Going into recruitment, I was clueless. I'd only known one person in a sorority my whole life and I didn't even know how to correctly pronounce "chi." I decided to take a chance and participate in formal sorority recruitment. I knew that I always had the option to drop out of recruitment if I decided it wasn't for me, and that thought comforted me. Throughout the week I learned more and more about sororities, and along the way, how to survive recruitment week.
These are all of the tips I learned that I'd wished someone had told me before going through recruitment.
1. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on clothes.
Shop at Forever 21. Wear your old easter dress. Spend your money on useful things instead, like dorm decor or school supplies. The girls you're talking to won't be paying attention to the brand of your dress, they'll be focused on your conversation and assessing how well you'd fit into their sorority based on personality alone.
2. There will be awkward conversations.
Sometimes you'll find yourself talking to a sister with whom you have absolutely nothing in common. When this happens, it might be hard to hold a conversation for fifteen minutes. The best way to combat this is to come prepared with questions of your own. Ask things like, "how did you know XYZ sorority was your home?" "what is bid day like?" "what was it like getting your big?" We love talking about our sisters and how our sorority experience has changed us, and we are lowkey dying to talk about it every chance we get. Asking your own questions can be a simple icebreaker and could make you stand out!
3. You might get dropped from your favorite house.
My best advice to all PNMs is to not get your hopes up with any single sorority. Sometimes girls will come into recruitment with their hearts already set on one sorority. More times than not, this leads to severe disappointment, and girls will drop out of recruitment entirely because of this. Don't disregard all other sororities for just one, because chances are, you might not be asked back to that house. Give every house a chance, and you will end up pleasantly surprised.
4. Your Pi Chi group will keep you sane.
Becoming close with your Pi Chi and Pi Chi group will make the week so much more bearable. Your Pi Chi is basically your therapist for the week, and she has been trained to give you the best unbiased advice and to be your biggest motivation. Talking about recruitment (not about sororities!!) with your Pi Chi group is the best stress reliever and will leave you assured that you're not the only one who thinks the whole experience is miserable (but 100% worth it).
5. The "tier system" doesn't exist.
I could never emphasize this enough. If you're researching sororities before recruitment, you might come across a website that ranks sororities as "top tier," "middle tier," and "bottom tier.". Please, don't even look at it, and if you already have, just know that the only people on that website are jealous girls, and boys who like to start drama. Don't believe the things other people say about certain sororities. Go in with a clear mind, and judge each sorority yourself. This week is about you and what you think of each sorority, and I guarantee you'll find that every degrading comment on that site could not be further from the truth.
6. At the time, you're going to think it's the most stressful thing in the world.
Everyone tells you how stressful recruitment is going to be, and you're gonna think, "how stressful can talking to girls all week be?" and then you'll get to recruitment and understand what everyone was warning you about. I want you to remember that it's all gonna be over in a week. You might think the next four years of your life will be determined by how this week goes, but in reality, that's not true. You always have the option to drop out of recruitment if you decide it's not for you, and the same goes for your sorority. There are so many things that define who you are, and a sorority is just a tiny part of that. Don't let this week overwhelm you. Stay grounded and remember that the outcome of this week does not define you.