Sorority Recruitment: It’s Not Just a House, It’s a Home
“From the outside looking in, you can never understand it. from the inside looking out, you can never explain it.”
As I walked to my first day of sorority recruitment all that was playing in my mind were scenes from “House Bunny” and “American Pie”. Although I knew these were just stereotypes for sororities I couldn’t help but feel like some of the nonsense must be true? The crazy parties, awful hazing, and frat boys; I had know idea what I was getting myself into.
The first day of recruitment was kind of like the first day of kindergarten. Outfits were meticulously selected days before, phone calls to moms were made, and the feeling of uncertainty filled the air. As I walked up the stairs of The Joe Crowley Student Union (or The Joe as us UNR students put it) all I could think of was: is this right for me? Am I making the right choice? I signed up for recruitment completely blind, not quite sure of what lay ahead of me, but wanting to keep an open mind. At the very top of the stairs there were four happily smiling girls holding clipboards and checking girls into the ballroom. As I approached the table I evaluated the girl who was checking me in. A blonde girl who was a few inches taller than me, wearing pearls and if I’m not mistaken wearing Daisy by Marc Jacobs perfume. I smiled back at her and gave her my name.
“Noelle you will be in the teal group,” the pretty blonde said with a smile.
As I continued to walk into the ballroom everyone was separated into groups. As the night continued we all played “get to know you games” and then talked among ourselves. The night concluded with all the different color groups squishing into the three sorority houses for a tour and meeting with the presidents of each chapter.
The next day was deemed “Sisterhood Night”. This night we were asked to dress summer casual. I wore distressed high-waisted shorts paired with a Kimchi and Blue cream peasant top and gray combat boots. While my roommate and I walked to our groups it was interesting to see everyone’s definition of summer casual. Girls walked by with their flowy sundresses blowing in the breeze, while others wore flip-flops and cut off shorts.
This night we were told we all would go to each sorority’s “party”. After this was announced we all looked around at each other puzzled. Parties? We had no idea we would be tested on our ability to jump on a keg stand or the accuracy of our shots in beer pong. However, after the chitter chatter of hundreds of girls ended we were then taught what parties really were.
“Parties are when you go into a special room that is dedicated to one sorority. Here is where you are specifically picked to be paired with another girl in the sorority and you get to know each other better. They’ll ask you questions about where you are from or what are your goals in life. Try to showcase yourself in the best light and remember to avoid the 3 B’s. (boys, booze, and beliefs),” our recruitment leader said with a smile.
She was on the short end with long dark hair. Her smile was infectious and her personality made everyone she talked to comfortable. I remembered her from the first night and was thinking that she seemed like someone who I wanted to get to know more. She talked to us about the process of sorority recruitment in a way that made us feel more at ease and relieved stress that anyone in the group had about recruitment.
At last the hours of waiting to be called up to our first party had ended and we were now minutes away from experiencing our first taste of sorority life. We all were lined up by our recruitment counselors and were instructed the rules of these parties. We weren’t allowed to bring anything to the room (not even a tissue) and we weren’t able to take anything out of the room either. As we all stood anxiously the girls around me talked about how nervous they were.
“What do you think it will be like?” a girl with long brown hair in front of me said.
“I don’t know but I feel so nervous I could throw up!” the tall girl in cowboy boots in front of her replied.
As I stood there waiting to go in all I could think of was what’s wrong with me. Everyone around me was practically peeing their pants with nerves while I stood there calmly.
Since I truly had no idea what to expect I really felt no need to get all flustered and worried. I was confident in who I was and knew that everything happens for a reason. Whether that meant I got into a sorority or not.
After our recruitment counselor did a few secret knocks the doors burst open. We all were quickly shuffled into the large room, as if we were evacuating a fire. I felt anxiety as I saw the girls in front of me being swooped away by each sorority girl. I was anxious to get to the front for when it was my turn.
The room was filled with the sound of sorority girls chanting their chapter’s song and I began to have flashbacks of my cheer camp days. A girl wearing an ear-to-ear grin then grabbed me energetically.
After talking to her for a few minutes she explained why she loved sorority life so much and asked me questions about myself. I answered her questions and tried to incorporate my passions, goals, and values in each answer as much as possible.
After our first party had ended girls in my group walked out giddily and filled with excitement. I watched as everyone called their moms, best friends, and boyfriends, all explaining what the first party was like. After attending three more parties I was told I had to then rank each sorority from my favorite to least favorite. I saw my fellow group members stress about what they were going to do. I watched as they cried to each other and discussed how much doubt and uncertainty they had.
When it was my turn to go to the voting room I was completely calm. I trusted my gut and knew that whatever was in my heart was what was the right thing to do. I walked into the room where there were four voting assistants that volunteered to help us in the voting process. I walked in confidently and ranked the four sororities. As I walked out the girl who assisted me smiled and said, “have a good night!” I smiled back and proceeded to walk back to my dorm.
The next day was “Philanthropy day”. A day dedicated to learning about each sorority’s philanthropy and the charity events. This was the first formal day and were all asked to dress in our “Sunday’s best”. I wore a floral dress that was flowy with a tribal necklace. Despite my ability to walk in flat shoes (the ground and I have a close relationship) I decided to opt for the brown wedges since it was a special occasion.
This day was especially important because it was the first day that we could not get an invitation from a sorority. All the other night’s we went to every sorority but this day it was by invite only. As I walked through the grassy area of The Joe I saw the teal group gathered talking. I went up to the short brunette recruitment leader and received my invitations.
That night I met with three different sororities and heard about all the various philanthropies that they work with. Although I loved hearing about each philanthropy there was only one that truly touched my heart. That night talking to the sorority girl that I was paired with I felt a connection and knew that this was the sorority for me.
After another sorority night had passed Bid Day had finally approached. Today was the day everyone would find out their fate. Would they continue the legacy of their mother’s sorority? Would they be placed into the house of their dreams? Would they get placed in a house at all? As I walked to the rose garden where we were told to meet the list of questions I had only grew with every step I took.
An hour had passed and we all finally received our bids. I looked down at mine and admired the handwritten cursive on my envelope. It was a small tan little envelope but despite it’s size the value of it was immense.
I knew that once I opened my envelope there was a world of possibilities of change. Each house was so different. Each house represented different values. Each house had different goals. I was standing at a fork in the road with so many options of which way to go.
It was finally time for me to see what house I belonged to. As I tore my envelope open a smile sprouted on my face and only grew bigger as I continued to read.
“Noelle Crooks is cordially invited to become a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority.”
It has been a month and 2 days since the day I received my bid. Going into recruitment I definitely had my doubts. I didn’t want to be looked at like a typical sorority girl. I didn’t want to be in another “House Bunny” sorority house. But I can say with complete honesty, in the short time I have been with Tri-Delta my expectations have been blown out of the water. Sorority life is truly nothing like what you see in the movies. Being surrounded with a group of girls who not only are amazing role models but also are always there for you is an amazing feeling.
The short brunette recruitment counselor that I felt a connection with not only ended up being in my sorority but she is my “big sister” as well.Everyday that goes by I am reminded of how blessed I am to have had an amazing experience throughout recruitment. I have felt so overwhelmed with kindness that all I can do is hope to one day pay them back. The recruitment process has illustrated that it is vital that you not only have an open mind for but look for a sorority that aligns with your values. By being true to who I was I found the sorority that is perfect for me. I urge anyone who is debating on joining a sorority to give it a chance because I promise you’ll be surprised. That day walking to the Delta Delta Delta house I never could have guessed I wasn’t just walking to a house, I was walking to my home.