A few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to partake in my university’s formal sorority recruitment. This time around I was a part of the “recruiter” side of things and it was quite the experience. Whether your school does a week-long process or a weekend-long process, it is important to take care of yourself and to remember why you signed up for recruitment in the first place. What are the reasons you chose to go through this process? What types of qualities are you looking for in a chapter? These things are crucial when deciding which house is right for you. Before my university’s recruitment began, I had some idea as to how the whole week was going to be; recruitment commences every August, and it kicks off with “Work Week” (Spirit Week), then heads straight into a lengthy week-long process of formal recruitment. As much as I had anticipated these two weeks throughout my summer, I really had no real idea as to what was going to happen. I went into Work Week extremely excited, as well as extremely nervous and ready to get the process over with. After two weeks of loads of hard work, hours of practice in 90+ degree weather, and the environment of over 100 determined college women, I comprised a list of ten things that I believe are a MUST for the crazy process of formal sorority recruitment. So with that said, here is my list of Top 10 Essentials for Sorority Recruitment:
- A checklist. If you’re like me at all, trying to remember to bring five million things to another location other than where those five million things typically live, I suggest having some form of a checklist made each night during recruitment. This will help you remember everything you need to have with you for the next morning (i.e. specific outfit for the themed day, wedges/heels, comfy clothes, phone charger, etc.). This list can be either handwritten, typed out on your phone, or even written on a Sticky-Note stuck to your bathroom mirror. It really doesn’t matter how the list is made, as long as it contains everything you need for the next day’s events. Trust me, stressing out early in the morning to find everything you need, especially when it’s 6:54am and you need to be at your chapter by 7am.. will not be a pleasant start to your day.
- Phone Charger. For me, I try my best to always grab my phone charger when leaving my apartment just so I never have to worry about having a dead phone. Although the majority of the recruitment process you typically won’t even be able to have your phone anywhere in sight, it’s important to make sure that your device stays charged throughout the day. If you are on the recruiter side, this is crucial for you to remember because a lot of schools use electronic-based systems that help keep the whole process organized. If you are on the other side of things, it’s important for you to keep your phone charged in case there is a change in your daily schedule, or if you can’t find where you need to go. Granted there should always be somewhere close by to help clear things up, but just to be prepared, keeping your technology juiced up is always a positive!
- A Water Bottle. I cannot stress this enough! Most likely you will be going for long periods of time, running from house to house, having endless non-stop conversations with people. It may not seem too tiring after the first day, but if you don’t take care of yourself and hydrate throughout the whole process, it’s going to start to feel more like a chore compared to something that is meant to be fun and enjoyable. Especially when your voice starts to become scratchy from screaming over hundreds of other women (trust me, it will happen), staying hydrated and making sure to drink some water whenever you get a break will be very beneficial in the long run.
- Emergen-C/Vitamin C. On that note, my next essential would be to purchase a pack of Emergen-C drink packets or a Vitamin C supplement. Being around so many new people in a new environment is the perfect situation for germs and sickness to thrive in. When making a first impression on someone, more often than not a handshake will be involved. Not to mention being in close vicinity with many other women who are coming to college from all over the place. You never know who is sick or whose mom came down with the flu right before they moved them to college. It is so important to take care of your immune system and make sure to try your best in fighting away potential germs and sickness. Recruitment is supposed to be an exciting and fun process! It’s hard to enjoy yourself with a sore throat or the stomach flu. Also pay attention to the fact that things spread RAPIDLY throughout a closely-confined group of people. Just a few weeks ago, a girl in my chapter came down with the flu, and within days women were dropping like flies with the same sickness. Washing your hands, drinking plenty of water, and drinking or taking some form of vitamin C at the beginning of your day could make all the difference for you and your immune system.
- Makeup Remover Wipes. Whoever invented these will forever be thanked by millions of makeup-users all over the world. These babies are a MUST for long, busy days like the ones you’ll be having during Rush Week. What I love about these is that they are so convenient; they come in compact sizes which make them easy to carry with you on-the-go, they get everything off without being too harsh on your skin, and they make it easy to keep up with a good bedtime routine. Nobody wants to be dealing with stubborn makeup after a long, exhausting day. Having these in your bathroom cabinet make getting ready for bed just a tiny bit easier to deal with. Worth every penny and they come in so many different scents and sizes. Absolutely a need!
- Deodorant/Travel-Size Perfume. I don’t know about you, but I try my best to stay smelling good throughout the day. I enjoy wearing my perfume and I have to admit that being told “you smell so good!” is a compliment that I genuinely enjoy receiving. However, when dealing with interacting with hundreds of women all day in 80-90 degree weather in small confined spaces, it’s not always easy to tell if you are still smelling fresh and clean. I personally kept deodorant on me everyday during my last recruitment experience, and I reapplied at least once-twice a day just to make sure that things were good and that I didn’t have to worry about whether I was sweating too hard or not. Everybody deals with this; it’s not the end of the world, but it is important to pay attention to because it shows that you know how to take care of yourself and that your hygiene is something you care about.
- A Pen/Small Notebook. These two things are nice to have during recruitment because they make it easier for organizing your thoughts and jotting down things you want/need to remember. There are a lot of factors you have to consider when deciding on what house is right for you, and these can be good tools that help you deliberate your decision. Cell phones are not always allowed in certain settings during the recruitment process, therefore it is nice to have another way to write things down, other than using your “Notes” app on your phone.
- Breath-mints/Gum. If your school does recruitment like mine does, you will be participating in conversation after conversation literally the whole day. Every party at a chapter house means a new conversation and a new opportunity to get extremely close and personal in a random strangers’ bubble. This is just how the process goes. With these conversations, sometimes they happen directly after lunch time or after you’ve had a break. Gum/mints are just another thing that help you keep your confidence going. If you know that you just had a mint two minutes before starting a new conversation, you don’t have to worry about whether the girl you’re talking with can smell what you had for lunch 20 minutes before you showed up.
- Bandaids. If you are anything like me, you probably don’t rock 5″ heels often. During recruitment, sometimes you have to deal with the lovely concept of “uniformity”- everybody has to look great and cute and match, therefore everyone has to wear some form of a heel that becomes uncomfortable after ten minutes of wearing. Whether you are the recruiter or the PNM (Potential New Member), you may choose/have to wear a pair of heels during the week. In order to make this experience a little more enjoyable and a little less painful, Bandaids are always a simple fix to help relieve some of the heel-rubbing that can happen with some fancier shoes. They don’t always do the trick, but sometimes they can really make the difference between slightly irritated feet, and feet that have been rubbed raw and are blistering at the end of the day.
- An Optimistic Attitude. My last essential is by far the most important one; come into recruitment, and if possible during all of recruitment, try your best to keep a positive attitude! Optimism will help with the stress and nerves that come along with picking the right house for you. Rush Week is an amazing experience, and after all of your hard work and effort and after all of your anticipation, you get to run home to your new home; the place that you will call home for the rest of your life. I never imagined going Greek before I came to University, and now after being accepted with open arms into the best house I’ve ever seen, I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I hope my top 10 essentials helps you prepare for this amazing experience, and I hope you get to find where you belong, just like I did.
Thanks for reading!