It is that time of year again, when the next member class across the country is getting ready for recruitment! Lucky for you we both went through recruitment at gigantic SEC schools so we've got all the tips and tricks to get you through a fun and exciting week!
You’ll go through 4 rounds during recruitment week:
Open House/Greek Day/Iced Water Teas: Different schools have different names for this round, but this is the round where you get to hear from all of the chapters on your campus and start to get a feel for each of their personalities.
Philanthropy: During this round you'll learn about the different national and local philanthropies of each house. Every sorority has a national charity that all of the chapters across the country support, but chapters also work with local organizations to make an impact closer to their campus.
Sisterhood: This round is all about, you guessed it, sisterhood! You'll hear from the actives about how their house has impacted their friendships and what really makes their house unique.
Preference (or Pref): This round has a more serious vibe than previous rounds and will be when the actives share more about their sorority journey and what their house & their letters mean to them. PSA: be prepared to cry a little.
Now let's get into what you should wear for each round. Every campus is a little different, so be sure to check with your Panhellenic guidelines before recruitment.
Many schools have made this round virtual since COVID and you’ll just be watching each sorority’s Open House video to get introduced to all the chapters and learn some basic information about them before actually talking to any of the actives. So you’ll definitely want to be comfortable since you’ll be sitting in your dorm! Pair any of our athletic bottoms like the Connie shorts or Billie tennis skirt with one of our seamless tanks like the Meadow or Summer and a pair of our Smiley face slippers and you’ll be good to go!
For this round Panhellenic will usually provide you with a t-shirt to wear and you’ll pair it with either a skirt or a pair of shorts! Some of our favorites are our Pearl, Yvette, Frenchy, and Cayleigh skirts! By keeping your bottoms simple you can have more fun with your shoes and accessories. One day you could do some cute beaded earrings, and then mix it up the next day with simple earrings and one of our fun floral headbands. These are the days to keep the shoes comfy since you’ll be going into lots of houses so I suggest a cute pair of sneakers or flat sandals!
Sisterhood is when you finally get to start wearing dresses but it can still be a little more casual than your pref dress! This is the round where a fun printed dress is a great choice. Some of our current favorites for this round are Celia, Addie, Sloane, Alice, Reese, Uta, and our striped Kara dress! For shoes, I would go with either platform sandals or wedges since you’ll still be doing lots of walking these days.
This round only lasts one day and is when you’ll be dressing it up a bit more than sisterhood. If you want to go for more fun and fancy vibes I would go with our Carol, Faith, Juliet, Blair, Melody or Ingrid dresses. But if you’re more of a sweet and simple kind of girl our favorites are our Natalie, Kathleen, Madeline, Hayden, Bettie or Daphne dresses. If you go with a more fun dress, keep it simple with the shoes and go with nude heels, but if your dress is more simple you can have a little bit more fun with your heels!
You can shop all of our recruitment picks in our sorority collection today!
Now it’s time for your rush bag! Since you will be on the row most of the day and not able to go back to your dorm you’ll need to have a bag of all the essentials with you. Longchamp or a Scout bag work great just make sure to tie a scarf to it so you know which one is yours since lots of girls will be carrying the same type of bag. Some things to keep in your bag are a portable phone charger, a fan, Bandaids, some makeup for touch ups, ponytail holders, Advil, mints, a towel to sit on, and comfy shoes to walk home in! For a full run down of what you need to carry, Cait made a TikTok last summer that shows all the essentials.
Advice from Cait: For my Bama girls (and I’m sure they do this at other schools too) you’ll have to submit a quick little one minute video introducing yourself and answering a couple of prompts. The actives will be watching these videos on the day y’all watch our Open House videos!
I remember when I was making my video that I wanted to stand out and be remembered by the actives since I knew they’d be watching thousands of videos that day. One of the prompts I chose to answer was: If you could live in any TV show, movie or book what would it be and why? And being the fun and quirky gal that I am, I very confidently in my video told them that I’d want to live in the Great British Baking show because I like desserts and wanted to be best friends with Mary Berry! So seriously do not be afraid to be 100% yourself during this process because you want to end up in a house with girls you vibe with and want to be your best friends!!
While this week can be very overwhelming and stressful at first in the end if you go into those houses and are truly yourself you will end up in the right place. Now having gone through recruitment as both a PNM (potential new member) and as an active I can tell you that the active you are talking to is just as nervous as you are! But once you get that very first conversation on the first day of Philanthropy round out of the way the rest of it is a breeze!
Advice from Con: I may have gone through recruitment 6 years ago, but that just means I am full of alumnae wisdom. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to go into this week with an open mind and remember that there is no such thing as a perfect recruitment experience. My rush wasn't all sunshine, rainbows and happy tears, so I know how mentally and emotionally challenging this week can be. But I also know that by trusting the process, I ended up in the house I was always meant to be in and left college with some of the greatest friendships I've ever had.
I know that one of the biggest reasons I survived recruitment was because of the friendship I built with my recruitment counselor (we called them Gamma Chis at Ole Miss). Alex was 2 years older than me and quickly became someone I looked up to and knew I could confide in. Recruitment counselors and everyone else on your Panhellenic Council are there to help you through this week so don't ever hesitate to reach out to them when you start to feel overwhelmed. They are you big sisters for the week and who knows they may even end up being your sisters for a lifetime!
Going through sorority recruitment was one of the best decisions we ever made, especially because now we are sisters x2! We have had so many wonderful and memorable experiences while being in a sorority and have truly met our lifelong best friends! So for all you girls going through recruitment in the fall remember to be yourself, trust the process and most importantly have fun!
GO GIRL! GO GREEK!