August brings with it plenty of excitement, from back to school for younger children to heading to college for older ones. It’s also recruitment season — which can be fun, hopeful, and stressful all at the same time as girls prepare to go through recruitment and hope to receive a bid from the sorority of their choice. We asked DoSayGive intern Annie Stewart, a senior at Texas A&M, for her top advice she’d give to girls going through recruitment this year. So whether you’re a mother to an incoming freshman and looking to ease some of your daughter’s worries, or if you are a potential new member yourself, keep reading for our 10 Tips for a Successful Recruitment Season!
10 Tips for The Girl Going Through Recruitment
1. Don’t stress too much about what to wear.
This may sound cheesy, but the prettiest thing you can wear is a smile and a good attitude. Active members (actives) will likely not remember what potential new members (PNMs) wear, but they will remember the girls who came in with a smile and who they have a great conversation with. People won’t forget your attitude — whether good or bad.
Don’t worry about dressing to the sorority you want. If you have to change your whole wardrobe to feel accepted, that sorority may not be the one for you.
2. Take some time to clean up your social media.
If you have any questionable pictures (posts, stories, or tagged photos), you may want to heavily consider removing them/un-tagging yourself. Here are a few big no-nos:
- Revealing swimsuit or bikini pictures.
- Inappropriate language, captions, or hand signs.
- Inappropriate pictures taken with boys.
- Any photos with alcohol or reference to alcohol (even if it’s in the background).
- Pictures in a sorority t-shirt (i.e., your sister’s old sorority t-shirt).
Also, it’s pretty common to follow the sororities at your school the summer before you go through recruitment. If you choose to follow one sorority on Instagram, be sure to follow all of the sororities. Actives look at this! And it’s okay to engage with sorority Instagram pages — perhaps don’t comment, but liking photos is great!
3. Don’t name or resume drop during a conversation with a sorority.
The sorority wants to get to know YOU, not who you know. Be present in the conversation, and don’t look for other, “better” people to talk to while in the conversation. Also, don’t resume drop — meaning, don’t treat the conversation as a way to list all of your high school accomplishments. The sorority already has a copy of your resume. Now, they just want to spend time getting to know you!
4. Ask questions!
Recruitment is a conversation, not an interview. Even if you are not necessarily interested in a particular sorority, there is still an opportunity to have a good conversation and learn something new! Ask actives why they chose their sorority, what other activities they’re involved in, what they like to do when they’re not in class, or their biggest piece of advice for freshman year. Make the most out of the conversations you have in every house you visit. In reality, you don’t know which house you’ll end up at on bid day, so you want to make sure to make a positive impression.
5. Avoid these topics in conversation.
Don’t bring up boys, alcohol, politics, or other controversial topics. If faith is important to you, do not be afraid to talk about it. If having other believers in your sorority is something you’re looking for, it’s not a bad idea to talk about it! Here are two good questions to ask to scope it out: “Do you host Bible studies or small groups within your sorority?” or “I would love to find a local church here; do girls go to church together?”
6. Be wise in what you share with others.
After a long day of recruitment, you might want to go talk to girls in your dorm or maybe a roommate who’s going through recruitment too. Remember that everyone’s experience is going to be different. Focus on yours!
If someone keeps asking to share what houses you have left in the process, it’s okay to say, “I’d rather not share.”
If another girl is having a bad day during recruitment, it might be nice to take the focus off yourself and try to comfort her in any way you can. Recruitment week can be exhausting, so any chance you get to serve someone else or encourage another girl, do it!
7. Get to know the girls in your “Rho Gam” group.
This is the small group of PNMs you’ll walk through the week with, and they may be called different names at every university. There are so many friendship success stories that come from these groups — and you never know who may be in class with you the week after! Also, use your Rho Gam leaders as resources. They are your go-to on all of the technical rules of recruitment (i.e., oral bidding, what step in the process to share that you may have “found your home” at a particular house, etc.).
8. Remember that being a legacy does not guarantee a spot.
Things aren’t how they used to be! Make sure to keep an open mind during the process, and have fun! You have control over how fun and light-hearted recruitment is by being where your feet are and remaining engaged in conversations.
9. Don’t speak poorly about another sorority…ever!
This goes for before, during, and after recruitment. Words spread, and it’s a good opportunity to practice “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This especially reflects poorly on PNMs. Also, be mindful of how you speak about your recruitment experience after recruitment. You may not have pledged that one sorority, but a bad word about them can still reach them or discourage someone who did pledge that sorority.
10. Not every recruitment story is a success story.
Please do not doubt your worth because you did not get invited back to your top sorority of choice. There are so many details that go into the recruitment process, and some are just completely out of your control. Remember that who you are is not defined by certain Greek letters!
Maybe this isn’t you, but it’s your friend, instead. As mentioned above, take time to comfort others whose recruitment process may not be going as smoothly as yours. Celebrate the end of your recruitment season and embrace the excitement of being welcomed into a house! But maybe once the bid day excitement has passed, consider taking some time to write a note of encouragement to a friend who didn’t have as happy an ending to her recruitment season.
Thank you, Annie, for your wisdom and encouragement! Stay tuned next week for our blog post on bid day gifts!