Hello! So I am a senior in high school and have been wanting to be in a sorority for a while. I am not a legacy and I only know a few alumnae to write recs for me. I know a lot of active members, but many of the schools I am looking at don't take active recs. I am planning on applying to big SEC schools and wondered if you had any advice on finding people to write recs! Thank you!
YES I just happen to have advice for finding rec letter writers when you don’t know women in every chapter. You will probably need alumnae letters only at an SEC school. I have tips on places to look for letter writers on my REC LETTER CONNECTION PAGE! You will want to start in your own hometown, your county and region to locate local women who will recommend you. Friends of friends, alumnae groups and panhellenic chapters are all great places to start. Please check out my page with helpful instructions and I know you will be able to round up most the letters you need. Also, depending on the campus, some large universities have programs to help PNMs with letters. So once you are admitted to college, you can explore that option too. xoxo ;)
Before you make your final decision, I recommend you look into each chapter at your new college. Browse their websites, look at their social media and get a “feeling” for each one. You can tell which chapters appeal to you to most and which don’t in a general sense. Then cross-reference that information with the list of sororities who are recruiting in the spring. If many of the chapters that you like are participating, then go for rush in the spring. If your least favorite are not recruiting, then you won’t miss anything. As an older transfer student it would be preferable to join greek life sooner rather than later.
I’m not saying you can tell everything about a chapter from their online presence, but from multiple sources you can paint a general picture. Let’s say the two chapters you are least interested in are not recruiting and everyone else is ~ happy day! Or reversely if only a couple of chapters are recruiting and you have zero interest in them ~ take a pass.
Another option is to give spring rush a try (no matter what) and decide once you meet everyone in person. You are under no obligation to join, if you participate, and then don’t make match. If you do your research and the odds look semi-favorable, then go for it in the spring. You have nothing to loose. Number one choice: don’t wait a year if possible! xoxo ;)
I just got the schedule for rush and one night one it says Hall Night- skirt/shorts and nice shirt. I'm sure I'm just over thinking this, but would you say go for a skirt (like a navy J Crew City Mini) or shorts (nice chinos or Lilly shorts and flowy nice shirt)? Also what exactly is Hall Night? Thank you so much!
You have the right idea about what to wear. What you described should be 100% on the mark. Any of the choices you listed would be terrific. Wear what you feel most attractive in. You can’t go wrong with either one of your options.
As for Hall Night ~ I don’t know exactly. Panhellenics across the country call their rounds different things. What they do during the rounds is similar, but the ‘titles’ vary. It could be skit night, the philanthropy round, or just a conversation event. It doesn’t matter as long as you follow the dress code. I know you will look very classy with your wardrobe. xoxo ;)
Hi, I've just transferred to a new university and am really interested in joining Greek Life here, and since I'm a sophomore I'm eligible for fall informal rush. I don't really know anyone here yet, which is why I'm so interested in Greek Life. So, since I don't know anyone, would fall rush be a good idea? I would like to potentially join as soon as possible, but don't want to ruin my chances. Should I go for it or not?
YES go for it! Since you are a sophomore transfer student the fall informal rush is meant for PNMs just like you. Recruitment is an excellent way to get to know the sisters. You don’t have to be aquatinted with greeks before rushing. The freshman who rushed in August at other schools, didn’t know anyone yet since classes hadn’t even started. Knowing people is not a prerequisite for a successful recruitment experience.
Also, you aren’t getting any younger. Taking any opportunity to rush is a good idea. There is no reason to wait. If you really don’t click with any of the chapters this fall, then you can bow out and rush again in the spring or next fall, but try your best to make match now. It’s to your advantage to jump into greek life, make new friends and start your sorority journey. Fingers crossed that you will find your home sweet sorority home ASAP! xoxo ;)
There are lots of smaller colleges which have strong greek communities. But covering the entire east coast is a little much for me to do! You might want to narrow it down to northeast or southeast. There are campuses from Florida to Maine which have active and involved sororities. The panhellenic doesn’t need to be super sized to be beneficial. At a small school you’re not going to find 18 chapters. You may have 3 to 5 to choose from. But they will give you an enriching greek experience in their own way.
