Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

15 August 2013

A Guide to Sorority Recruitment

Yesterday the feeling of back to school was all around me. Helene posted advice for her twin sisters who are headed off for their first year of college.  The Texas Rangers sent me an email about $7 upper deck seats for the last weekend games before school starts (p.s. would anyone like to go to that?). Then the glitter guide posted some glam school supplies, then I had to clean the drool up off my desk at work. 

I was in Pi Beta Phi at THE University of Tennessee. I was the recruitment chair one year... hey don't judge.... that looked fantastic on my first resume. I certainly have my fair share of recruitment knowledge, so I just wanted to offer some tips to the freshmen students going through recruitment!

1. Dress the part, but be yourself. 
Each day has a different theme. The week starts off quite casual and progresses to cocktail attire as the week goes on. One thing I wish I had done in college was to dress for me, not for everyone else. I love my personal style, and I love to dig for the coolest pieces. Yet what did I use to put on in college? Ralph Lauren Polos and Oxfords. Now don't get me wrong, I love that look, but it just isn't me. Be true to yourself when picking your outfits, and have some fun! The more confident you are, the more you'll stand out. I guarantee you put on a sparkly little number, you are going to rack in the complements. I definitely wouldn't sex your outfits up too much, you're trying to win over girls, not dudes.

2. Speak Up.
You think you're nervous going in to talk to all these different girls, from different chapters that you have never met before? Well guess what, so are they! Maybe even more so because their job is to initiate the conversation and come up with questions to ask you. If you start asking questions to the chapter member you are talking to, I swear you will be her favorite of the entire day. It was like pulling teeth to talk to some of the the girls going through recruitment, I would have given my left arm to have someone control the conversation for a change. 

3. Don't believe Stereotypes 
Things you should never say to yourself during recruitment:
- I want the party sorority
- I want the sporty sorority
- I want the most philanthropic sorority
- I don't want that sorority they are a bunch of bitches
- I want the pretty sorority
- I want the rich sorority 

Don't say that stuff. You know why? You will find each of those types of girls in every sorority on campus. My sorority had a group of girls that liked to party, we had a group that would dominate at intramurals (led by me #thankyaverymuch), We had a group that loved doing every philanthropic event we participated in, we had the pretty ones, we had some rich ones, we had some girls that worked two jobs in addition to being a full time student, we had big girls, we had small girls.... and guess what... we had some bitches too. 

It doesn't matter whose group you choose, you will find your new best friends, the girls you want to spend the next 4 (4.5) years with in there somewhere. 

4. Get RECs (Recommendation Letters) and lots of them .... or maybe don't! 
Here is a story about two very different girls, that had very different approaches to recruitment. One girl came in with tons of recommendation letters for all the different sororities, she was prepared, knowledgable and excited for recruitment. The other didn't know what a recruitment was and thought she was going to intramural basketball tryouts. I'm sure you can guess which one I am. My point is that we both managed to find the same sorority which was coincidentally the best sorority for each of us.

My friend Magen who blogs here, and is now madam prezzz of her alumnae chapter in Charlotte wanted to offer some advice as well. Probably because she knew I'd be way too casual on this subject: 
"My best advice to girls preparing to go through recruitment is to listen to the advice alumnae give you, to be prepared and have plenty of RECs. When asking for these RECS please ask for them yourself, do not make your mother do it, because you are an adult.  Also, be polite to the alumnae that is writing you a REC, it is after all a favor they are doing to help you out.  Remember to smile, be polite and dress appropriately."
5. For goodness sake, if you do nothing else from this list, please be kind.
I got news for you, you aren't better than anyone. I swear to God, when I hear girls talking about "the fat sorority" "the slutty sorority" "the drunk sorority" I want to punch them square in the mouth. We are all women, we are all doing the best we can. Give everyone a chance, be kind to whomever you speak to when you visit that house, even if you think you don't fit in their group.

6. It isn't the end of the world. 
If you don't get your first or even second choice. I promise. You'll live. You'll make friends. Great friends. Life long friends. When you look back on college years later you won't remember the disappointment you felt upon opening that envelope on bid day and reading a card that said Phi Mu instead of Kappa Kappa Gamma. You'll  remember getting ready with your sisters for that semi-formal junior year when you got the courage to invite the guy you'd been crushing on for months.

7. Choose Pi Phi. 
 Hehe :) just a suggestion.

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  1. Sooooo... Can I go back to college and be in the drunk sorority, orrrr....?

  2. i wanted to join a sorority in college but i was too scared to! they were all so glamorous and put-together and i was a weird, geeky, non-fashionable tomboy :(

    Vodka and Soda

  3. i feel like I'm a sorority mom right now bc Louise is going to go through rush starting SATURDAY!!! eek. like literally im freaking out!

  4. PLEASE steer clear of the 3 Bs in convos: boys, booze, and bank accounts! Also communicate with your recruitment counselor, she's there to help you find your home and give unbiased advice!

  5. recommendations weren't a big thing when I went through recruitment. I feel like California sororities take those things less seriously. Or at least my school did. Of course we knew who all the legacies were but I don't know anybody to asked someone to write them a recommendation.

    and YES to the be kind part. seriously. pnms can say some RUDE things about houses. slap slap.

  6. Wish you'd written this last year when I went through recruitment! But you are absolutely right, you end up where you're supposed to be regardless of the stereotypes.

