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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Iowa State chapter.

Ask any initiated member of a sorority to describe formal recruitment, and the common words are stressful, overwhelming, and both the longest and shortest week of your life. Needless to say, I had no idea what I was getting into. As a sophomore going through the process, I was just as nervous as the freshmen. I wasn’t very familiar with the different chapters, and I was worried I’d be an old soul amongst the bright-eyed freshmen. All I knew is that I wanted to join a sorority, and I hoped by the end of the week I’d find my perfect match.

Day one was essentially speed dating. I chatted with two to three girls from each of the fifteen houses, making small talk and asking the basic get-to-know-you questions. By the time I reached my 15th and final house, I had my elevator speech down to a science. At the end of each day I had to cut out three chapters. This was a daunting decision; I only caught a glimpse of the chapter and had no idea which ones to pick from. Cutting out houses was always a difficult decision for me, but despite my worries, I picked my top nine, six, and three.

Day two was Sisterhood Showcase. This was one of my favorites because I really got to see the personality of each sorority and picked up on little quirks. Day three included a house tour and a presentation about philanthropy. And at the end of each day I was struggling with which chapters to cut. I knew each day was supposed to make things easier in picking my top choice, but I think I fell in love with every house I visited. I can honestly say each chapter made a positive impression on me during recruitment, which says a lot about the Greek Community at Iowa State.

Day four was Preference night and the most personal day for me. I was down to my final three houses and I was absolutely in love with all three of them. At each chapter, I was paired with a girl who I had connected with earlier in the week, and each chapter prepared a ceremony. This evening was filled with many conflicting emotions. I remember thinking “I’ll just be the first girl to join three sororities at once.” Some time during that night, something clicked, and I realized where I belonged.

To put it lightly, formal recruitment was a challenge. My week was filled with sweltering heat, endless blisters, and the familiar sense of panic each time I entered a house. The same questions ran through my head: “Will they ask me back?” “Did I make a good impression?” “Is this the house that I’ll end up in?” It was incredible to think at the end of the week, I’d find a fit and everything would fall into place. Whenever I voiced these concerns to my Rho Gamma or girls in the houses I visited, everyone would say the same thing “you’ll just know.” Regardless of my doubts, I trusted their advice because if this process worked for hundreds of girls in the Greek community, it had to work for me too.

During my freshmen year, I had seen my closest friends both from home and at school enter the Greek system, and I saw the positive impact it had on their lives. I knew if I continued to believe in myself, then I’d end up exactly where I was meant to be. Any time I doubted the system or felt too overwhelmed by the process, I kept repeating “trust your gut, trust your gut.”

Finally, after what seemed like both a year and a second, it was Bid Day. A rush of adrenaline coursed through my veins throughout the entire day. All 600-plus girls gathered on Central Campus impatiently waiting for the campanile to strike one. Regardless of any doubts, I knew I had a bid card and a house that was ready to welcome me with open arms. The minutes ticked down until we only had a handful of seconds left, and finally, the clock struck one. With trembling fingers, I ripped open my bid card and to my relief read the words “Gamma Phi Beta.” On the outside I was shrieking with excitement but on the inside I breathed a sigh of relief because I knew this week was just the beginning of an incredible journey.