I highly recommend the FISKE GUIDE for researching colleges and greek life. Of all the guide books, I think it paints the most accurate picture of the universities and provides a true snapshot of the school’s social life in addition to the stats. For each college the percentage of students who go greek and the strength of the sororities and fraternities will be reviewed. It’s an excellent way to pre-screen your choices by size, location, academics, greek life and every other detail you can think of. xoxo ;)
Depending on where your college is located ~ it will change it quite a bit. Spring recruitment is typically held in January after the holiday break. So unless you’re in Florida or Arizona, it will probably be quite cold. PNMs wear jeans and casual pants instead of shorts and sundresses in the earlier rounds. When it gets dressier, the fashions become more similar. An interview style day dress may be appropriate for any season. And a cocktail dress for the Pref round is dressy no matter what the temperature is outside. PNMs just need to wear coats, boots and gloves as they travel between houses. Once inside, you can shed the cold wear gear and look as beautiful as the warm weather PNMs. xoxo ;)
During the first round shorts and a cute top should be Ok. Sometimes shorts are specifically requested for day 1. But if you feel more comfortable in a causal sundress and flat sandals, I think that would also look perfectly appropriate for the first day. Or ~ wear your sundress on day 2 and go with the shorts look on day 1. You could even wear a sassy skirt & a fun top.
Shorts do not have to be sloppy. A crisp pair of white shorts, an attractive top and some simple jewelry can look quite chic. Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines style shorts look more dressed up than a a pair of denim cut-offs. There are ratty shorts and there are “nice” shorts. As long as you feel sharp and well-dressed, you can wear shorts, or a sundress and fit right in. xoxo ;)
It’s unlikely, but if you don’t get a bid, you are free to rush again as soon as you like. You can accept a ‘snap bid’ right after rush ends. You can try informal recruitment, or COB, this semester or next. And you can participate in fall formal rush again next fall. You don’t have to wait 1 year to try again. There are no limitations on your ability to go greek in the future. And you have every recruitment option open to you!
But the best way to avoid being bid-less is to NOT drop out of recruitment! Most PNMs who don’t receive bids, end up that way because they didn’t like the sorority choices they were offered. They drop before recruitment concludes. If you see rush week through to the end, you may find wonderful sisters who really want you as a member. That may require readjusting your mindset mid-way through the week. When the chapters you thought you liked don’t come through, and others do, you must reorganize your priorities and requirements. Rarely is there a straight path to bid day. If you adjust to what happens each round, you will find greater success!
Follow your heart, but use your head and be smart about your chapter choices as well. A combination of emotions and good decision making is your best bet for not becoming bid-less! xoxo ;)
"You’ll never have all the information you need to make a decision. If you did, it would be a foregone conclusion, not a decision." ~ David Mahoney Jr.
"I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it’s only a choice of attitude." ~ Judith M. Knowlton
I have been getting many questions especially about being NERVOUS! It’s normal to be anxious, but please don’t make yourself sick over recruitment. It will be totally fine! Thousands of PNMs go through it every semester and they all survive! Better to be using those hours of worry on making yourself the best you can be in preparation. Instead of sleepless nights, practice some Q&As. Pamper yourself with at-home beauty treatments like a fancy face mask, or a deep hair conditioning. If you are taking positive steps to prepare in mind and body, you will feel more in control.
I have a post about dealing with PNM nervousness specifically ~
• Top 12 Ways to Manage Recruitment Nerves
And also please check out my collection of PNM posts with valuable hints, tips, advice and more! They can ALL be found on my FAQ PAGE under the heading of: “What are some tips for being a successful PNM?” Please scroll down a little from the top and you will see the Q&A with 22 links to posts for helping PNMs!
Nerves are normal, you just can’t let them overwhelm you. When you meet the sisters, be calm on the outside, even if you’re in turmoil on the inside. If you shine bright and do your best ~ that’s all anyone can ask. The most important thing is to “appear” self confident. Radiate happiness and I know you will make a match! xoxo ;)
Q: I’m head of rush for a local sorority and I’m just feeling so overwhelmed with responsibility. Do you have any advice? School hasn’t even started and I’m already having anxiety over it. :(
A: The key to not getting overwhelmed is ORGANIZATION! If you are organized and detail oriented, planning will be more exhilarating… and not so agonizing! As a huge FAN of being organized, I can tell you it works. You need a planner, or your laptop/ipad to keep notes and lists, lists, lists! If you make continuous lists, you can check things off as they are accomplished, remember what needs to be done, delegate assignments, make plans, etc… etc…
☆ top 12 tips for getting recruitment organized: ☆
- Use a Planner. Either electronic or paper, a good planner is a must. Having one place for your dates, days, tasks, assignments and things to do each day is very important. Lilly agendas are my favorite. Use the planning calendar and all the pages to your best advantage.
