I cannot emphasize enough how sorority recruitment will be one of the best weeks of your college life. Some people beg to differ. You'll hear horror stories about crying and dropping out, but ignore them. I believe the people with the horror stories didn't know how to make the most out of their sorority recruitment. They went in with all the wrong expectations and completely fell apart.
To avoid having a horror story of your own, here are my top five tips (in no particular order) to going through Texas A&M's sorority recruitment:
1 // Listen to your gut, not other people's opinions.
This week is about you finding your place in Greek life. Forget what anyone has told you about each sorority at Texas A&M. Nine times out of ten, they don't know the full story. They don't know the chapter or the women in the chapter. I've seen so many women go through recruitment and not give houses a chance because of a rumor they heard from a friend of a friend or from talking to other women going through recruitment (aka: "tent talk").
Every sorority at Texas A&M is amazing. We all have fantastic philanthropies and outstanding sisterhood. If you go in thinking that only 3 out of the 12 houses are worth your time, you're going to be very disappointed with recruitment. Keep an opened mind. You might surprise yourself with what you find out and where you end up making a strong connection.
2 // Don't assume you belong somewhere because you have friends in that sorority.
This one happens time and time again, especially to women who are sophomores or juniors going through sorority recruitment at Texas A&M. I've talked to girls who were bawling their eyes out because they didn't receive an invitation back to a certain sorority and all of their best friends were in the chapter. I know you think that since you're best friends, you must be in their sorority. However, this is simply not true. I have best friends in other sororities and I know plenty of other women who have best friends in other sororities. You don't stop being best friends because you're in different places. I truly believe that you end up where you belong at the end of the week.
3 // Don't assume you belong somewhere because you are a legacy.
Typically, a legacy is someone who has a mother, sister, or grandmother (including greats) that are/were a member of that sorority. (So if you have an aunt, cousin, second cousin, etc. that was a member in a sorority, don't count on a sorority considering you as a legacy.) Now, I know how amazing it would be to be in the same sorority as a family member. I thought I wanted to be in a certain sorority because my great-aunts were in that sorority. I ended up in a different one and that's okay. I have a little sister who I hope will be in my sorority one day, but if she's not, that's okay.
Don't automatically close yourself off from getting to know the different chapters. You may not share the same exact values with your family, so you may belong in a different chapter. Repeat after me, that's okay. As I've said before and will probably say a million times more, every chapter is amazing and there is no reason to not give them a chance. Trust me, your mom/sister/grandmother/great-grandmother will still love you even though you decided to join a different chapter.
4 // Don't drop out of recruitment because the sorority you fell in love with didn't invite you back.
There are a variety of reasons why you were not asked back to a sorority. Nine times out of ten, it's not personal. As sororities, we have needs that we want to meet each year with our new member (pledge) classes. Maybe our needs don't align with your needs. Remember, the reason you are not asked back is not because you aren't an amazing person. You are amazing and you will find your place. It just might not be where you expected to end up.
True story: my little sister in my sorority was disappointed on Bid Day because she was expecting a bid from a different sorority. She came to our bid day, met me and my friends, and decided to stick it out for at least a week. Now, she's the president of our chapter and is in love with our sorority. If she decided to drop instead of coming to our bid day, I never would have met my best friend in the entire world, not to mention my little.
I have said this a million times because it is so true. You end up where you belong. Trust the process. If you are extended a bid from a sorority that you think you don't want, go to Bid Day and the first week of events. Meet the women who are going to be in your new member class. You may end up meeting your best friend for life.
5 // Prepare questions for each day and ask as many as you can.
This is important, ladies. Remember, Texas A&M sorority recruitment is a mutual selection process. This means that you have just as much say as where you end up as the sororities have say in who joins their chapter. You are interviewing us just like we're interviewing you. Take advantage of this opportunity by asking as many questions as you can.
How can you truly know you belong somewhere if you don't ask questions? Every house will explain all the great things about being in that sorority and it will all be true because every house is awesome. But that's not helpful for you. Figure out what is important to you to have in a sorority and make a list of your top five questions you want to know each day. This will help you figure out where you belong a lot better.
I've talked to women during recruitment who just nodded their head while I explained things about my sorority and shared my experiences. I had no idea what was even important to them because they didn't ask any questions. Understand that the sorority women can't read your mind. We could go on for days about our sorority, but so what? It doesn't matter if we don't know what you want to know. Throughout this week, I'll be sharing five example questions you could ask each day if you aren't sure where to start.
The main thing you should take away from these tips is that you will end up where you belong. Trust the process. Don't stress out if you're not invited back to a certain sorority. Enjoy this week and getting to know all of the sororities because even if you don't end up in one of them, those women are still your Panhellenic sisters and will make your sorority experience even better.
Have any concerns about recruitment? Have tips of your own? Please share them below because I would love to hear them!