Crushing misconceptions about sorority recruitment
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Crushing misconceptions about sorority recruitment

There are so many stereotypes and misconceptions about recruitment, I wanted to clear the air by sharing my experience and the reality of being in a sorority.

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Crushing misconceptions about sorority recruitment
photo: Cara Martinez

Dear Potential New Member, I know you may be feeling nervous, excited and possibly a little insecure going into sorority recruitment. I was in your shoes exactly a year ago when I decided to go through recruitment in the fall of 2019. I am here to tell you that everything you are feeling and thinking is 100% valid. Before you start worrying about what outfit you are going to wear and what questions you are going to ask, I want to tell you how brave you are. Signing up for sorority recruitment and emerging yourself into a whole group of new girls takes a lot of guts. I am proud of you for putting yourself out there and seeing what Greek life has to offer. It can feel intimidating to meet all types of girls from every sorority on campus.

Instagram: The thing that made me most insecure going through sorority recruitment was looking at all of the Instagram pages and thinking I wasn't pretty enough, or my Instagram wasn't aesthetic enough. The truth is, sororities are not all about Instagram. Looking in from the outside made me feel that way. Personally, in my sorority, Instagram is to showcase our sisterhood, our values, our philanthropy and our friendships. I realized the reason why there were some repeats of the same girls on our Instagram account, was because they uploaded the most photos. They enjoy going out and taking photos of themselves and enjoy being aesthetic on Instagram because it makes them happy. I am not a huge Instagram fan when it comes to posting, so I realized the girls who were being showcased on Instagram was because of their interest and participation, not just their looks. That made me feel a sense of relief. This is the case for my chapter, but I can't speak on behalf of other chapters.

Outfits: When I went through recruitment, I was very concerned about my outfit. I had this feeling that everything had to be perfect from head to toe. I realized that recruiters do not have time to analyze the earrings you are wearing or where your dress is from. The goal of dressing is to look clean, hygienic and appropriate. Think of it as a job interview, you would want to have your hair brushed and your outfit looking fresh. Everyone has a different personal style, so please dress in something that makes you feel confident and comfortable. When a girl feels confident on the outside, she will feel much more confident in the conversations. Some girls feel their best with a full face of makeup and heels and some prefer being more casual and in no makeup. Please don't feel pressured to dress a certain way because you see other girls doing it, wear what makes you feel your best.

Conversations: In every single sorority the recruiters are supposed to lead the conversation. This means that you do not have to feel obligated to start the conversation. Recruiters are trained on what questions to ask you and what is appropriate to talk about. All of the recruiters know that you are not expected to know everything about the chapters. The point of these conversations is for the recruiters to get to know you. We want to know what you are looking for in a sorority and what values are important to you. Don't feel like you have to be "perfect" and say the right thing. I was so caught up in that when I went through recruitment I put unnecessary pressure on myself that I didn't need to. The goal of recruitment is for the recruiters to learn about you, and get to know you, and help you navigate through college. It's all about you, not the recruiter. It's all about making you feel comfortable and making you feel at home.

No question is a stupid question: If you have any questions about the process or the sorority, don't hesitate to ask. Recruiters and Rho Gammas are here to help you. A Rho Gamma is a girl who disaffiliated from her sorority for a few months to help all PNM's through the recruitment process. They provide emotional support and guidance for all PNM's. I recommend utilizing them as a tool as much as you can. My Rho Gam's made my recruitment experience less stressful and they are great at helping you make decisions.

Topics to avoid: I know I mentioned, "No question is a stupid question," but there are a few exceptions. Don't talk about partying and drinking. Don't talk about your life in the bedroom. Don't talk about drugs. The problem with talking about partying, drinking and drugs, is that you should not join a sorority for these reasons. You should join a sorority for the sisterhood and the opportunities it brings, not just to party. Recruiters may get a hint that you won't take the sorority seriously if you can't even take recruitment seriously. Intimacy is something personal and you wouldn't want to talk about that during recruitment. At the end of the day there is a time and place for these things, but not during recruitment. These topics are distracting and we can be spending that time to get to know you as a person and why you would be a good fit in the house. If you are in a relationship with someone and it is a big part of your life and you want to talk about that special person, that's totally fine. A topic that is recommended to avoid is politics. Talking about politics can cause awkward and uncomfortable conversations, because it's usually not discussed in recruitment. If politics will determine the house you want to join, I guess that could be a reason to talk about it, but it might be a little uncomfortable.

Popularity: The reason I joined a sorority was to meet an amazing group of sisters who are always there for me and support my goals. Before you start wanting to join a house because it seems "popular" or the "hottest girls on campus," make sure you know what you are looking for in a sorority. It's up to you what you care about in a sorority. I decided to join the house that made me feel where I could unapologetically be myself. If you want to be around genuine girls who treat you with respect and don't exclude you, I recommend taking "popularity" and "clout" off your mind." Once you join a house none of this is going to matter. You will be so engaged and invested in your own chapter, you will not have the time of day to compare your sorority to another. At the end of the day when you graduate college with your sisters, you are going to remember all of the amazing memories you had together. You are not going to remember the stupid comments Brad said about not thinking your house wasn't "cool enough."

Empowering Women: Arizona State has a wide range of chapters to choose from in the Panhellenic Community. Being in an all women's organization is about lifting each other up, inspiring each other, growing and learning together. It is not only important to keep this mentality with women in your chapter, it is also important to do the same with other chapters. At the end of the day we are all Panhellenic sisters, if you like it or not. This means you should not bash other sororities and treat other girls inferior because of what chapter they are in. All women in the Panhellenic community all wanted to find a place of belonging and to feel welcomed and loved. "When girls are nice to each other, we're much more powerful." This being said, don't feel pressured to join a house because your best friend is in it. Being in different chapter than your best friend is not going to hurt your friendship. Go with the house that makes you feel your best, and that may or may not be the same house as your best friend.

Online: Due to the pandemic, sorority recruitment had to be moved to virtual recruitment. This might seem different and weird to you, but all chapter members of every house have been working hard all summer to have an effective recruitment system. You might feel disappointed by not having in person recruitment, but there are a lot of annoying things you get to avoid. You don't have to sit outside of the houses in 115 heat and watch your makeup melt off your face. You don't have to be shoved in a hot room with tons of girls and distractions while trying to remain eye contact and staying engaged with loud background conversations. You don't have to walk all over campus with blisters all over your heels from sitting in your heels in the hot sun. I honestly think having virtual recruitment is going to be a less stressful experience for PNM's in my opinion.

Health Tips: Stay hydrated and eat a satisfying meal before recruitment. Take breaks and have snacks. Get rest. Try not to get caught up in what other PNM's are doing, focus on yourself. If you are feeling anxious, talk to your Rho Gam for support. Take notes on the conversations you had with the girls in each house. If you find any red flags in the conversations write them down. Take the pressure off yourself, you got this.

If you decide to join a sorority or not after this process remember that you are amazing for going through the process. You will meet so many genuine girls throughout recruitment. No matter what happens. You are beautiful. You are brave. You are unique. You are special. You are wanted. Sorority recruitment doesn't define your worth. Good luck, wishing you all the best of luck. My dm's are always open if you want to chat.

Love,

Cara

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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