What I Wish I Knew About Sorority Recruitment
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What I Wish I Knew About Sorority Recruitment

Formal recruitment is intimidating. There you go. Now that it's out of the way, let me explain how it really doesn't have to be.

What I Wish I Knew About Sorority Recruitment
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As someone who went through recruitment not knowing a single thing about what I was getting myself into, I can assure you that you can trust me on everything I'm about to say. I decided to rush at OU because a friend from my high school told me it was a great way to make friends. I did the high school dance team thing, and while I enjoyed it, I wasn't sure I wanted to join another all-girl group. However, I decided I would give it a try. I did my best to figure it out all on my own, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't clueless to the whole process. If you're feeling this way, let me try to lighten the load by telling you what I wish I knew:

1. Rec letters aren't everything

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Recommendation letters are letters written by an Alumna from each chapter about you. They're basically your resume written in actual speaking words that the chapter receives from an old sister after you reach out to her. HOWEVER, rec letters DO NOT make or break your recruitment. They are simply a way to give each chapter a little bit more information about you. If you have these, great! If you don't, great!

2. Your appearance doesn't matter as much as you think it does

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I cannot say this enough when I'm talking to girls who think they want to rush. The members of the sorority are dressed in a certain way because they are representing their chapter. You are expected to dress in a way that represents you. While you should always want to look your best, it's more about feeling your best. If you're not confident in yourself, you might not be confident in your conversations at each house. These girls you're talking to want to get to know you, not your wardrobe. My biggest piece of advice is to dress however you feel comfortable, and without a doubt, you're going to light up each house you walk into.

3. Being a legacy (or not being one) also doesn't matter that much

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Like recommendation letters, being a legacy or not being a legacy really doesn't mean anything. Legacy is just a term used to describe someone with a family member that was a sister in that house. I personally know many girls who did not even receive a bid from the house where they're a legacy. Many girls also do not accept bids from houses they're legacies to because although their family member found a home there, these girls did not. It's about running home on bid day to somewhere you love that also loves you.

4. The members that you're talking to are just as nervous to be talking to you as you are to them

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This is a big one. As a member of my sorority, I can promise that each one of us is as excited and nervous to meet you as you might be to meet us. We want to give you the best impression of our chapter because we'd love to call you our sister. This means we might also get a little tongue-tied and flustered, but that's okay! There is no reason to be nervous. We love getting to know each and every girl that walks into our house and we're so excited for you to find your home, even if it's not with us.

5. ISP is not the end of the road

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Okay...this is a tough one, but bear with me. ISP stands for Intention Single Preference. This means that if you went to two parties on the last day of recruitment, you would only put down one house on your preference card, saying you will only accept a bid from that house, not the other you visited that day. The reason why this is so scary to some people is because it does potentially mean you might not receive a bid the next day. For Panhellenic recruitment, the Potential New Member and the house both have to choose each other. So, if you ISP, you're putting all your marbles into one jar instead of maximizing all of your options. There is nothing wrong with doing this. You just have to know your options. I ISP'd and accepted a bid from my dream house, so I promise, it will all work out for the best.

6. ...and neither is not getting a bid or attending anymore parties

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That being said, if things don't go your way throughout the week and you end up getting dropped (which is a SUPER slim chance) or you don't receive a bid from who you thought you would, recruitment is not over for you. At OU, you could receive a snap bid the day of, which is where someone from a house will call you and offer you a bid that you weren't expecting. If this isn't your cup of tea, you can still participate in Continuous Open Bidding in the fall or spring, where you take part in a SUPER informal and relaxed recruitment, that basically consists of a bunch of mini dates with multiple girls at the chapter you want to become a part of.

7. Your recruitment is just as important as everyone else's

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No matter what anyone tells you, each recruitment and each PNM is unique and just as important as another. People can be negative, and they will make others feel lesser than them throughout recruitment. You cannot let them get you down. Stay positive and keep an open mind. Having less parties or liking a house that others do not means NOTHING except that you have a different taste and preference than someone else, and THAT'S OKAY. I promise. :)

Some things that personally helped me out were calling my mom every night to recap the day and keeping a journal after every house to remember what I liked and disliked about them. I also kept an open mind and ignored the negative comments from others (because there were a lot, and I believe there always will be), and I ~shamelessly~ asked my Rho G's a TON of questions.

I promise recruitment is not as scary as it seems you can totally handle it. Remember to be yourself and have a blast. That's all that really matters anyway.

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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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