you alive. The recruitment process is exciting and should not make you nervous. We were all PNM’s at one point in time and remember all those fears we dealt with during recruitment.

Don’t focus your decisions on colors and symbols.

It’s easy to get caught up in the colors and symbols of a sorority. It’s exciting to think about the colors you might wear across campus for the next four years, representing your sisterhood, but don’t think too much about it. If your favorite color just so happens to be the same color of a sorority’s color during recruitment, don’t let it blindside you. If that house is the fit for you, then its a bonus that you get to flaunt your letters and your favorite color at the same time. However, if you’re using, “I love their colors!” as an excuse to want that sorority, it’s probably going to leave you unhappy in the long run. This also relates to colors you might HATE! If you love the girls in a house, their values, and so much more, but hate their colors, don’t let that stop you from creating the most precious friendships that you might miss out on otherwise. Every color and symbol that represents a chapter was chosen for a specific reason, related to the foundation of the sorority. They weren’t just chosen because they’re the chapters favorites.

Forget about the stereotypes.

It’s easy to go online and read all about the sororities and fraternities on campus on rank websites. Here’s my first piece of advice: just don’t. I unfortunately was not given this advice and spent my whole summer caught up in the lies written across the message boards. I went into recruitment thinking completely different things about chapters that just weren’t true. If you have already read these pages, clear your head and remember that an anonymous website should not sway your opinion on your future home. I have had the opportunity to meet members of every sorority on campus, and cannot believe the harsh things that are said about them on these websites.

Wear comfortable shoes.

Especially during sisterhood and philanthropy round, you will be on your feet A LOT. Be ready to stand for a long time those first three days. Wearing crazy uncomfortable shoes to get some compliments throughout the day will just leave you miserable and won’t have any affect on where you’re invited back. Preference round is dressier and many girls wear heels. This day isn’t as long so you can be a little riskier.

Don’t take it too seriously.

Recruitment is supposed to be a fun and exciting new experience. You’re meeting new people, learning about new things, and helping yourself grow. While many girls embrace the fun aspect of recruitment, many others take the process too seriously and become uptight, which keeps them from enjoying the journey. Recruitment is a fantastic way to learn more about yourself; your strengths, weaknesses, passions, and if you’re too focused on being serious, you’ll miss all of that.

Trust your gut.

Some say you’ll just know once you walk in the door of a certain house that it’s your home. This is great for some people, however; this isn’t always the case. I personally found myself stuck between two sororities after preference round and spent a long time talking to my Pi Chi. I listed to her all the things I loved about each house. After talking through what had been going on in my head for over a week, she looked at me and said, “You know where you belong. Stop making excuses and follow your gut.” I finally realized that my gut was telling me all along where I belonged. After talking with her and doing lots of thinking, I realized I was making excuses to potentially find my home somewhere else because of where my friends wanted to go. Thank goodness I trusted my gut, because it brought me exactly where I belong.

Bid Day is truly the best day.

Every sororities Instagram has at least one picture with the hashtag #BidDayBestDay, which is extremely catchy, but also extremely true. It was hard to imagine what Bid Day was going to be like until I experienced it. Aside from the fun outfits, delicious food, and group photos, this is the day you get to run into the arms of your family. Everyone you see will smile, give you a hug, and include you in the festivities. In a matter of seconds you will find yourself chanting the songs of your chapter. It’s difficult to explain exactly how amazing it is, but just be prepared to have a great day, no matter whose arms you run into.

This post originally appeared on Gamma Gamma’s blog.