At some schools the formal recruitment of freshmen is deferred until the spring. When I went through recruitment my school was still using the deferred recruitment method which has its ups and downs. We eventually switched over to the fall formal recruitment method, but I know a lot of schools still choose to use this method of formal recruitment. Deferred formal recruitment comes with its own set of unique challenges for potential new members and today I want to give you a quick run down on surviving deferred recruitment.
There are a lot of unique challenges I want to cover for women going through deferred formal recruitment. I want to share some of my stories with you about the changes I saw, what I had to do, and what I encourage you to do as well. I will be breaking up the text below into three categories: before, during, and after recruitment.
Before Deferred Recruitment
The first semester of your freshman year can be super important if you are going through deferred formal recruitment. Below I am listing some of my favorite tips to having a productive first semester before deferred recruitment!
Meet Sorority Women
If there are any Panhellenic events on campus I would definitely suggest attending as many as you can. Or if you have a sorority woman in one of your classes get to know her. During recruitment it obviously helps already know one or two girls in each room. This will help you feel more confident and also help you practice your formal recruitment small talk skills. You will be meeting a ton of people during recruitment, so if you can, it's so much better to start now.
Join A Registered Student Organization On Campus
Sorority women absolutely love to see involvement on your application. In fact some sororities require that their members are involved in organizations outside of the sorority. A lot of sorority women are leaders and members in other organizations on campus. Not only is this a way to potentially meet sorority women; it's a way to meet other people on campus and boost up your resume.
Clean Up Your Social Media
The use of social media is completely different once you join a sorority and even before you are in a sorority. It's important that your social media reflects the best version of yourself that it can. Also if you sign up for formal recruitment, there is a 90% chance that sorority women are probably looking at it to get a better vision of who you are before you get in the door, this helps them recognize your face and match you with the best sisters to talk to before recruitment starts.
Keep Your Grades Up
One of the hardest parts about sorority recruitment being in the spring is that you have a semesters worth of college grades on your transcript before you go through recruitment. You can't afford to have a GPA under the minimum required by your Panhellenic Council. Some sororities take grade risks, but the large majority of chapters can't handle that. This will severely limit your chances of getting into sororities. It's best to keep your grades high and go in with at least the minimum GPA required of sorority women (usually a 2.5 GPA or higher.) Not to mention that once you join a sorority your GPA may suffer a bit during the first semester (but not always, mine went up the semester I joined my sorority.) It's important to be prepared and have a high GPA before you go into sorority recruitment if you have the chance.
Clear Your Mind Of Rumors
One of the worst parts about deferred recruitment is that rumors are literally everywhere. The semester you have to get acquainted with school and Greek life also breeds rumors about certain sororities that just aren't true. Before you go into recruitment, clear your mind of any rumors you have about the sororities on your campus, and go into every room with an open mind.
During Deferred Recruitment
You may not have time to mingle with sorority women on campus before recruitment begins. If that is the case you definitely have to make a statement during recruitment Even with deferred recruitment you still follow similar formal recruitment tips and tricks. Here are some tips on going through recruitment with style.
Be Your Best Self
I am going to talk a little bit later about the dangers of faking who you are, but please be your best self. When you are a part of a sorority you gotta do certain things: you gotta do your hair, you gotta shower, you gotta skip wearing the hole-y jeans (at least during recruitment). It isn't superficial to showcase your best self, and to be the best version of you that you can be. You don't have to wear heels if you don't want to, you don't have to wear makeup if you don't normally do so, but put your best foot forward.
By putting your best foot forward, you are allowing the sorority woman to really key in on your personality and all the awesome traits that you have.
One of the easiest ways to show that you are interested in a conversation, a person, or a room in general is smiling. You don't have to go through recruitment with a smile plastered on your face 24/7, but offering a genuine smile when someone is talking to you, or laughing at a joke is great way to show interest in what a sorority woman is talking about.
Write Everything Down
If you are like me and you have the memory of a goldfish, write everything down if you can. You may want to bring a small notepad in your purse along with a pen so you can write things down between rounds. I didn't do this and I kinda regret it, recruitment was such a stressful process and I got so many things mixed up or I forgot things. Better safe than sorry when it comes to this, especially if you are visiting a lot of rooms each day.
Don't Try New Things
Okay this is such an important rule: don't try new things! Don't break in new heels, don't try new makeup, don't try a new hairstyle, don't wear new clothes if you can help it. Recruitment is all about showing off your best self, and nothing says the opposite of that like feeling uncomfortable in a scratchy shirt or having an allergic reaction to new makeup. You have got to make your first impression count and you can do this by being confident in what you are wearing. You are confident when you are comfortable and so you need to wear items that make you exude confidence.
Follow Your Heart
A huge rule when it comes to recruitment is not to discuss your thoughts with other potential new members, but we all know that just doesn't happen really. There are certain rules that should never be broken like being in contact with sorority members during recruitment; but potential new members talk to each other.
I went through recruitment with my roommate and we definitely talked after each day of recruitment was over. It's natural to talk. But don't let the opinions of others stray you away from following your heart. Join the sorority that works well with who you are as a person.
Be Who You Are
This is another great rule. Be who you are all throughout recruitment. You don't want to get into a sorority based on a fake persona, because then you will have to keep up with that persona throughout your time in the sorority. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like a happy life to me. Be who you are, everyone else is taken.
After Deferred Recruitment
This semester is going to be completely different from your first semester. Here are a few tips to managing your second semester of college, and your first semester as a sorority woman!
Prepare For Major Changes
By the time you get involved in a sorority your second semester, you have already established a lot of stuff in school. Things are definitely going to change a lot. Sororities take up a lot of time and you may have to make some adjustments to accommodate that.
Time Management Is Everything
Adjusting to sorority life is a huge time management issue. You have got to be willing to work smarter, not harder when it comes to balancing your old registered student organizations, education, your sorority, and whatever else you have going on. It can be done though, and lots of people do it well. You just have to focus, be productive, and plan everything! If you are feeling overwhelmed though, there are tons of older sisters who are there to help. Just ask and they can help you unlock the secrets to living a fulfilled, and sometimes sleep deprived, awesome college life.
Don't Be Afraid To Say No
This is such an important rule with sorority life and college life in general. There will be times where you have to say no. Times when friends want to go out and party, but you have a test the next day. Don't be afraid to be a party pooper, especially when your grades are on the line.
Don't Be Afraid To Say Yes
So I know I just gave you the exact opposite rule, but this rule is just as important. There will be times when you want to wear pajamas and laze around even though someone invited you out. Say yes every once in a while. Doing things that are out of your comfort zone will make your sorority experience a million times better. If someone invites you out, and you have no reason to say no, consider saying yes. Somethings will be scary to you, but it's cool to branch out sometimes.
You Have To Work At Getting Involved
I am working on writing my book all about this, but remember, you have to work at getting involved. Involvement isn't just going to fall into your lap, and just because you join a sorority doesn't mean you will automatically have a million best friends. Sorority involvement takes time, dedication, and perseverance. I promise it's all worth it in the end though.