Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sorority Recruitment Tips plus All About My Experience

(Sorry in advance for all of the pictures (and the length of this post)... I couldn't help but want to include so many when all of them made me smile and help to show what an incredible experience greek life has been for me.)

A question I always receive this time of year is "can you do a post about sorority recruitment?" I love that there are so many of y'all interested in Greek life at your school and am flattered that you come to me wanting advice. I am by no means a pro when it comes to navigating the recruitment process but have had my share of experience when it comes to the positive opportunities being involved with Greek life on my campus.



For starters I feel like it would be helpful for y'all to know a little about how the process works at my school. I am a rising senior at Furman University, which is in Greenville, SC. At Furman we have delayed recruitment, which means that recruitment doesn't happen for us until second semester. While both at the beginning of school recruitment and delayed recruitment have their pros and cons try to embrace what your campus does! At Furman greek life is pretty prominent. With under 3000 students about 60% of our campus is Greek with 7 different sororities (Kappa Delta, Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Zeta Tau Alpha) to join and 6 different fraternities (Beta Theta Pi, Pi Kappa Phi, Kappa Alpha, Sigma Nu, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Sigma Chi). If you're not interested in greek life but want to attend Furman I can guarantee that you won't feel left out as I know plenty of people who have chosen to invest their time in other organizations and have had an equally rewarding college experience.

The recruitment process as a whole will differ depending on where you go to school and it will be helpful to look for details about how your specific school handles recruitment before you really get started. At Furman ours is broken up over two different weekends where we go through four different rounds (Open House, Philanthropy, Sisterhood, Preference Tea) to narrow down our decisions through a mutual selection process. The second weekend concludes with a day that rivals Christmas, bid day! It is hands down one of my favorite days to be involved with greek life as there is so much excitement (and happy screaming) surrounding the day.

 

So now that I've shared a bit about how it works at Furman I wanted to briefly talk about my experience with greek life which if you couldn't tell from the paragraphs above has been pretty positive! So, I am a Kappa Delta at Furman and throughout recruitment KD was always my top pick. I was beyond thrilled come my bid day when I opened my envelope containing my bid and saw the green on it inviting me to join KD. I'd be lying if I said that it wasn't hard to have friends join other sororities and at first felt like I didn't have super close friends in the sorority but as time has gone on that has obviously changed and it shows just how important it is to base this decision on your own feelings and not your friends. By investing time into the organization you've chosen to join you'll start to form those lasting friendships that you imagined as you were going through the recruitment process. I've never second guessed my decision to join KD but wanted to make sure you know that you're not alone if it takes some time to really get to know the girls in the organization. Over time I've continually increased my involvement in Kappa Delta. Freshman year I took on the role of banner chair (an appointed officer position), sophomore year I took on the role of Vice President of Public Relations (an executive council position), and junior year I took on the role of President (an executive council position). I will be finishing up my role as president this coming semester and while there are certainly times when it is hard it has provided me with experience to grow as a person and a leader and I wouldn't trade those tough moments and decisions because of that. While obviously not everyone is going to be as enthusiastic to take on leadership roles it has made my experience as a part of the greek community at Furman that much more rewarding and I am positive that it has made me a better problem solver and member of a team.


So one last quick thought before I get into my tips... I feel obligated to let y'all know that Greek Life is more than just parties and functions. You'll have the opportunity to expand your horizons and get to know more women on your campus, become involved with philanthropic organizations on a local and national level, and have the opportunity to take on leadership roles while building a community away from home. Something that Panhellenic (the governing body of sororities) has been focusing on in recent years is making recruitment more values based. With that they have gotten rid of skits and want to be more transparent with the girls going through recruitment about the time commitment Greek life can be. As president of my sorority, Kappa Delta, I have seen first hand how frustrating it can be to see members only want to attend functions and do the fun stuff but you will need to keep in mind that joining a sorority will also involve weekly chapter members, workshops, and other programming that aims to unify and educate members on what is happening both locally and national with your sorority and its initiatives.

 
1. Don't take things too personally
Sorority Recruitment by default can be a time when emotions run wild. Let's be real, you're surrounded by thousands of girls all the time so people being emotional is kind of bound to happen. If you end up getting dropped by a house you love try not to take it to personally. You're not necessarily being dropped because the house didn't like you but instead because they may realize that you'd be happier or a better fit in a different house. By thinking about it in this way you'll be able to quickly bounce back and have a more open attitude when it comes to visiting other sororities.


2. Choose Your Outfits Ahead of Time
It is so important to wear things that you feel comfortable in and it will be less stressful if you go ahead and pick those things out ahead of time. Your college will probably have some sort of guide when it comes to what to wear but keep in mind that this is an experience that has been prepared for for an entire semester if not longer so it's important to dress respectfully. Also not that I think you need to be reminded of this but just in case, you're dressing for girls, not for guys! 


3. Ask Questions
The point of recruitment is to have a conversation to better get to know the women that are a part of the different sororities on your campus. Try to keep it a conversation and not an interview as this will help to keep you and the person you're talking to more comfortable. Ask questions about the experience they had, how they felt during it, and ultimately how they narrowed down what organization they wanted to be a part of. If you're not asking some of the questions then you'll likely tell your intended major, hometown, and what you did this summer to just about everyone you meet. 


