Going through sorority recruitment in the middle of January? Sounds cold. But get excited because it is a weekend you will not forget! It is tiring and overwhelming, but totally worth it. So, get your hair straightener ready and your attitude in check, because it's recruitment season!!! I have come up with a list of things I wish I would have known before going through.
If you want your hands to not feel like absolute death from night after night of rushing through the wind to get to a house then you must cover them. They are easy to stuff in your coat pockets when going into the house and are a great conversation starter!
Seriously, they are worth every penny. This is why you should have mittens, not gloves because when stripping them off for the 11th time, the warmers just stay put and keep your mittens toasty in preparation for your next journey. The PNMs in your group will be jealous, I promise.
A Warm Coat.
Wear the puffiest and longest one you can find because it is the only thing guarding you against the bitter cold. Multiple layers will not do because you will be in a quick-moving line stripping it off and handing it over to a girl hanging them up in a closet. You will not have time to peel off sweatshirt after sweatshirt and you will be holding up all the girls behind you who are still outside waiting.
Chances are, most nights you will be wearing a skirt or dress and even if you have on tights, they are not a sufficient layer. Get ready to have a pair of sweatpants ready to slip on either under or over your skirt. Fashion rules do not apply when you are not inside a house. I swear, no other PNM will judge you, and if they are then they are just jealous that you were so prepared.
I preferred to wear these as my traveling shoe of choice because I did not want to take a chance of ruining my Uggs or breaking my ankles in my heals. When you are lining up to go into the house and stripping off your warm clothes, they all get thrown in a bin with everyone else's stuff in the group. Snow boots have better grip on icy sidewalks than Uggs anyways. If you think that you are fine frolicking around in the snow and ice for five hours in six inch heals, then be my guest.
It will be exhausting.
Your bed will be the comfiest it has ever been the morning after the first round. The daylight is the time to wear your bum clothes because you will not want to put on anything else. The girls you saw in the house the night before will be wearing the same thing. Don't worry. You do not realize how much walking around in the cold while putting on your best smile while your stomach is churning from nerves takes a toll on your body.
You will probably cry at some point in between rounds.
Whether it be from not getting into as many houses in the later rounds as your friends, or from having a wardrobe malfunction. Or being completely and utterly exhausted, or sick, or just done. But don't let that breakdown cause you to think that you can not do this. The process is hard on everyone and getting your bid is worth every single slip on the ice and ounce of nerves you felt.
Eat and Drink.
Do your best to ingest a meal before you head out. Most likely, the round will start before your cafeteria opens for dinner. This is the perfect time to use up those Panera, Chipotle, and Jimmy Johns gift cards that have been taking up space in your wallet. There will be little finger-food sweet snacks at each house with a some kind of drink. Don't be shy about eating that food because you will be hungry and thirsty. I remember not wanting to eat or drink anything at the houses because I did not want to have to use the bathroom and was afraid of the girls judging me for eating. PLEASE EAT and DRINK something at a few houses. Your body will thank you and you don't realize how dehydrated you really are. The girls really don't judge your eating habits, we just wish we could enjoy some of the food too.
Don't hesitate to ask to use the bathroom.
Every single girl in every house has gone through the same process, or one very similar, that you are going through currently. We know how long and stressful it is. Five hours without using the bathroom is a lot to ask and we know that you are not robots. We want to help you feel as comfortable as possible. This is our home and we want you to enjoy it as much as we do!
With all of this said, I wish everyone a happy recruitment season! And a cheery second semester! Stay warm!