This time last year I was returning to Bucknell for my senior year. Every fall the first week of classes mark the long days and late nights of sorority recruitment. Now you are probably wondering why I decided to write a post about recruitment since I have graduated. Well I am a little nostalgic and when it comes to recruitment I have covered it all. Sophomore year I went through the process as a potential new member or PNM, junior year I sang my sorority’s songs and met many excited sophomores, and senior year I served as a recruitment counselor. Each year I saw and experienced a new aspect of sorority recruitment, which has provided me with an arsenal of helpful recruitment tips for PNMs. Stayed tuned later this week for my tips for sorority women! So here it goes, my helpful tips for PNMs during the crazy week of sorority recruitment!
Tips for Potential New Members
1. Have your 30-second pitch down
This is like the elevator pitch but slightly modified. Every round you will meet new sorority women who will ask you the same questions, “Where are you from?” What’s your major?” “What activities are you involved in on campus?” “What did you do this summer?” By the end of the first day you will feel like you said the same thing over and over again. Before your first round, take the time to go over all your different activities and accomplishments. Familiarizing yourself with all the interesting things that you do will allow your confidence to shine and will put you more at ease.
2. Uniqueness is key
Sorority members are meeting tons of PNMs throughout the day so it can be hard to keep track of everyone. However, if you visited Austria this summer or learned to scuba dive make sure to talk about it! Don’t feel pressure to brag, but dropping an interesting story will make sure the women that you meet will not forget you. Plus, when you talk about your hobbies or recent adventures your enthusiasm and energy will be unforgettable!
3. Don’t be nervous
Remember that each sorority is trying to win you over. You hold more cards then you even realize! There is nothing to be afraid of, that fear you have of finding the right place for you is the same fear the sorority members feel in trying to find their future sisters. Take a deep breath and relax!
4. Dress like you
It can be so easy to get caught up in what you think you should wear during recruitment. Just be yourself. No seriously, be yourself! If you want to wear American flag jean shorts or a massive statement necklace, do it! Where whatever you feel most comfortable in and represents you, after all the women you will meet want to get to know the real you. However on that same note, remember to be presentable. No bra straps or coffee stains please! An added bonus to dressing uniquely is that it can be a great conversation starter.
5. Be enthusiastic
Whether or not you are at your first or last choice sorority, be happy to be there. These women have put countless hours into making rush a great experience and are letting you into their homes to get to know them. Be honored to be a part of this process. Smile, ask questions, and make eye contact. In many ways this is like a job interview, so you always want to put your best foot forwards. On the flipside, do not bash another sorority. You have no idea what connections the person you are talking with has at that sorority. Also, instead of making yourself look bad/like a gossip, focus on the place you are at currently. They are the ones putting in their time and energy into meeting you, so be enthusiastic to be there.
6. Reputations are fickle
Do not rely on what you have heard about a sorority through the grapevine. Gossip is constantly changing, and most of the times is completely fabricated. Keep an open mind and use your own judgment while visiting each sorority. You may think that a sorority is the perfect fit for you based on its supposed reputation, but quickly realize that you do not really click with the members. It is impossible to avoid campus stereotypes, however make sure to form your own opinions instead of leaving it up to random snippets of gossip.
7. Mums the word
One of the best things my friends and I did before recruitment started was make a pact not to discuss our experiences at each sorority at the end of each day. I know you are probably wondering why we bothered to do that because obviously it is all we would want to talk about. Honestly after each day all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and go to sleep. Also, I wanted to make sure that I picked the sorority that was right for me. If a friend had a negative experience at a sorority I liked, that could have swayed my opinion. Instead, whenever we saw each other between rounds we would ask how everything was going, but that was the extent of it. In the end it turned out that many of my friends ended up in the same sorority as me! However, I am really glad that we decided not to talk our choices and opinions during that crazy week; it reinforced the need to focus on our own vibes and to make the best choice for ourselves.
8. Wear comfortable shoes
No seriously, your feet will thank me for this later!
9. Talk with your Recruitment Counselor
Your Recruitment Counselor is there for a reason…talk to her! Most schools have a system where upperclassmen sorority women disaffiliate from their sororities and serve as mentors to the PNMs. Ask them questions, because if anyone understands what you are going through it is someone who just went through the process themselves only a few semesters prior.
10. Have Fun!
I know this last tip is cliché but it is true, enjoy the ride! Recruitment is a whirlwind of a week but it is filled with so much fun. You get to meet new people, listen to some crazy songs, and by the end find sisters to call your own. It is a really fun process so try not to stress out and instead just enjoy!
I hope these tips help any PNMs who are nervous about going through sorority recruitment! Don’t forget to check back later this week for my tips for sorority members!