8 Secrets to Success in Sorority Recruitment

Whether you've grown up knowing you would one day follow in your mother's/grandmother's/sister's/etc. footsteps as a sorority legacy, or you're just looking for a great way to get plugged in when starting college, nerves are bound to be growing about sorority recruitment. Maybe you haven't signed up for recruitment yet {you should!}, or maybe you've been planning all summer long for just the perfect wardrobe. Either way, there's probably a lot of questions about the process and how to make a grueling week of ice breakers, skits, sisterhood days, and preference rounds go as smoothly as possible.

It's hard to believe I was one of those girls six years ago. I'm so thankful for my three years in Greek Life, and the wonderful relationships and experiences I gained through it. I've enjoyed continuing my involvement as an alumna, and serving on the advisory board of my collegiate chapter. Thanks to some helpful hints from sorority sisters and Greek Life besties, I've compiled my top eight tips to success in sorority recruitment, some of which I knew when I went through, and some of which I wish I'd known!

  1. Pack a Prepared Purse | Cut up coffee filters work excellently as disposable, affordable blotting papers. Recruitment days are long, and often hot. Use a durable setting spray to keep your face in place, rain or shine! Speaking of rain or shine: mini umbrellas or battery operated fans that can be quickly stuffed into a crossbody bag are two key items that will make the day a little better, no matter the weather. A few final items: a notepad and pen to help you make notes about houses you liked or didn't like and why; and mints, never gum! Now is definitely the time to dust off and use all of those manners your mother taught you.
  2. Less is More | Make-up, perfume, name brands, flashy jewelry, your party life, etc. Recruitment is all about leaving a lasting impression, and you want to be sure that it is the best it can be! Wearing Lilly Pulitzer {or whatever brand/style} from head-to-toe will never make you the top recruit, but your well-rounded, engaging conversational skills will. Don't distract from your shining personality by talking about things you think sorority girls want to talk about...basically anything that's on Total Frat Move should be off limits during rush week.
    Less is more is not a principle to take to heart when picking out what to wear. Please don't wear your "bar clothes" to parties, as both you and the sorority women will be uncomfortable. Most schools have guidelines of what to wear each day, and searching social media for years' past pictures will also clue you in on what will work. Most importantly: wear shoes that you'll be comfortable in all day while walking from house to house, and don't forget a long lasting deodorant!
  3. Keep it Clean | Your social media accounts and your conversation should both be carefully monitored. These are good habits to develop now, as future employers will check out your online profiles, as will the sorority women preparing for recruitment. Words and pictures you may not find offensive may be incredibly so to a group of women who represent a national organization with goals and ideals much larger than your individual realm of influence, so represent yourself accordingly.
  4. Keep an Open Mind | Most women enter the recruitment process with an idea of which house they want or don't want. If they don't already know a lot about the different organizations at the start of recruitment week, they usually hear rumors throughout the day's events shared either by other potential new members, or wrongfully so by women in the various sororities. Don't let the chatter of local girls or women in the different houses influence how you feel in your heart! This is a lifelong, life changing commitment, and only you will know what the right fit is for you. Also, sorority women should never speak poorly of other houses; if they do, that may be a good indicator of the wrong house for you.
  5. Review Your Resume | You probably had to submit a lot of information about yourself while registering for recruitment. This information, either in part or in whole, may be shared with the different sororities. Be sure to brush up on the best of you the night before recruitment begins. While you never want to seem "braggy," it is helpful to remind yourself of the different activities, organizations, and causes that you have been involved in and are passionate about before sharing about yourself with so many different women who are very interested in getting to know you well!
  6. Networking Starts Now | You're not going to like every house and unfortunately, it's a possibility that not every house will want you to return the next day. Rejection is stressful, but focus instead on getting to know as many women as possible in each of the houses you visit throughout the recruitment process. Some of my very best friends are girls I met during rush, whether they were PNMs like myself that ended up in my pledge class or in another sorority, or were active collegiate members that rushed me in the various houses. Greek Life as a whole is a great way to get connected and involved in different events, philanthropies, and friend groups early on in your college career. Don't let different letters keep you from making friends!
  7. Honesty is the Best Policy | Be yourself. Talk about things you're interested in. Share things about yourself that you're comfortable sharing. Don't hide parts of yourself in an effort to fit a perceived mold of a sorority women. The best part about being in a sorority is meeting women with all different interests, from all over the world! The right sorority will want you for you.
  8. Stay Positive | Should you not be invited back to one of your favorite houses, it's okay to feel disappointment. That's natural. But ultimately, the "system" of sorority recruitment does work 99% of the time. You'll hear it a hundred times: everything happens for a reason. In my experience, recruitment and real life, that is totally true. Be excited about and be engaging with every house you visit. The women inside are passionate believers in their sorority, and want you to be as well. You may not know anyone in the sorority you pledge...I sure didn't!...but you're bound to walk away with some of your best friends, bridesmaids, and sisters if you put 100% into the organization you're invited to join. 
My sorority sisters are women that are experiencing all walks of life with me and uplift me every day. I hope you have that experience, too! Please feel free to reach out to me personally if you have detailed questions about the recruitment process or sorority life {piperellice @ gmail . com}. And be sure to leave any personal tips or tricks in the comments section below! 

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