Rushing into Rush: Tips to Ease Your Pre-Recruitment Stress

With winter break fast approaching and Winter Term following, sorority formal recruitment will be here before we know it! DePauw is known for its strong Greek life, and recruitment season is the peak of the excitement for all chapters. The campus has been preparing for this week practically all year, and it will all pay off soon enough.
As the chapters tidy their houses and prepare chants and skits, first-years are bundles of nerves and filled with questions. What’s it like to live in a sorority house? What if I get cut from a chapter? What if I fall down the stairs? Will my friends be in the same house as me? What do I talk about? The list could go on forever. I was far more nervous than I had to be before recruitment, so I am here to ease the stress I know you’re bound to feel over winter break. Here are some tips for you to make recruitment relaxing and even fun! And for you older collegiettes, may this be a trip down memory lane of the other side of recruitment that now seems so distant. Remember what the first-years are going through to ease their woes during what we consider so simple now.
Practice small talk
If it seems daunting to talk to girls you’ve never met for 5-10 minutes at a time, practice over break. You’ll probably be asked about Winter Term, your classes, favorite vacations, and so on. Casually talk about these things with your mom, friends from home, or your roommate. We all love to talk about ourselves, and that’s what first round is about; it’s easier than you think! By the end of the day, you’ll be a pro at discussing things about yourself with flair.
Spend the day with your floor mates
The day before first round of recruitment, I spent the day in Indy with some of my floor mates to take our minds off of the big day to come. We got manicures, a delicious meal, and cured the nerves with some retail therapy. Many of us joined different chapters, so it was a great last hurrah and bonding experience for us as a floor. And during recruitment, pop in a movie and rehash your new second semester classes together.
Add something cute to your first round outfit
Every Potential New Member wears the same shirt provided by Panhellenic Council, and generally jeans. Since everyone looks so similar, why not let your personality shine and add a little pizzazz to your outfit? If your Rho Gamma gives the okay, add a scarf, bright (but comfortable!) shoes, or a cute bracelet. You’re sure to get lots of compliments, and it’ll be a great conversation starter with active members, too!

Take notes during first round
Even though our first round isn’t nearly as intimidating as big schools with 10+ chapters to visit over multiple days, you’re still going to meet TONS of new girls. You may get your conversations and impressions jumbled, so don’t be afraid to jot down your feelings as you leave each chapter. You’re Rho Gamma will provide a booklet that explains each round and the order you’ll visit the chapters. There’s also space to write things down to remember when it comes to preferencing chapters at the end of each round.
Don’t be afraid to eat to food they offer you
Later in recruitment rounds, the chapters may provide finger food or desserts. They make the food for you; so don’t hesitate to snack if you’re hungry! The recruitment rounds take a few hours, so fuel up! The active member you talk with will eat if you do, so you don’t have to feel awkward.
Don’t be afraid to go to the bathroom!
Along with agreeing to eat, you CAN go to the bathroom! There’s no need to feel uncomfortable asking, and they’re more than happy to show you where it is. The active members of each chapter strive to make you feel at home when you visit their chapter, and they will certainly accommodate you! Taking a bathroom break will give a chance to take a breath and compose yourself if you’re super nervous!
Wear bearable high heels
The second and third rounds progressively get a bit fancier. For second round, you’ll wear business casual, and the final round, preference round, you’ll wear a cocktail dress. You’ll want to show off you’re great outfits, but be sure to wear something you can move and walk in! You’ll get house tours and be walking up and down stairs in your fancy outfits, so plan accordingly. Sparkly flats or cute boots are just as classy if you feel more comfortable in those instead. Also, take the time you have over winter break to put together your outfits so you’re not scrambling to Wal-Mart and the fine retail selection we have in Greencastle to complete your look.

Bring boots and sweatpants
Since recruitment is at the start of second semester, we get to run around campus in the dead of winter—lucky us, right? Last year, recruitment fell right in the middle of the DePauw-calypse ice storm, which made for plenty of graceful moments slipping on the sheets of ice (trust me—I can attest to that!!). Whether or not there’s ice and snow, you won’t want to travel around campus in cocktail dresses and heels, so bring along sweatpants and snow boots. It may not be the most fashionable, but when you’re waiting outside a chapter house in the freezing cold, you’ll be grateful! There will be tables outside each house where you can keep your puffy coats, sweatpants and the like. On that note, it may be useful to NOT wear a black North Face jacket, as it’ll get lost in the mix of winter attire.

Separate yourself from the madness
You’ve been waiting for this week all school year and thought about the chapters you’re interested in for a long time now. It may get confusing once you begin the process, so take a step back. Though you can’t talk to anyone during the actual process of traveling to the chapters, since it should ultimately be your personal decision, during the week chat with an outside source. Your mom is a great outlet to ease your stress and give you some needed advice. Someone outside the bubble, even a friend at a different school who has already gone through the recruitment process, can point you in the right direction. They know where your heart’s been lying all along. This is your chance to make a big decision, and someone separated from the situation may help clear your head. And remember, no matter where you choose, it is where you’re meant to be.
My roommate and I were complete opposites during the recruitment process; she was totally relaxed while I was fretting over the little things. She’d constantly remind me it would all work out for the best. And she was right—once you finish the recruitment process you’ll look back and realize, that was it?! Be yourself, take a deep breath, and let your fabulous self shine. You will soon find a place to call home with tons of new sisters. Get through these three rounds, and it’s smooth sailing from there with tons of fun sisterhood activities to keep you busy in the upcoming whirlwind of second semester!