One Big Room Fulla Bad Bitches: Surviving Sorority Recruitment

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Recruitment – the necessary evil sorority girls know all too well.

For days, sororities throw parties for potential new members (PNMs) so that the new girls can get a sense of the different chapters on campus. Only, these aren’t the usual Red Solo Cup, basement blacklight college parties that you are familiar with. (That’s a frat party.) Instead, sorority recruitment parties consist of loud cheers, peppy songs and skits, emotional speeches from active sisters and speed dating upwards of 50 women.

It’s a busy and exciting time for everyone involved, but the pressure affects girls differently. For PNMs especially, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the little things, like outfit choices or the number of houses you get called back to, and forget that rushing a sorority is supposed to be fun. So if you’re about to dive head-first into recruitment, then listen up because CM is going to help you make it through.

“This seems like the prime time for my super awkward alter-ego to make an appearance. I know I am going to get tongue-tied. What am I supposed to talk about with a total stranger?”

Your celebrity crush, the TV series you just finished on Netflix, or your favorite restaurant in the city. Pick neutral conversation topics that showcase your interests and personality. The idea of neutrality is stressed because there are actually topics that are off limits for sisters to talk about. Blowouts, booze and boys may be a perk of joining a sorority, but you can forget about bringing up any of these topics during formal recruitment.

If you’re interested in learning about a sorority’s social life, try asking about their sisterhood programming. Find out if they have an annual retreat or maybe a weekly dinner. But, don’t let this censorship stifle your personality. Feel free to be your usual goofy self and fill any awkward pauses with that story about the time you tripped in the dinning hall in front of the entire basketball team.

**BONUS: She may be a total stranger but the two of you might have more in common than you think. Most chapters go through a pairing process to ensure that the PNM is matched with a sister that she will enjoy talking to.

“All of the sororities are starting to seem the same. I’ve been on so many girl-dates today that my actual love life has been put to shame. How am I supposed to know which chapter is right for me?”

After meeting a dozen Sammies and another two dozen Emilys, the names and faces of girls from different sororities can start to blend together. To combat “what’s her name” syndrome, think less about the girls you’ve talked to and more about the vibes from the group as a whole. Of course it is still important to remain engaged in each of the chats, but as the day goes on take notice of the little things. Do the sisters laugh and joke with one another during the performance of a ridiculous skit? Do the sorority’s activities shown in the slideshow seem like your idea of a good time? If you can see your personality aligning with the overall feel of the chapter, then it is definitely a match.

“I’ve been hearing some of the other PNMs say some hurtful things about a chapter I really liked. I was excited about possibly getting a bid, but now I feel like I should reconsider a sorority that might be ‘better.’ What should I do?”

First off, the girls who are speaking poorly about different organizations in the Panhellenic Community are completely missing the point of Greek Life. Joining a sisterhood is about empowering other women. Falling prey to the stereotypes that spread throughout campus can keep you from forming lifelong friendships and making the most of your college experience. Screw the haters because they obviously missed one of the most important lessons: “No matter the letter we’re all Greek together.”

After all the parties are over and you’ve finally reached bid day, think about the name of the house that you want to see on that card. If you realize that you would be happy with any possible outcome, then you’ve already had a successful recruitment experience. When you’ve made the right choice and have found lifelong friends within your sisters, you’ll forget all the silly stressors that came along with recruitment and have nothing but pride for your letters.

Maddi is a junior at American University, majoring in print journalism and minoring in international studies. Born and raised in Southern CA, she'd like to think she's found harmony between her chill, laid back nature and the fast-paced lifestyle of The District. East meets West. Biggie meets Tupac. An avid reader and travel enthusiast, Maddi aspires to be one of the great storytellers.

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