So You Want to Join a Sorority? Here's What You Need to Know

So you’ve decided that you want to join a sorority - that’s great! This is the first step in your life changing journey in college. With the recruitment season upon us, I can guarantee that things can get overwhelming and confusing because I was in your shoes one year ago so I completely understand where you’re coming from. If you’re the girl who has no clue what a “big” is or even what “rounds” are then I've got you covered. Here are some of my tips and tricks that I’ve learned to help you navigate formal recruitment and how to balance being in a sorority in college.

 

Recruitment Process (*based on Hofstra University Panhellenic Recruitment):

What are rounds?

Rounds occur during two weekends. Round One and Round Two are on the first weekend, and Round Three and Bid Day are on the second weekend. Round One is the Scholarship Round, where you will meet with all seven sororities and speak with a variety of girls from each organization. Don’t worry about making sure the conversation doesn’t run dry, it is up to the sorority girl to keep the conversation going! (I know that was one of my biggest worries before going through rounds, so don’t fret!) At the end of the day, you will rank your choices 1-7, 1 being your top choice and 7 being your least favorite choice. As you go through this process, not only are you ranking the sororities, but they are also ranking you so whichever two sororities you put at the bottom, you don’t have to see them for Round Two so you can get closer and closer to finding your home. Keep in mind that the maximum number of sororities that you meet each round is not a guarantee so there is the possibility that you will meet with less than 4 or 5 during Round Two and may not even make it to Round Three since it all depends on the rankings. The next day (Round Two), you will meet with 4-5 sororities in the Philanthropy Round. You will speak with more girls during this round and will also get the opportunity to watch the sorority’s recruitment video which is a sneak peek into what it is like being a sister in that specific organization. At the end of the day, you will rank your choices 1-4 or 5 (1 being your top and 4/5 being your least favorite). Round Three is Preference Round (aka my favorite of all 3!). This is where you will meet with only one or two sororities and they will show you a ritual. This round is the most important because the organizations are showing you a deeper look into what their sorority means to them. At the end of the day, you will rank your two choices and await for Bid Day to see which one becomes your home!

*Tip: After each round, write down your thoughts on the organization that you just met with. This will help when you’re ranking at the end of the day because it might be hard to remember what happened with the sorority you met with at the beginning of the day.

Here's me and my friends before Preference Round!

What do I wear during rounds?

This was one of the biggest questions I had while going through recruitment. My best advice is for Round One is to keep it more casual. I wore jeans, a sweater, a scarf and riding boots. For Round Two, I kept it casual, but as if I was dressing up for a day of classes so I wore black jeans, a shirt that I tucked in, a cardigan, black booties and a statement necklace to top it off. For Round Three, this is the ~fanciest~ round, so I ended up wearing a dress that I had worn to a wedding and block heels! During rounds, you want to be comfortable, but you wouldn’t want to show up in sweatpants because remember, this is the kind of impression you will make on these sororities and you would want it to be a good one.

How do I figure out which sorority is my “home”?

With seven sororities, I can understand how overwhelming it can be. You will hear this about a million times, but do keep an open mind. You might have thought you wanted one sorority, but then ultimately decided that you clicked better with a different sorority and that is completely okay. Every sorority has their personality - the biggest thing is finding girls that you can see yourself relying on and knowing they will be there for you no matter what. Also, if you are still confused, keep in mind that that is what your recruitment counselor is for. They disaffiliated from their org for the recruitment process in order to provide you with unbiased advice because they understand how hard it can be to choose.

 

Actually Being in a Sorority:

YAY! You found your home, congratulations! Now each sorority goes through their own specific process prior to initiation, but once you are officially initiated, you are now a member of your sorority and have a lifetime of memories ahead of you! But here are some common questions I’ve heard about being in a sorority in general…

The day of my Big/Little Reveal!

What is a “Big”?

A big is ultimately a big sister/mentor that is there to help you through not only sorority life but college as well. They are an initiated sister who you can look to for guidance and fun!

How Do I Afford Being in a Sorority?

One thing that turns a lot of people away from joining a sorority is for monetary reasons. Every organization has different dues, but they are there to help you figure out how to pay if you are struggling. A lot of sorority sisters also have on campus jobs which comes in handy when paying for dues.

Via Unsplash // Element5 Digital

How Do I Manage My Time?

This is another reason why joining a sorority is a big step. Not only do you have classes, but you also have chapter meetings every week and philanthropy events as well. It can be overwhelming, but I always suggest keeping a planner handy with you so you can remember all of the dates for events and to make sure you keep everything organized.

Joining a sorority can be a lot, but I can guarantee it makes a huge difference in the memories that you make while in college. I know that my college experience would not have been the same without my organization and I hope the same for you!