I'm that girl: the one who has known since her freshman year of high school that she had to be in a sorority. I've known since what I knew what a sorority was that I belonged where those girls are. Four years later and it's here. For those unfamiliar with it, Formal Recruitment goes as follows:
This the most casual days of all the days. You meet lots of girls from the different sororities and you talk to the other PNMs (potential new members) about how scared you all are. Every thought you have is filled with worry: Should I act like myself? Will they like me? Should I put on a front and make them think they like me? You always hear "just be yourself and everything will be fine," but this is different. You're making an impression on the girls who possibly hold the deciding factor on how you will spend the next four years of your life.
This is where it gets fancy. Dresses, heels, curled hair, jewelry everywhere. This is the day that you find out the sororities that you get to see again. Once again, you meet girls from these sororities and, by this point, you kind of have an idea of who you like the most and who you could see yourself being a part of.
This is it. This is the day you take those final two sororities and you give them all you've got. By this point, you kind of have to know who you want to be. This is also the day you get super personal, or so I have heard.
I didn't make it that far in my recruitment experience, and that’s why I decided to write this.
I am someone who knows and believes firmly that everything in life happens for a reason. After day one of recruitment, my head was a whirlwind of different thoughts, mainly asking myself, "Is there anything else I could've done or said?" Day two, we got our badges back and I had gotten dropped from a sorority that I knew I liked and thought I had good conversations with. But I knew that it was okay because God has a plan for their sorority and God has a plan for me.
After day two came the heartbreak. I got dropped from two sororities, leaving me with one. I am also someone who isn't going to do something—such as joining a sorority—just to do it, especially when I know where God wants me. I knew I didn't have a spot in that final sorority so I dropped recruitment altogether.
The best part of my experience:
If you’re familiar with sororities then you know there are girls called Gamma Chis who drop their letters for the summer to help PNMs find their new homes. (Side note: I had the best Gamma Chis ULM had to offer!)
We were sitting in the holding room, and everyone got their final sororities of the day, and I was just sitting there, knowing I was about to drop recruitment. I called one of my Gamma Chis over, and she led me outside so we could talk. We looked at each other, and all it took was one sentence for the waterworks to begin. After I told her I wanted to drop, another Gamma Chi on NPC Council came and talked to me too and, needless to say, the crying didn't stop. When you drop, you have to go the head of recruitment, which of course meant more crying.
Some girls would’ve taken a day like my day three and made it the worst possible day ever. I have two words to sum up my takeaway from ULM's 2017 fall Formal Recruitment: "God’s timing."
I am so blessed and grateful that I went through recruitment. That Gamma Chi, the Gamma Chi on Council, and the head of recruitment are now some of my best friends. I now know I wouldn't want to go through my experience at ULM without knowing them. I gained not only those three girls, but I got close with a girl I haven’t talked to since we were eight years old. I got two more friends who were from the same town as me who I had never had a conversation with before. I even met people who I only talked to once or twice, but I can now wave at them if we see each other passing the library or the café. I took what could've been a traumatizing experience for some girls and made it a lesson. I learned that sorority life, at this moment, is not for me. Who knows? Maybe next spring is my time for them and their time for me.
My final ode to 2017 Formal Recruitment:
Thank you, Formal Recruitment, not only for giving me mentors and friends for life, but also for giving me the best people ULM has to offer.
Peace out to this chapter of my life!!