Two years ago, I was you.
I was finishing packing my bags and boxes that were soon going to follow me to my new university. Not only was I going to be starting college, but I was mentally prepping myself for what was going to be one of the most stressful and rewarding weeks of my life—sorority recruitment.
Everyone has their own idea of what Greek life is really like. To be completely honest, there is no one answer to what it is like. It depends on where you are, who you are, what people you surround yourself with, what chapter you are in, and the type of experience that you are hoping to get out of it all. Being Greek can be the best or the worst time of your college experience—essentially it is exactly what you make of it.
If you are anything like me, you might have a lot of fears and uncertainties about sorority recruitment. You don't know what to expect, what is going to happen, or how you are supposed to act. What I can tell you is this: be yourself.
I know, I know. This is probably the most cliche advice you've heard, but it is so completely true. If you are going into the Greek system to find your home away from home and to surround yourself with people who share your values and passions, then you have to show them all who you really are. Amidst trying to make a recruiter like you and leaving a good impression, you really just need to give them all a reason to remember you for you.
It's not the outfit you wear, if your hair is curled or straight, or if you decided to wing your eyeliner that day or not. Recruitment is about finding your home and you will find it so long as you just be you. I know that putting yourself out there can be intimidating and often can make you uncertain or insecure, but it is the only way to truly get the most out of recruitment and out of the Greek system.
When I went through recruitment, I did not think that I was going to get a bid into a chapter. I didn't think that I was going to find what everyone talked about. Heck, I didn't even know how many chapters were on my campus or what half of the Greek letters meant (thanks, geometry, algebra, and calculus for teaching me some at least). Somehow I found my place though. Among the hundreds of other young women going through recruitment, I clicked with one chapter and never wanted to leave. Running there on bid day was a moment I will never forget.
I know that this all sounds like the least helpful advice you could get but it is the best way to find the chapter you belong in. It is okay to be nervous—trust me, most recruiters are new too, so they are just as nervous as you are. It is okay if you spill the water; just make sure to always take the drink (please, your recruiter will immediately love you so long as you let them drink something). Ask questions, be genuine, and just let yourself have fun. Recruitment is a long, hard week, but it can be an incredible week all the same.
Let yourself relax and just enjoy the time that you have. You'll never get to have this experience again, and at the end of the week you will start making the friends that will become your bridesmaids—I know I have. It might take a while for you to really find your home, but that is okay. It took me a year before I found the person that made me realize that I made the right choice in my chapter, but now that I've found her I don't know how I lived without her before now.
So, to the young woman about to go through sorority recruitment. Wherever you are, whoever you are, know that there is a chapter out there for you. Don't give up and never get discouraged. Be yourself and never look back.
Here's to the best years of your life. Welcome to the sisterhood.