- A Master Recruitment Timeline is vital. Start 4 months out and break down what needs to be done each month, each week and then as rush gets closer, each day and finally each hour. Your master schedule is your blueprint for staying on course when things seem overwhelming.
- FIle Folders & Notebooks Help. Even if you like to work electronically, notebooks and files are handy for taming paperwork and keeping samples, invoices, schedules and other information organized. Don’t feel bad about getting the right tools to make your job function. There is no shame in using the business like materials to be professional in your recruitment position.
- Make it CUTE. It’s Ok to decorate your notebook with cute stickers and a custom cover sheet. Add decals or graphics to your schedules. Theme your organization materials in your favorite color. Being organized does not mean boring and dull. You will be more excited about using your tools if they are perky and bright.
- Enlist a Deputy. Every successful chair has an assistant. Working in a team is more productive. You can share the burdens and have fun doing even the most unpleasant tasks together. It’s also great to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Don’t shoulder all the pressure of recruitment on all alone. Get a help-mate ASAP.
- Assign Tasks to Reliable Sisters. The more you can delegate the better you will feel. If you organize your team, give them work to do and then follow up on the results, you load will be lightened. Monitor your helpers, but don’t micro manage. Pick the right people and your life will get less stressful.
- Organize Your Space. You will need a spot (hopefully a desk) to be your recruitment HQ. A place where you can keep your files, notebooks, agenda and other planning materials. A place where you can review your to do lists, make phone calls, use your laptop, send messages, etc… Handling a complex project cannot be done on the fly from the coffee shop or in between classes on a campus bench. That’s find for quick updates, but to fully concentrate you need an organized space.
- Visual Reminders are Very Helpful. In addition to your planner, a cork board or memo board with post-it notes, samples, lists, diagrams and reminders is extremely beneficial for visually cueing your memory. I’m a very visual person, and I like to SEE what needs to be done. It’s also inspiring to have a print out of the bid day tee shirt design, party colors, photos and the weekly schedule displayed where they can inspire and motivate you.
- Combine Similar Activites. For maximum efficiency, combine tasks instead of running all over the place. Make all of your phone calls at one time, Do all your errands on the same day. Send emails at one time. Do all your shopping for party supplies in one trip. This will reduce headaches and keep you from becoming scattered.
- Make Decisions. As a leader you must make decisions and move things off your plate. If you dither and hesitate, many things on your ‘to do’ list will languish there undone. Committing to firm decisions is a must for making progress. Be informed and then be decisive. Nothing hurts a well organized project more than indecisiveness, multiple changes, and second guessing. It’s also expensive and frustrating to have things up in the air, or redone over and over. Make a wise decision and stick with it.
- Be Flexible. Recruitment will not go as planned. Be ready for the unexpected. Your stress will be reduced if you actually anticipate things not going perfectly. Don’t be pessimistic, but do be realistic about sudden problems popping up and the need to solve them as they occur. If you bend with the winds of change, you will maintain your sanity. Stay calm and tackle one issue at a time.
- Take Some Time Off Here and There. Planning recruitment can swallow you up. The project is all consuming. Don’t let it take over your entire life. Plan an afternoon off and sip a latte in the park. If you’re smothered by your sisters 24/7, carve out some “alone time” to just sit and relax. Watch a movie and eat popcorn. Whatever you can do to take break from the ongoing responsibility with refresh and revive your spirits.
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☆ More posts about planning recruitment:
• Formal Recruitment Master To Do Checklist
Is it possible to get a bid without having recommendations? I signed up for recruitment this week and know its way too late to ask for recommendations since recruitment starts Wednesday. Greek life at my school is somewhat small and doesn't even mention recommendations on the registration page. Should I be fine or will this weaken my chances of getting a bid?
YES it’s totally possible to participate in recruitment and get a bid without rec letters! NOT all schools require them. If you find no instructions about how and where to send them, I think you are correct in assuming they’re not emphasized on your campus. Otherwise there would be names and addressed published.
If a panhellenic is passionate about rec letters, they will get the word out. So I think you should be perfectly fine! It’s too late to worry about it anyway, so don’t give it another thought. Go forward with rush as a strong and confident PNM. I am sure you will have an excellent experience! xoxo ;)