  7. I love this! I am a Sigma Kappa Alum and such GREAT advice!!

  8. I think I need to go back to college to join a sorority. I blame my college for the lack of that. They had them, but it wasn't like they made their presence well known on campus- good OR bad. Oh well, another lifetime.

  9. Oklahoma Alpha reporting in. I knew I loved you long time. TTF :)

  10. My sorority totally was the slutty one... I know that's terrible to say but it is what it is and we had a great time. At least we were nice!

  11. This really is great advice! I was a Phi Mu in college, I joined my sophomore year and it was the best decision I made :)

  12. This is AWESOME advice. sorority girls get such a bad rap, but this is SPOT-ON. Panhel love from Kappa Delta and thatgirlmag!

  13. This is AWESOME advice. sorority girls get such a bad rap, but this is SPOT-ON. Panhel love from Kappa Delta and thatgirlmag!

  14. This makes me sad. If I could have ONE do-over in life, it would be to go to a big southern university and be in a sorority. Dumb dumb dumb 17 year old Erin. *womp womp*

  15. I went to a few open houses when I was a freshman and then never actually went through recruitment. It just wasn't for me or so I thought. But my sister is going to be a freshman and wants to join a sorority. She's already so excited about it and hasn't even moved in yet! I'll be sure to show her your post for some great tips! :)

  16. hahah i was def the girl that didn't know what the hell i was getting into, but all my friends were joining and i was going to be out a roomie if i didn't! but over all definitely glad i joined the Pifs!

  17. This is such great advice! #1 is so key- be yourself! You have to be true to yourself if you want to find a sorority that is the best fit for you.

    As stressful as it was, recruitment was always so exciting! Thanks for this post, now you've made me miss college and my Delta Gammas. *sigh*

  18. Yes, yes, yes! We'd always advise girls to stay away from the 3 B's: Boys, booze, bucks! I miss living in the house so much sometimes! xx

  19. Huh, how complex this little sorority world! I've never been in a sorority. Loser much?

    Ana Paula
    {Visit me at Mommyhood, PhD}

  20. I love all of your advice! I was a recruitment counselor my senior year (mainly because I HATED rush so much) and I loved watching the girls go through recruitment. And surprisingly enough, one of the girls who was least excited about her bid ending up being the most involved in her sorority. You will survive even if you don't get your first choice!

    Oh this makes me want to go back to college..

  21. Omgosh I was a Pi Phi too <3 PPLM

  22. I wanted to be a Pi Phi, but not badly enough to stick out recruitment. That part just wasn't for me. HOWEVER my sister is now a Pi Phi in the same chapter I wanted to be in, and I get to be her date for Parent's Weekend in a few weeks!

  23. Yes Yes and more Yes! I love this post. I was a Gamma Phi Beta at PSU

  24. Recruitment both as a PNM and as a member were two of the most stressful but rewarding weeks of my life. I am not sure I would ever want to do it again though :)

  25. I would've pledged but being an online student was my only option. Oh and let me know about the Rangers games!

  26. I definitely was way more nervous as a recruiter than a potential new member! It's a lot of pressure to recruit an awesome class of involved, classy, smart, funny women to carry on your chapter's legacy. So you are absolutely right about that one. Also, I love #3. Everything you said was spot-on!

  27. I was the recuitment chair for my sorority in college- such a fun time and headache! ha. I loved this post though for sure! I wrote 9 recs this year and have been begged to be the recruitment advisor for our chapter (but yet to accept that one!!!). oh college memories and rush! :)

  28. The Texas Rangers the BASEBALL team? I want to go.

  29. I so wish I understood this post but my little British head just has no idea what any of this even means!!

  30. I would love to go to those Rangers games with you! I mean I have never been to a MLB game before and definitely think you can show me the ropes. It's a shame that I'm all the way up here in Wisconsin. :(

    I always feel a bit out of place in the blogging world because it seems like everyone has been a member of a sorority. I had a completely different college experience than most so joining a sorority wasn't really an option, or at least one I didn't hear about. It definitely seems like some great friendships can be made from sorority life though.

  31. UT PBPs. I love it. And recruitment was my hell. Iloved being in a sorority but going through it is just not my personality and even more not my personality is rushing people, oh lord.

  32. I love this! I'm going through recruitment on the other side for the first time and talking to PNM's makes me so nervous!! I'm so excited to meet our new girls though!

    PPL & AOM from IL Eta!

  33. Well, that is all really enlightening for me, because I didn't go to school. Plus, in Canada I don't think we are as big on the sororities. I hope girls read this and take your advice!

  34. So true on the speak up! I hated trying to talk to girls who would only give one word answers! I also think being able to talk about something that interests you is important. If basket weaving was your favorite thing, I would rather hear about that then something you thought I wanted to hear.

    And the stereotypes are shit. I could find one of every stereotype in every single house.

  35. Love the advice! I was the director of Sorority Recruitment at my school and some of the incoming freshmen really had no idea what to wear! And it's funny to look back on how stereotyped they made the sororities. We had to disaffiliate and we let all of the PNMs guess our houses on Pref Night, and all of them thought I was in Phi Mu (blonde sorority at our campus) but they were completely wrong!

    I covered the same topic on my blog also in hopes of inspiring!


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  37. Can you tell me how to choose right dressing at the time of recruitment? Also let me know what is sorority?

    Recruitment Services


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