I went through Recruitment at UTK going into my freshman year and it was one of the best decision I made. I know that sounds cliche, but truly it is. I felt so loved by all the girls who had just met me and it already made UTK feel like home. I was lucky though that many people in my family were in Greek life and could give me some tips on what to expect, but I still was a little nervous. I was always quiet and thinking that I had to talk to strangers for a certain amount of time seemed terrifying to me, but as I went through the week it really wasn't that bad.
There are so many people there willing to help you so take advantage of that, but also here are 12 tips that helped me!
1. It's OK to be a little nervous.
Going through recruitment I was nervous because I didn't know a lot of people or anyone who was in Greek life at UTK. It's perfectly OK to be nervous, everyone around you is too.
You might get off the buses and see sorority village and get a little intimidated, but don't be because everyone in the village is there to help you. If I'm going to be honest, the girls who are recruiting you are just as nervous as you are because for many of them this is their first time on the other side.
2. Embrace the awkward or embarrassing moments.
In general, I'm an awkward person and have plenty of embarrassing moments and thought I could get through this week without them, but that didn't really happen. I was walking out of one of the houses and my nose started to bleed and I mean full on bleed. I was lucky that the Gamma Chi's helped me and eventually it stopped. I was embarrassed at the time it did happen don't get me wrong.
Now, though two years after I went through recruitment, I laugh about it and tell people that happened to me, then we're all laughing about it. Also, really don't overthink the awkward moments I had plenty of those where I couldn't hear what some of the girls were saying and pretty sure I said yes when they weren't even asking me a question.
3. Don't compare yourself to others.
If you feel good that's all that matters, don't look around and think you don't look good anymore. Everyone has their own styles and ways to dress. Some girls might be better at makeup than you, others might not wear makeup at all. I saw girls who had their makeup done beautifully and mine was simply done, but I felt confident with my makeup and that's all that mattered to me.
4. Be yourself.
Don't think that the girls in the houses want to hear all the right answers because there isn't one right answer. What they really want is to get to know YOU! Don't try to be like the girl next to you because it's hard for them to get to know you when you aren't really being yourself. I saw girls who had so much confidence and could easily carry on a conversation, but things like that didn't come that easily to me, so I showed who I really was. When I joined my sorority the girls knew I was quiet and it took some time to get me out of my comfort zone, but they knew that because that's how I was during the rounds.
5. You most likely will be sweating throughout the day.
Okay so don't feel bad if sweat is basically dripping down your face and your back because you're not the only one (Tennessee in August is a hot state). Everyone is currently standing outside or inside a house where AC can only do so much, so really don't feel bad. I remember on the first day it was a long and hot day and I was cringing for the girls who had to touch my back because I was hot and sweaty, but they didn't say anything because they knew that they had been in my position only a few years ago. So just go along with your sweatiness, try to cool down with water plus the fans they give you and just know you'll be able to shower soon enough.
6. Don't be afraid to sit or talk with people you've never met.
Going to a school where I was out of state and didn't really know a lot of people I had to really get out of my comfort zone on the first day. I would just take the chance and sit down with some girls who I had no idea who they were and just start talking. It was easy to have a conversation with someone you've never met because they knew nothing about you. Don't feel like you're being a bother if you sit down with a group of girls already talking because everyone just wants some company during this week.
7. The first day might feel repetitive.
The first day most likely you will visit all the houses and they're just trying to get to know you. You might be saying where you're from and what you did in high school a lot, but still try to keep it new. If you didn't talk about something in one house, talk about it in another house!
8. Don't be afraid to talk about what your passionate about.
If you get excited about something you love don't think you're being annoying talking about it. The people you're talking to want to hear what you're passionate about. I use to dance in high school so during the first day I talked about how I use to dance a lot and that kept the conversation going smoothly because I could go on and on about how much I loved dancing.
9. Have respect for all the houses you visit.
Whether it's your last house of the day or you don't really have a lot of interest in that particular house, it doesn't matter you should still show respect to the girls, just as they are showing respect to you. I'm not saying to fake your happiness, but rather don't just answer with "yeah" or "no" still have full on conversations as you did with all the other houses you visited. The girls in each house are working so hard and are so passionate about their sorority that they just want to show you why they love their chapter.
10. Choose a chapter that makes you feel at home.
You're probably thinking well how do I know if this chapter makes me feel "at home" well when I say that I mean every day you get your schedule back you're excited to see that chapter on your card and can't wait to go and visit it. Also, if going to this chapter makes you feel comfortable and it's just like you're having a casual conversation with whoever you're talking too that's when you know you've found your home. I knew I found my home when I looked around at everyone who was in the same round as me and at the girls already in the chapter and felt happy and excited that I could possibly be a member of this chapter by the end of the week.
11. Don't be afraid to open up to the girls you're talking to.
When you go into the houses there's a good chance that you might not know whoever is talking to you, but that doesn't mean you can't open up about certain experiences or questions you have. When I was going through Recruitment I talked to girls about what I was worried about starting college and how I missed my friends from back home, they sat there and listened to me. It felt good to talk to someone who probably experienced the same thing as me only a couple years before.
12. Enjoy Bid Day!!!
Bid Day best day!! You should enjoy Bid Day even if it wasn't the Bid Day you were expecting to go too because every chapter is amazing. The girls who planned it put in a lot of work to make it the best and most memorable experience for you. This chapter chose you because they saw something in you might not have seen in yourself. I loved my Bid Day, it was so fun and is still one of the best memories I have from first joining my chapter. My bid day buddy was amazing and made me feel so welcome as soon as I ran to my new home. You will get many new goodies as soon as you walk in, probably including a new shirt you should be proud to wear around campus!
13. A Note From Me.
I have found some of the greatest friends and group of girls by joining a sorority, I know there are always going to rumors going around about sororities, but if you're hesitant you can always give it a chance. It never hurts to try something out of your comfort zone because you never know what might happen if you do. Since being a part of my chapter I have made so many memories, was able to see how everyone can make a difference in the world with one small action, and currently hold a leadership position which is something I never thought I would do. So you never know what you might come across if you go Greek!
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