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Advice From a Pi Chi During Recruitment

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

With sorority recruitment right around the corner, there’s a lot going through a PNM’s (potential new member) head. I went through recruitment my freshman year, and have recruited on the other side twice. Now, as a senior, it’ll be my first time being a Pi Chi – something I have really looked forward to, since my Pi Chi’s left me with a rocky experience as a freshman that had no clue how this process worked, and I don’t want that experience to happen to anyone else.

It’s easy to get caught up in the recruitment frenzy, but there are some important things to remember if you are rushing for the first time. From my experience on all sides, here are the eight most important pieces of advice I could give a PNM:



1. Keep an open mind

Please, please, please keep an open mind during recruitment – I cannot emphasize this enough. You’re probably sick of hearing this, since it’s said a lot, but that’s only because it’s so important! The one thing that will truly ruin your recruitment experience is if you shut out sororities because of stereotypes you’ve heard or what you think the women are like – you’ll only be hurting yourself by limiting your options. Give everyone a fair try, and be open to each person you meet. If you do, your preferences will likely change by the end of recruitment, and you’ll be happy with a house you may not have “planned” on.



2. Be respectful

Having been on all sides of recruitment, I’ve seen how rude and disrespectful both PNMs and sorority women can be sometimes. This is pretty disappointing, considering the Panhellenic community is supposed to be on the same side, not divided within. Even if you don’t want to be at a certain house, or if you’re just having a tough day, be nice and respectful to the women you are talking to. Everyone you meet should be treated with respect, regardless of how you feel about their house. If you truly feel that you don’t fit somewhere, then you can drop them when you start ranking – but while you’re there, don’t dismiss them just because you’re not interested. The golden rule always applies.



3. Don’t change who you are

I know that “be yourself” sounds like a cliché, but think about this for a second. If you aren’t acting like yourself and you wind up in a sorority, how is that going to be your home for four years? You’re going to have to start acting like yourself at one point, and you should be surrounded by the people who chose you for you and felt that your true self would fit in well with them. Being yourself during recruitment is going to be far more beneficial down the road. Don’t change who you are or act how you think you should act just to join a specific sorority, because you’ll regret it once recruitment is over. Be clear about who you are, and join the house that wanted you because of it.



4. Don’t judge other people in your group

PNMs tend to share their schedules with the members in their Pi Chi groups at the beginning of the new rounds. If you want to see where you and your friends are heading, that’s fine, but don’t judge another schedule or make someone feel bad about the houses they have left. I’ve seen instances where someone was happy with the houses they got back, but other girls in her group made her think her schedule wasn’t “good” enough. Support the members of your group as they go through this process, rather than making them feel bad or second guess their schedules. Everyone is different, and a house that you disliked may be somebody else’s home – don’t ruin it for them by judging or making negative comments.



5. Worry about yourself, not everyone else

Don’t stress over the houses your friends did or didn’t get, or compare yourself to other people’s progress. You’ll ruin your own recruitment experience by comparing it to how everyone else is doing. You’re working on finding the house that best suits you, and so you should only focus on how you feel. It’s not a competition – if your friends are getting houses you wanted, or you feel like everyone is having an easier experience than you are, don’t worry about it. You’ll find your house at your own pace, and that’s what matters. Don’t let anyone else’s recruitment experience determine how you feel about yours, because the process is about you finding your home.



6. Go with where you click, not where you think you should click


This goes hand in hand with keeping an open mind; before recruitment starts, you may think you will fit in specific houses and could never picture yourself in others. Then when recruitment comes, you start to click with girls in houses that you didn’t expect – this is good! However, when it’s time to rank, don’t choose your rankings by places you just want to fit in with. Go with the people that you genuinely did find a connection with, instead of choosing somewhere you want to fit in. Your expectations are supposed to change throughout the process – go with your gut and the experience you had, not the experience you planned on having.



7. Don’t get discouraged

It’s very easy to lose hope and get frustrated during the recruitment process. Things may not be going the way you expected or wanted them to, or you may have been cut from a house that you thought you had good conversations in. Nothing goes exactly according to plan, and you can’t let that discourage you. Don’t drop out just because the houses you expected didn’t call you back, or because you and your friends aren’t going to wind up in the same place. No matter what obstacles are thrown at you, keep going until the end before you make a decision. You could wind up in a house that you didn’t expect, and you don’t want to throw away that opportunity in the heat of the moment.



8. If you do choose to drop, make sure it’s for the right reasons

 Many women do make the decision to drop during recruitment, which is totally fine. There are other activities to join at Penn State, and also multiple chances to go through recruitment again at the right time. However, if you’re planning to drop, make sure it’s for a good reason. If you’re quitting because you didn’t get a “good” house, things aren’t going exactly as planned, or anything like that, then take a minute to rethink. There’s a big difference between deciding that Greek life might not be the right decision for you versus quitting when the going gets tough. If you do choose to drop out, make sure you’ve thought it through, rather than acting on an impulse.


Hopefully this advice is helpful to any of you about to go through recruitment. Good luck, collegiettes!

Becky Sorensen is a senior at Penn State, double majoring in Public Relations and Political Science. You can find her on campus with an iced coffee in one hand and an everything bagel in the other. Clear your schedule before asking her how she feels about the Harry Potter series, New York City, or about the next trip she’s planning - she tends to ramble. Loudly. You can follow her at @beckylalalaa on Twitter and @beckysorensen on Instagram for hilarious puns or her undying love for THON and Penn State football.
Allie Maniglia served as the Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at Penn State from 2017-2018. She majored in public relations with minors in international studies and communication arts and sciences. If she's not busy writing away, you can find her planning her next adventure (probably back to the U.K.), feeding an unhealthy addiction to HGTV or watching dog videos on YouTube.