At some schools, the formal recruitment of first-year students 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 rundown 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.
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Before Deferred Recruitment
The first semester of your freshman year is essential 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 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 helps already know one or two girls in each room. Knowing some of the women in the room 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 love to see involvement on your application. 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 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 one. It's crucial 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 vast majority of chapters can't handle that. A grade risk is a sorority member who doesn't meet the minimum requirements set forth by the Panhellenic Council at your school.
If your GPA is low, this will severely limit your chances of getting into a sorority. 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 everywhere. The semester you have to get acquainted with the school, and Greek life also breeds rumors about certain sororities that 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.
The bottom line is this: you are joining the sisterhood that speaks to you. If you believe rumors about sororities, this could stop you from finding the chapter that is going to love and appreciate you for who you are. Giving everyone the time of day is the best thing you can do as a potential new member.
During Deferred Recruitment
You may not have time to mingle with sorority women on campus before recruitment begins. If that is the case, you 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 have to do certain things: you have to do your hair, you gotta shower, you gotta skip wearing the holey 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 usually do so, but put your best foot forward.
By putting your best foot forward, you are allowing the sorority woman to key in on your personality and all the remarkable 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 a 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 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, and 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 rule of thumb when it comes to recruitment is not to discuss your thoughts with other potential new members, but we all know that doesn't happen in reality. Specific rules 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 talked after each day of recruitment was over. Talking with other potential new members is natural. 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 excellent rule. Be who you are 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 during your second semester, you have already established a lot of stuff in school. Things are going to change a lot. Sororities take up a lot of time, and you will 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 have to focus, be productive, and plan everything! If you are feeling overwhelmed though, there are tons of older sorority sisters who are there to help. Just ask, and they can help you unlock the secrets to living a fulfilled and sometimes sleep deprived remarkable college life.
I loved to use a planner when I was in college. Check out the Erin Condren line of planners. I have done a full review on Erin Condren here on The Happy Arkansan, and I love these planners. Also, check out Erin Condren's sorority line of products as well because they might have a product for your sorority.
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.
There are some things you can't avoid like chapter meetings. When it comes to chapter meetings, you just need to add those into your schedule and treat them like unmovable scheduled out blocks of time. You have to schedule around those things, and that's where time management comes into play.
You should know exactly when chapter meetings are at the beginning of the semester. There are no excuses for things that are constant in your life. If you have class during chapter meeting time, though, that's usually seen as an excused absence.
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
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.
During my first few semesters in my sorority, I wasn't very involved. I didn't go out of my way to do much more than a committee or two and going to chapter meetings. During my junior year, I really ramped up my involvement in and out of my sorority. This all culminated in me accepting a reward at our sorority State Day celebration as Collegian Of The Year that year. I basically about cried when I got the nomination and won the award.
It doesn't matter when you decide to put your foot down and ramp up your involvement. I encourage you to do it as soon as you can, though. When you decide to get involved early on, you can enjoy so much more of your sorority experience!
Deferred recruitment has its unique challenges, but this can be a great experience for you! This type of recruitment gives you the ability to get to know campus before you go through recruitment to find your perfect sisterhood. Deferred recruitment gives you the chance to find your place on campus, making a sorority part of your identity, not your entire identity.
I'd love to know about your experience with the deferred recruitment process. What did you like or not like about going through deferred formal recruitment?