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rush talk: rec letter clarification…

Q: I’m attending the University of South Carolina and though recommendations aren’t required, I’d like to submit some anyway. My only issue is that since I’m from the north, I don’t know any alums at USC. Can I get recommendations from alums in the same sororities, but at other schools? Or is there a way to connect with USC alums? I’m having a hard time finding alums to write on my behalf.

A: You DO NOT have to get rec letters from alums who attended the same college you are going to! Most PNMs do not know alums from their future school, unless they happen to live in the university area. Girls get letters from their own hometown, region, or through other connections. A sorority letter writer can live anywhere in the country and have graduated from any college. This holds true for all NPC recruitments, not just your USC campus. 

To find alumnae to write on your behalf, please visit my REC LETTER CONNECTION PAGE for lots of advice on how and where to get referrals. In your case, if letters are not required, you should really try for people who know you personally. Submitting several strong recommendations would be preferable to “stranger” letters. But do what you think is best. I hope you can round up a few friends of friends who were in sororities and they will write for you. There ARE greeks in the north if you look hard enough and work every possible family connection you have. xoxo ;)

How can I convince my boyfriend that going Greek would be beneficial for me?

Asked by
idreamofbeingfit

Your boyfriend is probably worried about the greek social life that comes along with sorority membership. Sorority girls and fraternity guys do mingle a lot in college. There are mixers, parties, all-greek competitions and many other opportunities for co-ed activities. BUT ~ many sorority girls also have steady boyfriends and make it all work. To be a member does not mean you have to hook up with an array of different guys each week. You can have male friends to attend socials with and hang out. Greek life does not require you date or sleep around. It’s up to you! 

There are MANY fine points of being in a sorority. When talking with your boyfriend, you should emphasize the female friendships and empowerment. Security, academic support, leadership and networking are all important as well. Also point out the personal benefits like having close girlfriends, bonding, sisterhood for life, etc… There are lots of goodies in greek life. As long as you pick a chapter which reflects your personal values, you will have a wonderful experience. 

I have several posts for convincing reluctant parents, but the pointers will also apply to your boyfriend. Please review the benefits of membership and share the ones that he will identify with! xoxo ;)

• Tips For Talking to Reluctant Parents About Going Greek 

• NOT paying for Friends - But What Are You Paying For?

• Top 10 “S” is for Sorority Benefits of Going Greek

• The Benefits of GOING GREEK from A to Z!

❉ 101 sorority recruitment conversation starters! ❉

Suddenly you are face to face with a girl you’ve never met before. Now what? Start your recruitment conversations with some of these creative questions and avoid the dreaded "What’s your major?" cliché!

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❉ 101 creative conversation questions for sorority sisters to ask PNMs: ❉

