A Timeless Perspective From Mother-Daughter ΑΧΩ Duo!
My daughter Kennedy and I both graduated from Texas Christian University (GO FROGS!) and were both active members of Alpha Chi Omega. With sorority recruitment quickly approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to share our collective wisdom and advice from the world of sorority recruitment. Though times have certainly changed since I went through sorority recruitment, many elements of recruitment week remain the same. My daughter is an old soul but, in essence, a millennial and knows the nuts and bolts of the enormous world of social media and modern-day sorority recruitment. I can’t thank her enough for her invaluable assistance with this post. Together, we put together our advice and tips for surviving recruitment, rush bag essentials, and more! Whether you’re going through the recruitment process yourself or supporting someone who is, this blog is sure to help you on your way to find the perfect sisterhood match!
Rush Bag… What Should I Include?
When it comes to what goes into the bag you’ll carry around during recruitment, it’s best to keep it to just the essentials. Below is a list of items that we found to be beneficial in a rush bag… both items we packed and wish we would have packed! This list is a great starting point, but make sure to refer to your university’s Panhellenic for specifics and rules as each campus’ rules may be different.
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Whether you’re going through recruitment yourself or have a daughter going through, recruitment week is extremely nerve-wracking. As a parent, recruitment is tough because you have no clue what’s going on behind the scenes and you have zero control. You can only coach your daughter at the end of each day, debriefing each party and sharing the best advice you can and always advising to be themselves! TCU Panhellenic had a strict policy of no phones so we had zero contact with Kennedy during the day. Although this was VERY stressful, knowing my personality, it was for the best! At the end of the day we would hash through and prepare for the next day. I encouraged her to make notes after each party based on criteria that were important to her (make sure to pack a notepad and pen). Recruitment days are long and you meet a lot of different people. Taking notes as you go through helps to keep the houses and your thoughts separate, making it much easier to rank at the end of each day.
I will leave you with rush tips from Kennedy and I for both PNM’s (potential new members) and their parents below. Share this with the PNM’s and parents of PNM’s in your life, you never know who needs to hear it!
Be Open Minded.
Leave all thoughts or rumors about the houses at the door, and don’t listen to the trash talking that happens in rush groups. Every sorority has something unique and special to offer, and going into the house with a closed mind limits your ability to find the special things it can offer.
Don’t Join in on PNM Gossip.
The house that one girl just trashed during lunch break? That might be the last house on someone’s list. You don’t know what other girls are going through or even looking for, so keep your opinions to yourself.
Don’t Get Intimidated.
Rush is SCARY. You have no clue what to expect, there’s a ton of uncertainty and it’s just an all around bizarre experience. Don’t let the “perfect” image portrayed by the sorority houses intimidate you. The girls in the sorority are dressed to the nine to impress YOU!!! Members want you to like them JUST as much as you want them to like you. So just be yourself!
Remember How You Feel Waiting Outside the House.
How the members make you feel inside the house heavily impacts how you feel waiting outside of the house. My daughter recalls feeling torn between two houses. Outside of one house she was a hot mess, stressed about how her hair & makeup looked, if they would like her dress, or if she would say the wrong thing. All around not a great feeling. The other house, although she still wanted to look her best, there wasn’t a feeling of stress or the perceived need to be perfect. Her heart wasn’t racing because she knew that the girls in the house liked her for who she is as a person, not just what she was wearing or how she looked.
Be Yourself and Choose for Yourself.
Being yourself is SO important. If you’re putting on an image just for a house to like you- you shouldn’t want to be in that house anyway. You truly won’t end up in the house that was meant for you if you aren’t being authentic throughout the process.
CHOOSE for yourself. Don’t pick a house because your BFF or roomie wants you to “be sisters for life!”- you’ll be friends regardless of your letters. If you don’t see yourself in the chapters you are a legacy, DROP THEM! Don’t feel like you have to keep them just because you had family as members, I promise you all of your family members want you to be happy, whatever those letters may be!
Don’t Take It to Heart.
Every single girl will likely get cut from at LEAST one house throughout the process. Naturally, the first house that cuts you will sting a bit. Your mind will race with questions like, “What did I do wrong? What did I say? Why didn’t they like me? They seemed like they loved me.” It’s normal, we all do it. However, don’t let that get in the way of being yourself the rest of the day. The “cutting” process is not easy, and there is so much more to it than a simple “keep or cut.” There are number quotas, legacy quotas, and so many variables houses have to meet. Chances are high they didn’t want to cut you but they got stuck with number games. Overall, you should feel excited to go into whatever house you end up choosing. You shouldn’t have a feeling of having to maintain perfection. Give each house an honest chance, and don’t hold on to judgements you make the first day. Once the recruitment makeup, hair, and outfits are off, they will still be the same person on the inside. Base your decisions on your interactions, conversations, and where you think you’ll find your bridesmaids.