This post would probably be more exciting if I announced that I did join a sorority, but I am instead updating you all and saying that I did not. After completing half of recruitment I guess I just decided it wasn’t my thing. I initially went in to rush with the idea of checking things out, but I was not for sure going to/not going to join. After exploring the process farther, I realized that it wasn’t for me.
At OSU, there are 15 sororities and about 1300 girls rushed this semester, so you can imagine that there were many girls who did not complete the entire process. The Ohio State Greek Life is definitely noticed, but it isn’t entirely prevalent on campus. In other words, Ohio State Greek Life is available if you’d like to become involved in it, but being in a sorority or fraternity does not entirely determine your social calendar or involvement level. With over 50,000 students from all different backgrounds and countries, you can expect that there are lots of ways to become involved!
Even though I did not end up joining a sorority, I did experience the formal recruitment process! It is definitely a long one, and while it can be rewarding for some in the end, it is still exhausting for everyone involved. While going through recruitment, I definitely learned a few things that I would like to share with you all! So here is my spring recruitment survival guide. Keep in mind, I live in Ohio, so formal recruitment in January is cold! I know many schools have recruitment earlier in the school year, so adjust this advice according to the season!
1. What to keep in your purse/bag
For the first round, our Rho Guides recommended that we didn’t need to bring a bag ourselves, but if we wanted something to carry around, to bring a small clutch or cross body bag. I also found that I could fit most of these things into the pockets of my coat, so a bag wasn’t even necessary! I would suggest bringing with you:
Chapstick (and any makeup you want to touch up throughout the day)
Tylenol (rounds of conversation are super loud, headaches are very common)
Band-Aids (shoes are painful, especially if you’re on your feet all day)
Mints (but not gum! You don’t want to be chewing gum during rounds within the houses)
Hand Sanitizer (just imagine how many hands you’ll be shaking)
A snack (the days are long! I brought trail mix, but that or a small bag of chips/pretzels, or a granola bar would work also)
Umbrella (if rain/snow is in the forecast, better safe than sorry!)
2. Get as much rest as possible
Make sure that you are getting adequate sleep during the recruitment weekends! Some of the rounds can be 10-12 hours with little break time. You want to try to get as much sleep as possible to keep you energized and excited during recruitment. Also, it’s probably common sense, but going out/partying during recruitment is not a good idea. Not only are you already exhausted, but the last thing you want to do is show up to a house round hungover.
3. Go in with an open mind
The best advice I heard during recruitment is that “there is something great and something bad about every single sorority.” The most important thing is to try to go into recruitment with an open mind, and not listen to things you’ve heard about each house. During recruitment, you will talk to lots of different girls, and you will be able to develop your own opinion of each house. Do not dismiss a sorority just because of a rumor you’ve heard on campus, give everyone a chance!
Also, many girls go into the process with a great friend or even a family member who is in a particular sorority. Do not assume that you will absolutely love a house just because you know someone in it.
4. Be on top of your appearance
You want to go into recruitment feeling (and looking) your best! This means painting your nails (and touching them up, no chipped nail polish) and dying your hair if you color it (you don’t want to have super noticeable roots on top of your head). Prepare for recruitment as you would a job interview; you want to look presentable, but you shouldn’t try too hard. Just be yourself!
This doesn’t just apply to the way you physically portray yourself, make sure you’re putting the best image of yourself out there as well. Don’t bring up things during conversations like alcohol or boys.
5. Be nice!
Yes, recruitment is tiring and exhausting, but everyone is in the same boat. Be nice to the other potential new members (pnms), active members, and your recruitment guides! Be as considerate as possible, and remember everyone else is going through the exact same process. The active members are just as nervous and stressed as you are, and your guides are giving up their time to help you.
6. Come prepared
You would typically prepare questions/conversation points for a job interview, so why not do the same for rush? Almost every house is going to ask if you have any questions for them, so stand out and ask them something more significant than “what’s your favorite thing in your sorority?” Not that, that is a terrible question to ask, but I’m sure they hear it multiple times throughout recruitment! Why not ask them about leadership positions available or how many hours her chapter spends a month volunteering? Think about a few questions ahead of time that you’re interested in asking about, so you won’t be stuck in silence!
There you have it! My version of the essential recruitment survival guide. I suppose my last tip would be to enjoy as much of it as you can! While it is a long process, you also have the opportunity to meet many amazing people and make some new friends. Maybe you could even find out about other opportunities or clubs on campus that you had no idea about.
While I did not end up joining a sorority, my friend Katie, also went through recruitment and became a Delta Zeta! I’m very happy for her, and maybe I could convince her to write a sorority themed guest post at some point for my blog. Stay tuned for that one!