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Tips for Making Through the Insanity of Recruitment Weekend

It’s the beginning of a new semester here at AU, and the snow outside signals that yes — it is the time of the year when everyone complains about the intense cold and hibernates. The greater presence of sorority letters on campus mean that Spring Recruitment is here (although Spring is a grossly inaccurate term for the current weather). As girls gear up to go through the process of attempting to join a sorority this coming weekend, which takes place over a series of three grueling days, here are some tips for potential new members (or PNMs) on how to not completely lose their sanity during the process.

1. Get Enough Sleep

I cannot stress this enough, sleep is the most essential part of making it through recruitment. During Round One, PNMs will get a chance to visit each of the eight organizations, and will talk to several members of each sorority. This will take up the majority of the day, and proves the point that small talk is not only slightly mundane, but also incredibly draining when repeated on loop for hours. If PNMs don’t get enough sleep, this task will only be made all that much worse. Also, sleep is the best part of the day. Don’t miss out on it. 

2. Don’t Go Out to Parties During Recruitment Weekend

While this may seem like an obvious enough tip, often college students, due to their ability to somehow survive the semester on nothing but caffeine and a few precious hour of sleep, greatly overestimate their capacity for getting out of bed after a night out at 6:30 in the morning. Trust me, that won’t work this weekend. There are four years in college, and lots of other weekends to go out and party. Be smart and stay in during this one. 

3. Pack Snacks

Recruitment is technically a short process, but it feels like it takes about a million years. While food is provided for PNMs, the days are long and the chance of hunger getting in the way of concentrating on a conversation during one of the recruitment parties is high. Eliminate this possibility and bring snacks, those high in sugar being the best option. Adrenaline will only get you so far. 

4. Drink Lots of Tea and/or Water

Being able to talk is essential during recruitment, and after several rounds of conversation, let alone days of this, the voice can start to get a bit ragged. Tea definitely helps, as does just water in general, and makes sure that the super alluring chain smoker voice never makes an appearance. 

5. Don’t Talk About Things You Wouldn’t Tell Your Grandmother

That’s just a general rule of thumb. If you are thinking about bringing up something about yourself that you would not be comfortable discussing with your grandmother (not the cool hippie one, just the general, slightly conservative and old fashioned type,) reconsider doing so. Not only will these type of topics be awkward to discuss for you, but will also put the girl you’re talking to in a tough position. Treat the situation like a job interview, and proceed accordingly. 

6. Remember to Breathe

Nerves are in huge supply during recruitment, on both sides of the process. Taking a moment before each party, even if it’s only a few seconds, to take a deep breath will help to ground and center you, and give perspective on why you’re going through this process.

It may be stressful, but ultimately, you’ll get to meet a whole new set of amazing women, whether or not you end up joining an organization. Enjoy recruitment, and know, you got this!


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Maggie is a senior at American University studying Broadcast Journalism and International Relations. In addition to writing for Her Campus as both a featured writer and a section editor, Maggie is also involved in Greek life, an American University Ambassador, and is currently interning in the newsroom at Voice of America. When Maggie is not writing, she can be found obsessively reading Buzzfeed, going back through study abroad photos from London, and dreaming about Baked and Wired cupcakes. After graduation, Maggie hopes to work as a correspondent in Europe, and use this as an excuse to travel the world as much as possible. 
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