Emotional Ride of Sorority Recruitment
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Student Life

The Emotional Rollercoaster Of Panhellenic Recruitment

Prepare for the many emotions sorority recruitment can bring.

Her Campus

Before I started college, I knew I wanted to join a sorority. I wanted to be a part of something bigger, a community, a sisterhood. Going through Panhellenic Recruitment was one of the best decisions I have ever made, but my story is a little different than the rest. Unlike most, I had the experiences of going through both Formal Recruitment and COB or Continuous Open Bidding.

I went through recruitment Fall 2016 of my freshman year before classes even started. I was so nervous. This was about to be my first taste of college life. What would it be like? Would people judge me? For the next week, I would be considered a PNM, or Potential New Member. The anxiety was overwhelming, but as soon as I met my Recruitment Counselor, or Rho Gamma, at Orientation my anxiety settled down a bit. She assured me that everything would be okay and that the experience of going through recruitment would be fun. She told me to trust the process and keep an open mind and well... she was so right.

Scholarship Round:

The first round was a blast. I visited all 17 chapters in two days. It was my introduction to all the sororities my school had to offer. My feet hurt and I was sweating my makeup off, but the lovely ladies in each sorority were welcoming and hospitable. They knew exactly how we were feeling because remember, they've gone through recruitment too! In fact, it's something you can bond over and laugh about. Believe me, they know it's hot outside and they know you've been walking for hours. During round one, you'll find your favorite chapters and start seeing where you might picture yourself. At the end of the day, I met up with my Recruitment Counselor and we discussed what chapters I may want to be a part of before I went to make my selections in the computer lab. I had high hopes after round one because I had so many great conversations with incredible women.

Investment Round:

Round two was a bit more challenging. The first morning, everyone received their list of potential chapter houses of at most 13. I got asked back to 4 houses. I'm not gonna lie, I was a bit discouraged by the number of houses on my list, but I kept my head up. It was hard seeing some of the other women in my group get 10 or 13 chapters on their list. I remember that my Recruitment Counselor told me to "trust the process" so I was going to continue to do just that. I visited my four houses, two on each day of round two, and learned about the potential commitment I would be making to each chapter. I received a spreadsheet breaking down the finances of each chapter. Again, I met with my Recruitment Counselor and made my new selections after the round was over. I called my parents that night freaking out. Would the finances of each chapter limit which chapter I could join? What if I couldn't afford to be in a chapter I really loved? My parents calmed me down and reminded me that I still had a lot of time before I had to make any decisions. They were right and I was working myself up for something I didn't even have to worry about yet.

Service and Leadership Round:

On the morning of round three, I got my list back and I was devastated. I was released from one of my favorite chapters. I reminded myself that I still had three great chapters that I loved on my list, but it got harder to follow my Recruitment Counselor's advice and keep an open mind. I went home to rest before it was time to visit my three chapter houses while the other women in my group went off to their 8 houses or less. I called my mom and couldn't help but shed a few tears.

See, the chapter house I was released from was the chapter my older sister was a member of when she went to Florida State. I came into the recruitment process thinking how great it would be to be sorority sisters with my own sister, but sadly that dream would never come true. My mom tried to make me feel better, but it was hard not to be bummed when I was so set on something that wasn't going to happen. I called my now ex-boyfriend and even he couldn't completely comfort me. He told me to stay strong and that any chapter would be lucky to have me. I knew he was right but still, I just felt discouraged. I thought about dropping out of the recruitment process, but in my heart, I knew I couldn't do that. I had come this far and maybe it just wasn't meant to be. My Recruitment Counselor told me that it was my decision, but she would love it if I continued with the process and told me I might find something I didn't know I was looking for. I took everyone's advice and went in open-minded to the three houses on my list and I loved it. I got to see what each chapter's philanthropy was and what they contributed to the community.

Sisterhood Round:

The morning of the final round was here. The sisterhood round is the most intimate and formal round of the week. You will experience the preference ceremonies of up to 3 chapters. I received my list and discovered I had gotten asked back to two of my previous three chapters. I was disappointed I had lost one but was excited about the chapters I still had, one more so than the other. I visited both chapters and cried during the preference ceremonies. It is a very personal experience and a special time to connect with a sister in the chapter.

I loved both chapters, but to be honest I was really unsure if I belonged in either of them. It was a big decision because if I accepted a bid and didn't end up being initiated into the chapter, I would be ineligible to go through recruitment for another year. I felt my anxiety rear up again. I talked to my recruitment counselor and my parents for hours. This was one of the most challenging decisions because once I was initiated into a sorority, I was in it for life. I was excited and terrified and I ended up doing something I really regret, I didn't maximize my options. Choosing not to maximize my options means only putting the one chapter you really want on your selection list. I was scared about the prospect of being locked into a bid so I chose to do this anyway. My Recruitment Counselor made it very clear to me that if I did not receive a bid from the house I selected, I would not get a bid at all. In the event that this happened, I would get a call from her in the morning so I wouldn't need to get ready for Bid Day. She advised me against it, but ultimately it was my choice to make. The next 12 hours would be the longest ones I have ever experienced. I was nervous and wondering if I had made the right choice. I felt weird about it and knew there were pros and cons to either option, but I also knew I would feel the same had I made a different choice.

Bid Day:

The day had finally come. Bid Day. I felt anxious, excited, nervous, and I swear my stomach was in knots. I got up early and started to get ready for the day. It had been about two hours and I still hadn't received a call from my Recruitment Counselor. I was feeling great about everything when I heard a buzzing. My phone was vibrating. I answered it, and sure enough, it was the dreaded call. My Recruitment Counselor told me I didn't receive a bid. I was devastated, to say the least. The entire week had been an emotional rollercoaster and at that moment it felt like it was all for nothing, but something in my mind said that this all happened for a reason.

The Aftermath:

The weeks following recruitment were normal. I started my first semester of college and made some new friends in my classes. One night, I was checking my email and I saw an email from a sister of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority on campus. The email invited me to a few different events including game nights and making dog toys for charity. I decided to go to the latter event and I had so much fun. All of the women in the chapter were sweet, welcoming, and personable. I soon received a bid and after discussing with my family, happily accepted. The icing on the cake? My Recruitment Counselor and I were now sorority sisters! This place felt like home and one of the first people I met in the chapter is now my Big! I feel blessed to be part of a chapter that is so loving and kind and my sisters constantly make me proud.

My Advice to PNMs Going Through Recruitment:

1. Keep an Open Mind! What you think you want may not be what you actually need.
2. Trust the Process. My Recruitment Counselor knew what she was talking about!
3. Don't Let Other People's Decisions Influence Your Own. No two people are the same so it only makes sense that someone else's favorite chapter may not feel like home to you and that's OKAY.
4. Don't Suicide a Chapter. I promise you it's not smart.
5. Be Respectful to Every Chapter. These Panhellenic women are absolutely incredible. They deserve your respect even if you don't picture yourself as a potential member of their chapter. We are all Panhellenic women and we love each other, regardless of chapter.
6. Keep Your Chin Up. Even when times look tough, think positively. I ended up worrying for no reason and everything worked out the way it was meant to.
7. When You Feel Stressed, Talk to your Family, Friends, and Recruitment Counselor. They are all there for you and they want you to succeed and have fun!

Personal Image

In the end, just have fun. Recruitment was a wonderful experience and I met so many great people. Even though I felt emotionally drained at the end of the week, it was worth it because I found a community of women who support and empower me to achieve great things. Alpha Gamma Delta is my forever home and I wish all the PNMs good luck in finding their own forever homes!

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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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