How I Feel About Recruitment as an Active Sorority Woman

By this point, I have been through recruitment three times, once as a potential new member and twice as an active sorority member recruiting new sisters. I love recruitment. I love to yell. I love to clap and chant and meet new people. I love working with my sisters toward a common goal of getting more sisters.

I also f*cking hate recruitment. It is one of the most stressful times of year. I hate waking up at 4:30 a.m. to put on makeup. I hate that my knees get bruised from being at the bottom of the door stack. I hate the fact that every single year of recruitment, I have ripped open a pair of jeans. ALL THREE YEARS. And I hate when you meet a girl who you feel like is perfect for your chapter, your rush crush, the platonic love of your life, the girl who is destined to be your little… and then you see her on Bid Day running next door.

Recruitment is hard from the other side. Don’t get me wrong, it is so much better than waiting outside a closed door wondering if the girls inside will like you. But from the active side, different problems await you. You have to come back early from winter break and work really hard for a full week before you even meet your potential new sisters. Then you spend a whole week meeting a ton of new people. You have to try to remember them and determine if they would be a good sister from a conversation that lasted all of ten minutes. And even though the day for Potential New Members starts at like 8 a.m., you have roll call at 7 a.m., and you have to be dressed, made up, and ready to practice chanting before you have even finished your morning coffee.

There will be moments that suck.

There will be girls who have already decided that they are going to be in another house, and so they will talk to you like it is a pain to even be near your letters. There will be girls so sick they can hardly even talk. There will be girls who think that they should be wearing your letters, but you know that they don’t line up with your sorority’s values. There will be times when you are blistering, sweating and suffering, wondering if recruitment is even worth it.  

My first year behind the big double doors, I decided that there was one girl who was going to run home to my house. She was going to be a perfect fit. I stalked her on Instagram all winter break, thinking about the caption that I would write on Instagram when she finally, finally became my sister. She was probably going to be my little. I just knew she was perfect for my house.  And then on the final day, she wasn’t on our bid list. I convinced myself it was a mistake, and I was so excited when I saw her running toward me… and then she ran right past me to a house a couple doors down. I cannot express how much that sucked.

But for every moment that sucks, there are so many more moments that are amazing.

There will be connections with amazing women who you never would have met otherwise. There will be moments where you find a sister you never realized you loved so much. There will be a moment when your recruitment chair has your sisters go around and list their favorite things about your sorority, and your heart will swell with love for your organization.

In my first year wearing my chapter’s letters, I watched as dozens of girls ran to my house’s lawn and posed with my house’s letters. I watched giddy girls thrown our sign and toss on our jersey. I let an excited new member jump on my back and pose because she wanted a piggy-back picture in front of our letters. A month later, that girl became my little.

So, yes, recruitment is the worst. Your hands will be sore from clapping, your voice will be raw and you’ll meet a ton of girls you never want to talk to again. But, recruitment is also the best. You’ll learn a new appreciation for your organization, you’ll find your bounce and you’ll end up meeting that best friend you never knew you needed. Yes, it sucks. But somehow, it’s still worth it. And somehow, I end up at the bottom of the dog pile every single year, chanting my heart out with my arms open for new sisters.

All photos by Ren Morrison, from the author's personal photos