Recruitment Ready

Long time, no blog! AH! It's been crazy town over here, and unfortunately that meant I failed to blog about my life again. Oops! It's okay, though, because I'm talking about all things sorority recruitment today. A lot of you have been asking about what to wear, what to talk about, and just whether or not it's right for you, and I'm here to clear things up the best I can :)

Please note that my information on formal sorority recruitment is limited to my personal experience with Greek life. The statements below are solely my opinion and in no way are a representation of National Panhellenic Conference's policies or bylaws or of any of its fraternities and sororities. Since recruitment varies by school, check with your school's Panhellenic page for a more detailed description of its formal recruitment process.

Is joining a sorority right for me?

Yes. And no. It depends. And it's totally up to you. Your entire family could be a part of a sorority all the way back to your great-great-aunt who was a founding member of Alpha whatever sorority. That doesn't mean you have to join one. But, even if no one in your family (like mine) has even thought about Greek life, you could still join. It's your call. Decide what feels right for you and what you want out of your college experience...and beyond. A sisterhood is a huge commitment, so make sure you know what you're getting yourself into before accepting a bid. Even if you're unsure, recruitment is a great opportunity to meet lots of new people on campus!

What is recruitment?

Good question. It's a process that sorority chapters participate in that allows them to obtain new members. Most schools participate in formal recruitment in the fall, but other schools, like my college, offer deferred recruitment, where incoming freshman are not allowed to join a sorority until the spring semester of their first year. It varies by school, so check with your school's Panhellenic site for more information about schedules, what to wear, and what to expect as well as how to register.

The process lasts anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on your school. My recruitment lasted a total of four days, which included Philanthropy Night, Skit Night, Preference Night and lastly Bid Day. Days and themes may vary, so, again, check with the Panhellenic page.

What do I wear?? Hair/makeup tips?

Start out by checking with the Panhellenic page (aka your new BFF if you haven't figured that out yet), and they should give you some form of guidelines on attire. Some days, you might be given a t-shirt to wear. Depending on the fit and the weather, these normally look cute with a pair of colored chino shorts or even a printed pair. If you're unsure, you really can't go wrong with a pair of dark wash or white skinny jeans.

Shoes are very important, as in most cases you'll be doing lots of walking to and from houses and parties. Wear something comfortable but stylish. I recommend sporting a pair of nice-looking sandals (Jack Rogers are always a win!) or stable wedges. I advise against sneakers for fear of looking too casual - you want to be comfy but put-together!

As always, reflect your personality in your attire. Think of your everyday look, but a step-up from it. For me, that means adding some fun accessories, maybe like a statement necklace or a bracelet stack.

For more formal nights, I'd choose dresses that are simple yet elegant, maybe belt it if appropriate, and dress it up with a pair of statement earrings or a necklace. Wedges or platform ankle booties are great because you might be standing for extended periods of time so these give a little more support. If anything, ask if you are allowed to bring a pair of sandals to walk in and then switch to heels before you go to the party!

As for hair and makeup, aim for a polished look. Make sure your hair is straightened or curled neatly, or if you decide for an updo, make sure it will hold all night! For makeup, I recommend sticking with a fresh face look, one that's more natural and accents your features appropriately. Don't cake it on, but you should probably put a little more effort into it than just daily wear!

What should I do to prepare?

Keep an open mind through the entire process. The process is designed to be a mutual selection to help you find what chapter best fits you. Also, trust the system. Like Momma always says, everything happens for a reason! Just take a deep breath and try not to be overwhelmed. It's a lot to take in, but the end will be sooo worth it! :)

As far as conversations go, know what you're looking for in a sisterhood. Do you want to get involved? Find your home away from home? Become a leader? The choices are totally up to you. Whatever it is that you're looking for, I hope you find it in a chapter! Also, don't be afraid to talk about yourself...because you probably will have to at some point. Sororities want to know all about you! Share your interests, hobbies, and anything else unique about yourself that really shows off your personality.

And, yes, forced small talk with a complete stranger is kind of awkward, but everyone's in the same boat. Just smile and try not to focus too hard on the right things to say!

What's a bid? How do I get one?

A bid is an invitation to become a new member of a sorority. The bid is extended from a chapter upon completion of formal recruitment, based on the mutual selection process. A bid is not guaranteed, so, unfortunately, not everyone receives one. This is due to numerous factors, so don't focus too much on it.

Once you receive a bid, you can choose to accept or decline it. Accepting it means that you are now a new member of said chapter and will enter the new member process. Once again, this varies on sorority, but normally there are requirements in order to become an initiated sister (attending events, chapter meetings, new member educational tests, etc.)

I'm going through recruitment as a sophomore/junior/senior. Any advice?

While most members join as a freshman, there are certainly a number of members who choose to join later in their college experience. This can be from a number of reasons, like if they are unsure if Greek life is a good fit, are a transfer student who is not already a member of a sorority, or even financial reasons. It's not too late to go through recruitment if freshman year is over, so just keep an open mind and everything will work out as it should be.

General Advice

Greek life certainly isn't for everyone, and that's okay. If you decide that it's not right for you, it's totally fine, but I encourage you to wait it out until the recruitment process is over. That way, you can make a clear decision about whether or not to join.

You might have your heart set on a chapter and not be invited back to one of their parties. Don't panic. It happens. The mutual selection process comes into play here - sometimes, the chapter might see you as a better fit elsewhere, and that's okay! Continue through recruitment and keep an open mind. I can't stress that enough! :)

Your friends/roommates/best friend from high school may like a sorority different from the one you like. Don't let their opinions sway your decisions. This is YOUR choice, and trust me, you can still be friends, even if you're in different chapters. I have several close friends that decided to accept bids to other sororities...and we were still friends after it! #PanhellenicLove

Joining a sorority is a full-time commitment. Not only are you accepting a bid, you're joining a sisterhood...FOR LIFE! It's kind of weird and exciting and overwhelming all at once, but it's honestly the best decision I made in college. I have met some of the most driven women I've known from my sorority, and they are truly like family to me. My sorority also allowed me to become a leader on campus and in the community, and find my home away from home. I hope you find yours, too!

To those of you going through recruitment, good luck and have SO much fun!


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1 comment

  1. these are such good tips! i will keep these in mind!
    xx, Bess


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