One of the most exciting days for a new sorority woman is bid day.

The pictures, the new shirt with your new letters, the smiling faces and the warm welcome from your new sisters – it all offers so much excitement and promise. But it can be a little different the first time you walk into your chapter house. You may not know anyone and you’re unfamiliar with schedules and traditions. Want to know a little secret? Almost every new member feels a little nervous or awkward at first. These days, the pandemic has put a pause on big gatherings and social events, making it harder to get settled in. Here are some tips to help you find your footing a little faster.

Try to attend every new member activity.

Many chapters have informal events that pair groups of new members with sisters, so you can get to know a lot of people in a short time. Jump right into philanthropy projects, and if your chapter has a house, drop by to study or sign up for dinner as often as you can. As long as it follows social distancing guidelines set in your state and on campus.

Once you do make a few connections, don’t stop.

After hearing all the stories and watching all the videos during recruitment, you may have the expectation that the first new friends in your chapter will be “your people.” Every chapter has a wide variety of personalities, so take your time to get to know all the women in your chapter.

Be honest about your feelings.

Whether you’re over-the-top excited or a little overwhelmed, share those feelings with your new sisters. Those in your member class might be feeling the same way, and the quicker you open up to them, the quicker they will open up to you. Your chapter sisters want to make you feel at home. They’ll show you the ropes and introduce you to other women who are in your major, share your same interests or who they think will be a good fit for you. The chapter membership education officer is a great resource – let her help you!

The best way to meet other members is to put yourself out there.

Make an effort to spend time with new sisters one-on-one.

In these days of social distancing, make a virtual coffee date or meet for a socially distanced picnic lunch. Once you get to really know a few people, it’ll be easier to have dinner at the house, work on a philanthropy project, or hit the dance floor at formal – you’ll have a friend or two to enjoy it with you.

Look ahead.

If your chapter has a house, make plans to live in. Consider joining a committee or taking on a leadership role. The more you put into your chapter, the more you’ll get out of it, and the more friends you’ll make along the way.

Don’t be discouraged if it takes a little work to truly feel a part of your sorority. From your best friend in your pledge class to the big sister who guides and encourages you – these relationships are a building block to a healthy sisterhood. And this sisterhood is one that you will take into the rest of your life.

Written by Rosalyn Dunn

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