Sorority life can be fun, no doubt about it. But before you jump at the sorority recruitment opportunity, take a few minutes to make sure you are prepared for the decisions that lay in front of you.
Remember, sorority recruitment is a mutual selection process. You are also choosing what chapter you feel will be the best fit for you. Be sure to know what is expected of you and how each sorority will enhance your college experience.
Here are two lists of questions you must ask yourself to help you get ready for making the big decision.
- Have my interactions with all members been comfortable and friendly? Do I feel I had meaningful conversations with the women in the chapters I’m considering?
- Do I feel I have a lot in common with the women?
- What am I basing my decision upon? Have I had interaction with these women or observed them on campus, in class, etc? Am I listening too much to other people’s opinions or rumors?
- Can I feel at home with the members socially?
- What is expected of me financially? Can I afford to make this investment? What if something happens in the future and I cannot afford the financial commitment?
- Do I fully understand the academic expectations of membership? Are there GPA requirements?
- Do the women live together in a designated property or house? Will I be expected to live in the house? What if I am a commuter? Do I like the environment of the chapter house?
- Are there requirements for involvement? For example, will I be asked to complete community service with the chapter? Am I capable of, and comfortable with, doing the tasks for which I would be responsible?
- Will I be able to offer a valuable contribution?
- What values does the chapter hold as a priority? How do they exemplify these values? Do they match my values?
Once you’ve answered these, you’re ready. Right?
Almost. This second list of questions to ask yourself assumes you are committed to the idea of sorority life.
- Did I register? On many campuses there is a registration form and a fee. Register ahead of time to take advantage of preparation tools and resources.
- Do I have a calendar of events? Do I know which events are mandatory?Understand the obligations that come along with sorority recruitment and how missing events can impact your results.
- Do I have my recruitment counselor’s contact information? She is your primary connection with real sorority life and your advocate during the recruitment process. Working closely with your recruitment counselor is the best way to ensure your experience meets your expectations.
- Do I know what is considered appropriate clothing for each event? Do I have my outfits chosen? Although you’ve likely been provided examples of suitable attire, you may have struggled with deciding what to wear. Be prepared and have a back-up option. Lacking clothes that make you look your best may affect your self-confidence.
- Do I have my recommendation letters? If yours campus chapters accept or require recommendation letters, plan well in advance to contact sorority members. Remember they need time to submit the proper paperwork. Add a buffer of two weeks for possible hiccups.
- Do I know a woman at my university who is a sorority member? Reach out to her to find out more about her sorority experience. You’ll probably see her during recruitment but don’t be offended if she is unable to talk to you much outside of recruitment events. It is not uncommon for Panhellenic rules to limit her communications with you, even through email or Facebook.
- Do I have my resume updated? Even if a resume not required at registration, you would be wise to know what accomplishments and strengths you want to talk about during recruitment. An updated resume can also help your recommenders write about why you would make a good sorority member.
- Do I need a photograph of myself? You may need a photograph. If a headshot is requested, make sure it is a picture of only you from the shoulders up. Chapter members want to be able to put a face with a name when they are making decisions.
- Are there any potential challenges in my communication skills? If so, how will I avoid them and/or overcome them? Practice a conversation under pressure without biting your nails or twirling your hair. Practice diplomatically moving to a different conversation subject. Practice making eye contact, avoiding interrupting, and allowing the other person to contribute.
- Am I a good listener? Practice more; this time concentrate on listening to the person with whom you are speaking. Many times recruitment events can be crowded and loud. It can be difficult to concentrate on your conversation and really listen to the sorority women.
What’s left? Purse? Phone? Keys? Mints? Notebook and pen to make notes about chapters so you can make informed decisions later? Make sure you have everything you need to be able to put your best foot forward and enjoy the experience.
Let the fun begin!