6 Things to Remember During Formal Recruitment

Ahh... fall semester has finally come to a close. The stress of the first semester is long gone, and the adjustments of a new environment have slowly melted away as winter break began.

But during this four week period of sleeping in late and watching TV until midnight, you should ask yourself something: "Should I go through formal recruitment?"

Everyone, or practically everyone, has heard some sort of story from a relative, friend, or the news regarding the negatives of Greek life. Hearing horror stories about an organizations' hazing scandals, wrongdoings and mistakes has freshmen turning away from sorority recruitment. However, I’m here to tell you that no matter what rumors you may have heard, they are not true. Bad reputation does not apply to the Greek life at our school and any girl going through formal recruitment should not fear getting into a sorority and being bullied, pranked or hazed.

Whether you're still on the fence about going through rush, or you've already decided that you want to join a sorority, here are some general tips and reality checks about recruitment to help you with the process and have the best experience possible!

1. Trust your Rho Gamma/Rho Chi/Phi Chi/Gamma Chi

Members of every CPC organization go through interviews every spring and are vetted to make sure they will be the best Rho Gammas possible to help potential new members through recruitment. They will not let you fail and they will not steer you wrong. If you are having trouble picking an outfit to wear for each day, they will meet with you and help you narrow the options down. For instance, I was afraid about spilling something on my Day 2 dress, so my Rho Gamma held an extra dress in her bag for me just in case. Also, even if you know what sorority your Rho Gamma is in, they will not care if you decide her sorority is not the one for you. They are there to help you find your home, not send you to the wrong one.

2. Sorority girls are not stupid

To register for formal recruitment, you need a least a 2.5 GPA, but many of the sororities require an even higher GPA to even consider someone. The myth that people in Greek life focus on partying and not on school is exactly that, a myth. The average CPC GPA at our school is 3.2, which is higher than the average female GPA at school. Yes, you will be put on probation if your GPA falls too low, but all you have to do is record your study hours in the library. Sisters want each other to succeed, and thats why many sororities reward prizes at the end of the month to whichever sister has the most study hours.

3. What you put in, is what you get out

This seems like a simple concept, but many people overlook it. Your sorority cannot be the most important thing in your life all of the time! Sometimes school work, sports, and internships will sometimes take priority. That being said, if you have the time to spend with your sorority sisters but you don’t try to spend time with them, or any other CPC women, you won’t experience everything Greek life has to offer. If you don’t want to take a position or a chair in your sorority, participate in intramurals, go to community service or philanthropy events, or spend time with anyone, you will not enjoy your sorority experience. But if you try to play games during Greek Week or join your sorority’s intramural team, and always try and meet new people, you’ll enjoy your time more than anything.

4. You are NOT paying for your friends

This is the saying that everyone sorority girl is sick of hearing. If I am paying for my friends, then there is no way I am paying enough. When you pay dues for your sorority, no member is receiving a check each month for “being a friend," so do your research before you make this claim. Dues go towards formals and semi-formals (food, venue, music etc.), and they also go towards sisterhood events such as zip-lining or retreats. Dues go towards events you and your sisters can bond over, and you are definitley not paying each other to get along. Also keep in mind that you will not be best friends with everyone in your sorority (try making 60+ girls agree on something!), and that's OKAY. You don’t have to be best friends to love and respect each other.

5. It's okay to be in a different sorority than your best friend

Going through recruitment is pretty nerve-wracking, and it's easy to go back to your best friend or roommate afterwards and gossip about your experience. But RESIST. The first reason is this: if you dislike a sorority, but your friend likes it, then they will feel pressured to also dislike the sorority. Don’t let your opinion be swayed by wanting to be with your friends. Just because you are best friends before joining a soroity, doesn't mean you’ll stop being best friends after being in one. If anything it is better because you can participate in each others events and support each others philanthropy. The second reason you shouldn't gossip about sororities during recruitment is because if you tell people which sorority you want, and the next day you return to recruitment to find out that you were dropped from the one you wanted most, you will feel very awkward. Make the best decision for YOU, not for your friend group.

6. Keep an open mind

If you choose to go through recruitment and then realize Greek life isn't for you, no harm no foul. You can easily tell your Rho Gamma you no longer want to participate and no one will be upset at you. But if you do choose to go through recruitment, go in with an open mind -- something I cannot stress this enough. Just because your mother or aunt or sister was in a certain sorority does not mean you have to be in that one. Each sorority is different at every college, and this is about finding your home, not fulfilling their dream.

Joining a sorority helped me find a home 900 miles away from my real one, and I hope it will let you find yours too.

Happy winter break collegiettes and happy recruitment!