  1. Finish this sentence: “Someday, I’m going to be the first person in the world to…”
  2. What do you like to do to relax?
  3. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
  4. What is the last thing you do before you go to sleep?
  5. What is your favorite day of the week?
  6. Do you know what your your name means? What would you like it to mean?
  7. What was your favorite children’s book?
  8. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  9. What was your least favorite subject in high school?
  10. If you had $10 million dollars, would you still be going to college?
  11. What is the first thing you notice about another girl?
  12. Who was the last person you texted?
  13. What was the last photo you posted on Instagram/Facebook?
  14. What was your worst vacation experience?
  15. What is your favorite pizza topping?
  16. What is your favorite meal of the day?
  17. What was the worst movie you’ve ever seen?
  18. What type of music do you like to listen to?
  19. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
  20. Who do you look up to?
  21. What is your proudest moment?
  22. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
  23. Are you a coffee or tea person?
  24. Are you a cat or dog person?
  25. What would you do if you only had 24 hours left to live?
  26. What is the best thing that happened to you during the past week?
  27. What is your favorite board game?
  28. What is your favorite charity?
  29. What are some of your short-term goals?
  30. What are some of your long-term goals?
  31. What is your favorite restaurant?
  32. Are there any foods that you will absolutely not eat?
  33. What’s your favorite social media?
  34. What blogs or websites do you like?
  35. What’s your favorite city?
  36. If you could have only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  37. What’s your favorite kind of candy?
  38. If you could only own 5 things, what would they be?
  39. Would you rather be rich or famous?
  40. Do you believe in Santa?
  41. Could you live without the internet?
  42. What’s your ultimate vacation?
  43. If you could be famous for a week, what would you want to be known for?
  44. If someone changed you into an animal, what would you be?
  45. What would you do if you could wear an invisibility cloak?
  46. What’s the weirdest thing about the town where you grew up?
  47. If you could teleport right now, where would you go?
  48. What’s the most unlikely thing you did this week?
  49. When and where were you the happiest in life?
  50. What’s your perfect day?
  51. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
  52. Would you rather ___ or ___? For example: Would you rather give up your cell phone for a month or give up your boyfriend for a month?
  53. If you found $100, what would you do with it?
  54. Is there a time when you were bold?
  55. What is the most caring thing you have done?
  56. What’s your favorite family tradition?
  57. What are you most grateful for?
  58. What is your ideal best friend like?
  59. What is your worst habit?
  60. What is the most thoughtful thing someone else has done for you?
  61. What makes you laugh?
  62. Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
  63. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
  64. How do you want to impact our campus in the next year?
  65. If you went back in time 200 years and you could only take 3 things with you, what would you bring?
  66. If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what age would you be?
  67. What would the title of your autobiography be?
  68. If you started your own charity, who or what would it help?
  69. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?
  70. What is the greatest song ever written?
  71. What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
  72. How would you describe yourself to someone who has never met you? Like me!
  73. Do you have a favorite piece of clothing? 
  74. What one word would you use to describe yourself?
  75. What school subject do you think helps you the most in every day life?
  76. What’s something you love to do and haven’t done in awhile because you were too busy?
  77. Can you describe a day you’d like to live over and over again?
  78. Do you have a favorite book or movie love story?
  79. Who is the person you trust the most?
  80. If you could have a character from a book as your best friend, who would it be?
  81. What 3 words would you use to describe your family?
  82. Do you like to study in silence, or with background noise/music?
  83. What is your greatest talent or ability?
  84. Where do you think you will live after graduation?
  85. What do you daydream about?
  86. What qualities does your mom have, that you also have?
  87. If you wrote a newspaper article about your life, what would the headline be?
  88. If you were a fruit, what would you be?
  89. What is the most surprising thing that happened to you in the past year?
  90. What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen?
  91. Do you think your name suits you?
  92. Who is your favorite fairytale character?
  93. What was the last thought you had before doing to sleep last night?
  94. If snow could fall in any flavor you choose, what flavor would it be?
  95. If you were queen of the world, what would you do?
  96. What is your favorite Halloween costume?
  97. If you traveled into space, what would you miss most on Earth?
  98. What do you do to recharge after a long day?
  99. Has a wish you made ever come true? 
  100. If you could have any zoo animal as a pet, what would you pick?
  101. What is your favorite type of weather?

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 Links to MORE questions for sorority members to ask PNMs: 

• 33 Questions to ASK PNMs

• 25 Interesting Questions to Ask PNMs During Rush

• Big/Little Speed Dating Questions {good for PNMs & sisterhood socials too!}

If I've never worn make up before should i try to wear some for recruitment because it kinda seems like makeups an important part

Asked by
twurkinhaz

Once you reach college age, and later in your career, you might want to wear a minimal amount of make-up for special occasions. That doesn’t mean every day if you are an all-natural type of girl. But with today’s sheer cosmetics, you can smooth out your skin tone and add a healthy glow with very little effort. And you will not look like you’re wearing a thick coat of cream on your face. For things like sorority rush, a job interview, an internship, a family wedding and other occasions ~ most women wear a touch of makeup. Especially a bit of lipstick is a good idea to brighten your face. 

