When you thought about joining a sorority, you probably did not believe your formal recruitment experience was going to look like this. Neither did any of the college campuses that are hosting these virtual fall recruitments. But when life gives you lemons, any resourceful sorority girl makes the best lemonade they can. That is what sorority life is really all about, banding together as a sisterhood to take life by the horns, make the best out of any situation and ensure, just like they say in “High School Musical.” We are all in this together. So, in the interest of helping you make this the best recruitment experience it can be, here are some words of wisdom from one sorority woman and past Panhellenic advisor to the future of Panhellenic.
“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.”
– Coco Chanel
You are coming into college and the world is your oyster. During this virtual recruitment, you are going to meet many people and learn a lot about others and yourself. It is important before the first virtual meeting that you do some self-reflection, ask yourself who am I and what do I want out of my sorority experience. Write both of those questions and answers down on a sticky note that you can stare at before each sorority meeting or interaction. This will keep you grounded during your sorority recruitment experience.
You are beautiful, unique and special; a sorority should only add to that. Being authentic will help you feel a connection in the right chapter. Remember, you want a place where you can be your best – and worst – self and still be loved. The chapter wants to provide you that as well. If you, as a potential member and the chapter are authentic, then you will know when you find the right chapter.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
– Oscar Wilde
“There’s no place like home.”
– Dorothy, “The Wizard of Oz”
A chapter should feel like home, but home is not a place; it is a feeling of safety and support. It is where you can learn and grow and where you have a family, so follow your gut. Where did you feel connections? Where do your values line up with the others you met? Where do you feel accepted, understood and wanted? Chances are the chapter where you feel those connections, is where you will thrive and grow as a person.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with having personal opinions and thoughts of what is important to you in your sorority experience. These thoughts and feelings are your own. Do not let others’ thoughts, values or expectations alter what is important to you. And do not let your needs and wants influence what other potential members around you are thinking. During recruitment, you hear a lot about not talking to others about your thoughts on all the chapters on campus. This is because no one wants to sway you into a lifelong decision that you end up not making for yourself. You choose your happiness, so ultimately you should choose your chapter!
“You see how picky I am about my shoes, and those only go on my feet.”
– Cher, “Clueless”
“Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.”
– Dory, “Finding Nemo”
Remember that this might be a bit overwhelming for you. To keep track of your experiences with each chapter, take notes. Start a reflection journal where you write what you want in your sorority experience but also your thoughts and feelings after each chapter you meet. This way, you can look back and reflect before each selection. Also, use your resources like recruitment counselors if you are feeling overwhelmed. Although you may not be able to talk chapter specifics with your recruitment counselor, you can decompress by checking in. Give yourself the grace to breathe and feel this process. Everyone is going to have a different and unique experience, and each experience is correct because it’s your journey.
Lastly, remember that the sorority experience is about finding community, gaining friends and mentors that will walk beside you both in college and the future. Though the process itself may be new, in the wise words of Carrie Bradshaw, “They say nothing lasts forever; dreams change, trends come and go. But friendships never go out of style.”