I wish I could sugarcoat the process of sorority recruitment at Texas A&M, but then I'd be lying to y'all. Don't get me wrong, this is going to be one of the most amazing weeks of your college career. You are going to meet so many outstanding women in each sorority as well as other women going through recruitment with you. However, this is Texas and you're going to be outside for a great deal of the time. Our weather and the asphalt are not going to be kind to you. You definitely need to prepare for that.
Below is a list of things I believe will help ease any obstacles you may face outside of the sorority houses during recruitment:
Tote Bag // I highly recommend leaving your purses in the dorm and carrying a tote bag. It will be a lot easier to carry all of your survival kit items in it than trying to shove them in your purse. :)
Makeup + Compact Mirror // Like I said, this is Texas. If you're not familiar with our hot hot weather, you will be quickly. Walking from house to house during the day may cause you to sweat off some of your makeup. Bring a small bag filled with your makeup essentials, such as mascara, lipstick or lip gloss, blush, etc. The compact mirror is always good to have to do a quick check of your makeup before entering a house. If you are worried about bringing your makeup or it melting in the heat, then I highly recommend this makeup setting spray. Your makeup lasts quite a while when you put it on and it's perfect for the college girl's budget.
Oil Blotting Wipes // Your Rho Gammas typically provide coffee filters for you to remove oil buildup from your face before entering the houses. However, if you prefer your own, definitely bring them with you. Again, the weather is crazy hot. They really help make you feel fresh after sweating from house to house.
Makeup Remover // Women are emotional beings. There's just no changing that. You're going to be surrounded by over a thousand other girls and emotions run high. This is why I recommend bringing makeup remover wipes. We cry and our mascara runs and it's not pretty. I know what you're thinking... crying during recruitment? It happens. It can be from the super sweet and sad philanthropy videos (guilty!), seniors reminiscing about their time in the chapter (again, guilty!), or you're stressed out from all the walking and talking (once again, guilty!). So don't be embarrassed. Everyone gets teary eyed during recruitment. Wipe away the runny mascara, reapply, and you're good to go.
Dry Shampoo, Comb + Bobby Pins // Have I mentioned that the weather is crazy in Texas? Just want to make sure you understand fully. It's definitely a great idea to bring a comb, bobby pins, hair ties, dry shampoo, etc with you to sorority row. Your hair might be fantastically curled, then you walk around outside for a couple hours and it's a perfect mess. I highly recommend bringing dry shampoo because it'll remove the oil buildup from your hair during the day and it also makes your hair look fresh.
Deodorant // Self-explanatory by now I'm sure, but this Texas weather is not friendly. Bring it with you and if you feel the need to freshen up, there are bathrooms outside that you can hop in and swipe some more on. I recommend doing this rather than spraying perfume or body spray. Panhellenic will probably stress this during your convocation on Sunday, but stay away from putting on perfume. There are 1400 women going through recruitment and about 2400 sorority women (give or take). Imagine if we all wore different perfumes? That's 3800 different and strong smells that our noses cannot handle. Stick with freshening up your deodorant. Trust me. :)
Feminine Products // Put 3800 women in the same place and you're bound to sync up with someone elses time of the month. I know that's gross, but it's true. Every year during recruitment, I was always in sync with at least 20 other girls in the chapter. It sucks. Again, your Rho Gammas may have supplies if TOM suddenly decides to make a visit, but I'm just the type of person who prefers my own products.
Flip Flops // As I said in my posts on Monday and Wednesday, bring a pair of flip flops or comfortable shoes to walk from house to house. Your feet are going to get so sore from walking and standing in sandals, wedges, and heels. Also, the ground is going to be super harsh on your shoes. You don't want to ruin one of your favorite pairs if a heel breaks or a strap snaps.
Extra Pair of Shoes // For the very reason I just stated above, bring an extra pair of sandals or heels. You don't know how many times I've seen a shoe break during recruitment. You've prepared and worked really hard to dress well for this week. If this accident happens to you, it's better to be prepared with an extra pair of nicer shoes than having to wear your flip flops into a party. (See this post for why you shouldn't wear flip flops into a sorority house.)
Band-Aids // I cannot stress enough about taking care of your feet during this week. Is that weird? Maybe, but it really sucks when you have a blister and have to wear heels for another two hours. Even if you have been wearing flip flops between houses, you may get a blister from standing in new shoes while you're in the parties. It happens, so be prepared with some band-aids. They're life savers.
Water Bottle // You are going to be talking a lot this week and you're going to be outside a lot this week. Each sorority house provides water and cups for PNMs in the tents while they're waiting to attend parties. Please take advantage of this. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I've seen several girls who have passed out or had to go to the CPC emergency tent because they did not drink enough water during the day. We're in Texas. Heat + dehydration do not make a good combo. When I went through recruitment, I lost my voice for the last two days because I did not drink enough water. It was definitely interesting trying to talk to people. (And by interesting, I mean extremely difficult.)
Snacks // Your Rho Gammas typically provide snacks for you and some days lunch will be provided for you, but you never know what the food might be. If you're trying to eat better or you have a special diet, bring your own snacks.
Mints // Again, your Rho Gammas typically provide mints for you as well. Just in case they forget or you forget to ask for some, it's good to keep a few in your bag.
Tissues // Like I said earlier, we all get a little emotional during recruitment. So, tissues are a very handy thing to keep in your bag.
Magazines + Books // Sometimes Rho Gammas provide magazines, but bring your own or a good book just in case. There will be times that breaks might be longer than intended or you may not have a party for an hour. Usually you're not allowed to be using your phone during recruitment, so it's a good idea to have something in your bag to keep the boredom at bay.
Umbrella // If you are from Texas, then you know we have crazy random weather. It has rained at least once during every recruitment for the past four years. Panhellenic (CPC) typically brings you inside the houses if it begins to pour down raining, but it's better to be safe than sorry. When I went through recruitment as a PNM (Potential New Member), it suddenly started raining while I was walking to my next party and I had to run to the nearest tent to get out of the rain. Needless to say, I was all wet and wished I brought an umbrella with me.
Extra Pens + Pencils // Panhellenic typically provides you a handbook that provides descriptions of each sorority and a section for you to write about each party you attend. Trust me, you're going to want to write down as much as you can about what you thought during each party because they go by so fast and by the end of the night you're just like, "Wait, where was I when I liked XYZ about their philanthropy/skit/sisterhood/etc?" It's a good idea to keep a backup pen or pencil so you don't catch yourself with the inability to jot things down.
Have you gone through Texas A&M's sorority recruitment and have some tips or stories to share? Are you going through recruitment and have questions? Please feel free to share because I would love to hear them!