The most simple and basic plan would be to find some natural toned cosmetics, which are not too expensive, but will give you a pretty look. I have always liked Revlon. One of my friends swears by Cover Girl. Walmart has a large cosmetic department with lots of reasonably priced brands. Pick one brand you like and stick with their line to keep things easy. Without going overboard, the products I would suggest are: 

  • A translucent power compact matching your skin tone.
  • A pink/peach powder blush.
  • A under eye concealer - liquid or stick
  • A black mascara.
  • A pink/rose lipstick shade.
  • Clear or light lipgloss to top your lipstick. 

Those are the most elementary cosmetics. You don’t have to get into eyeliner, eyebrow pencils, bronzer, lip liners, or even eye shadow. Don’t worry about liquid foundation either. Put a little concealer under your eyes and cover blemishes. Then powder all over your face to smooth out your skin tone instead of foundation. Apply a dusting of blush on your cheekbones. Put mascara on your lashes, and finish with your lipstick and gloss. Done!! That is as simple as it gets. If you pick natural tones, you will look approachable, glowing and fresh ~ not garish.

Practice your make-up techniques before rush to make sure you have it down. You do not have to be “fake” in any way. If you feel the list above is too much, then cut it back to just a dusting of blush and a lipgloss. Your lips should be moist and not chalky at the very least. Whatever makes you feel and look your BEST! xoxo ;)

As far as what a PNM should carry for recruitment, is a normal sized purse okay? Or should it be something small?

Asked by
haleofagolfer

That would be an excellent question to ask your Recruitment Counselor or the Panhellenic Council at Orientation. Each campus has a different preference on PNM purses I’m sure. Sometimes everyone wears a small crossbody that they keep with them, and in other places, PNM handbags are collected at the front door of each sorority house. Probably your recruitment has a ‘preference’ for purses. This information might also be available in your Recruitment Handbook.

I suggest you have your regular sized purse and a small crossbody both available, in case you don’t find out which is best in advance. There should be room in even a small bag to have your touch-up essentials. You don’t need to lug around a giant tote. All you need are the basics to stay freshened up, your phone, ID, keys, sunglasses and maybe a small notepad. Keep it simple and as lightweight as possible. It will be a long day with lots of walking. xoxo ;)

rush talk: explaining a unique PNM situation…

Q: My question involves rushing as a sophomore. I know you talk about how important a strong GPA is, but in my case I was sick a lot last year and because of this, my GPA struggled. I have a 2.9 which is above the requirement, but as a sophomore I feel like it will make a lot of sororities not want to consider me. I actually went through rush last year, but was sick and not feeling like my best self so I had to drop. Should I bring this up during rush?

A: I think it is fine to “clarify” special circumstances like being sick for a long time effecting your GPA. But I think the best place for this explanation is on your Recruitment Application. You want the unique situation clarified before you reach the recruitment rounds. Ideally, the information is provided up front for the chapters to consider. 

I am wary of too much “negative” talk with sisters. Your GPA is above the minimum, so to spotlight it and talk about how ill you’ve been, might scare off some chapters. They will worry about you being sick and struggling with academics in the future. Instead, you might want to just mention how excited you are to rush again and how you have worked hard to improve your overall profile. Showing self-improvement is totally positive. You don’t need to dwell on past problems to do this. Shine a light on your present situation, not the unhappy past.  

Go in strong. And don’t let anything hold you back. I hope you stay super healthy this year and have a fabulous time in greek life! xoxo :)

shopping for sorority basics…

Q: I’m on the sorority side of recruitment this year and I was wondering if you knew of any websites that are good for finding solid colored clothing that would be recruitment appropriate. I need a certain color blouse to be paired with white shorts and I’m having such a hard time finding one that’s not $50! Thank you! — trippingxeyes

A: I’m all about saving money! Especially for chapter wear. My budget shopping list and tips for sorority discount shopping should be helpful:

• Sorority Fashion Shopping on a Budget

• Top 12 Tips for Sorority Discount Shopping

For basic solid colored tops and shorts I would look first at stores like Target, Old Navy, GAP and Kohl’s. JC Penny, H&M and Forever 21 would also be places to check for inexpensive separates. To find simple solid colored fashions, you need to look at stores that offer the BASICS. All of those stores should have tops and bottoms below $50. xoxo ;) 

I'm going into recruitment as a sophomore after my GPA was too low freshman year. Would it sound too weird if I told the members who are rushing me this fall that I worked hard freshman year to be able to rush again and that I was inspired by the sororities on our campus to better myself and come back for a second go at recruitment? (I didn't think it was for me the first go around)

Asked by
tomboyheiress

If you can keep the subject totally positive, I think it’s Ok to mention the sorority inspiration to improve your grades. Emphasize your greek motivation to be more academic and get extra involved on campus. Just don’t dwell on your past low GPA. Keep the talk forward looking and all about how the sorority community has motivated you to be a better student.