4. Be Yourself
Don't pretend to be someone your not with hopes of impressing the people you're talking to. This isn't going to help you when it comes to the overall process as it may hurt instead of help you when you're trying to find a group where you would best fit in. Feel free to share unique things about you with the person you're talking to and relate to them in a way that is genuine. I never really brought up my blog when I was going through recruitment however looking back it would have been a way to distinguish myself from some of the other girls going through recruitment. I think the reason I left it out of conversation is because I didn't want to be judged for having something different and in reality I wouldn't have wanted to be a part of an organization that would have judged me for that. 


5. Take Notes Each Night
One of the best  things I did during my recruitment experience was take notes each night. I was able to better process my feelings because of this and had I been torn come preference tea this would have given me the chance to look back day by day to better evaluate where I felt most comfortable all along. Now, I love reading back through those notes I took thinking about how nervous I was about whether or not it would work out knowing now that it worked out exactly how it should. 


6. Smile, Have Fun, and Be Positive
A good attitude goes a LONG way when it comes to recruitment. Don't be a negative nelly because if you are your experience may reflect that. It is so important to be positive and smile especially when going through the different rounds as those are the type of people that these sororities want as members. A lot of effort is being put in on both sides so don't take that for granted and spoil it by being negative.


7. Trust the system
Tis was one piece of advice I HATED to hear during recruitment. In my mind I knew exactly what I wanted and would have been so disappointed had things not turned out the way I wanted them to. Going in with an open mind and trusting that the system will work out the way it should is some of the best advice I can give. Even friends who originally may not have ended up in their top choice sorority now see that although they didn't know it at the time the sorority they did end up in has been the perfect fit for them!


8. Get sleep and eat enough
Self explanatory yes but this is crucial. I can pretty much guarantee you'll be getting more sleep than the girls on the other side so take advantage of that and try to go into each day well rested and fed. No one is fully themselves when they are exhausted and hungry so bring a granola bar with you and put your phone down at a reasonable hour each night. 



9. Don't talk negatively about other people, houses, or touchy topics
Leave touchy topics out of any of your conversations! The girls in each sorority are already encouraged to do that so try not to bring up anything that may put them in an awkward place. We've always been told to keep the following "B's" out of conversation; Barack (aka politics), Booze, Boys, and Bible. You don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable so keeping those out of your conversations will be helpful to both you and the other girl. Additionally, don't talk negatively about other houses you may have seen or people you know as that doesn't paint you in the most positive light. 


10. Don't base your feeling on reputations or join a group filled with people you'd like to be like but instead process your feelings and join a group where you could see yourself fitting in now
This process is based on mutual selection but the only opinions you really need to take into account are your own. Don't base your decisions on what you've heard or what other people have said as that won't necessarily help you end up in a house where you feel most comfortable. Overall you are going to want to be choosing a house that you could see yourself (and the personality you have now) fitting into.


One last little did bit of advice that I didn't know about when I went through recruitment my freshman year is that it is ok to tell a sorority that you like them or that you are torn. Being genuine with your feelings is important while doing this but it can help the person in that sorority frame the conversation to help expose as much as they can about why they felt connected to their specific sorority with hopes of making the decision a bit clearer for you! 



I thought it was important to end this post with a conversation I had the other day with my friend Nell (freshman & senior year roommate who is the tri delta president at Furman).We got to talking about how in many instances going off to college and greek life can be idolized while in high school. During that time when you're experiencing a very different stage in life it's hard not to find yourself looking ahead to what is to come next. Because of this a lot of times you'll find yourself thinking that you'll go to college and join a sorority and everything will be perfect and just like what you imagine in your head. Like with anything your experience in a sorority will have its ups and downs. There have been both happy and sad tears in my own experience and that's what makes it real and a valuable part of my college career. Overcoming those ups and downs is made a lot easier with a group of people who have become your community and some of your best friends make going to college 8 hours away from home not feel so scary.



Whew, I think that was the longest post I've ever written! Sorry to be long winded but I wanted to be sure to share as much about my experience as possible with you to help ease your mind when it comes to going through your own sorority recruitment process. I have created this post in video form and will include it below in case you're not loving the idea of reading my novel of what sorority recruitment is and my tips for it although this post is more inclusive than the video. (It will go live at 10:30 am so if it's not up when you first check be sure to come back!)



I would love to hear your thoughts and any additional tips and because SO MANY of y'all have asked I will be doing a recruitment outfit information post very soon so be on the lookout for that! For now, my fingers need a break and my coffee needs to be refilled!


Lastly, if you have any recruitment or sorority specific questions for me to answer ask them in the comments, on twitter, or on snap chat so that I can answer those for you in my post about recruitment outfit inspiration! 

5 comments :

  1. These tips are so awesome and I always love reading about your experience in Kappa Delta on the blog! I can't wait to rush in college!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really enjoy reading this article. Hope that you would do great in upcoming time. A perfect post.
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  3. I've never really thought about joining a sorority, but you honestly make it sound so fun! And of course preppy sorority fashion is always so cute!
    -kate
    Katekoutures.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've never really thought about joining a sorority, but you honestly make it sound so fun! And of course preppy sorority fashion is always so cute!
    -kate
    Katekoutures.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

  5. Such a nice post, keep providing good resources.

    ReplyDelete

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