This should be very flattering to the sorority members you speak with during recruitment. Self-improvement is a popular concept with greeks. They should love your successful efforts! xoxo :)

i'm rushing as a sophomore and at my school, we have 5 sororities and i'm worried it's going to be super competitive to get into one. i didnt do formal recruitment last year (personal reasons) so i have no clue what to really expect. do you have tips on how to stand out (other than the classic "just be yourself" response)?

Asked by
mythoughtseternalized

Lots of people talk about “standing out” during rush, but that’s not exactly how I look at it. You can stand out by wearing neon yellow. But the real goal is to “CONNECT” with the sisters who are the best match for you! You don’t need to stand out like a shining beacon. It’s much better to bond, laugh, feel close and genuinely be touched by the sorority sisters of your choice. Making quick friends and finding things in common is the romance of recruitment. That’s why you so frequently get the advice of “be yourself.” Only by showing your true personality, can you draw the “right” sisters to you. Connecting with a sisterhood should be as authentic as possible. 

So for formal or informal recruitment your PNM role is the same… Offer all you have to give, offer your experience and interests, offer your sweet personality and at the same time look for your chapter “mate.” Recruitment is basically speed dating for girls! You will be romanced, you may cry, you will be moved, emotions run high and in the end hopefully the two forces come together in a greek match. xoxo ;)

"Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love." ~ Mother Teresa

Hello! I'm thinking of possibly being in a sorority...I feel like in the north (I live in New York) the Greek life just isn't as popular of held in such high regards as in the south...I am very unsure and nervous about if sorority life is right for me.

Asked by
independentsince97

THERE IS ONLY WAY TO TELL and it’s spelled R-E-C-R-U-I-T-M-E-N-T! No matter how much you read about being in a sorority, from the outside it’s extremely difficult to tell if you will fit in with the chapters on YOUR campus. All that matters are the specific sororities that you might join. If you participate in rush and find it’s not right for you ~ you can leave at any time. There is no obligation or pressure to join. It would be better to drop out before bid day, if you really don’t feel like you made a match. You might choose to rush again the next semester. 

But if you live in the north and attend a northern school, the sister’s lifestyle should match your own. While they might not “go crazy” over sorority swag like southern girls do, they still have fun events, close sisterhoods, meaningful charity work and all the rest. It might just be in a style that suits you pretty well. If you rush at a southern school, then you will need to quickly adapt to a new outlook! But once you get the ‘greek fever’ ~ it’s very easy to do. Don’t let your being from NY hold you back in any way. North, South, East, or West ~ sorority life is the BEST! xoxo :)

"Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great." ~ Niccolo Machiavelli

How should I accessorize a tshirt? The first two nights of rush we're required to wear the same tshirt and it's recommend to wear shorts but I don't know what to put with the outfit! Thanks <3

Asked by
surgeonbarbie

If you have a classic, simple necklace, then you can wear it. But don’t go overboard on the accessories for the tee shirt days. The whole point of matching casual outfits, is for the sorority sisters to focus on YOU and not your flashy jewelry.

Stud earrings (pearl/diamond/gold/silver) look good with a tee shirt. Maximum, I would pick 2 pieces to wear. Stud earrings or small hoops and a delicate bracelet for example. Or, simple earrings and an understated necklace. But you don’t need rings, bracelets, a necklace, and earrings all at once with a Panhel tee!

Save the bright statement necklace for the rounds when you wear a dress. And save your fanciest jewels for Pref Night. xoxo ;)