Before I went through sorority recruitment, I thought I was prepared.
I planned out every outfit to a T, deleted embarrassing Facebook statuses from 7th grade, and turned in all of my recommendations. In retrospect, I was clueless. In hopes of helping potential new members, here are six things I wish I had known during recruitment:
Know the term “PNM”.
You will hear this acronym a lot. For the first few days, I thought people were saying “Panem,” and I became confused and concerned. Why was everyone talking about the fictional country that hosted the Hunger Games? Is recruitment a metaphor for The Hunger Games? Is the Village our arena of death? In reality, they were saying “PNM.” PNM= potential new member. Everyone going through the recruitment process is a PNM because she is a potential new member for a sorority.
Prepare for the noise volume.
Parties on the first day are called ice water teas, so I assumed they’d be like tea parties but with water instead. No. Not at all. These — and the other parties besides those on Pref Day — are probably the most deafening events you will ever attend. Imagine the screaming from a Justin Bieber concert compressed into a sorority chapter room. Your ear drums might not survive the week. On the other hand, be prepared for a complete turn around on Pref Day where the speaking is just above a whisper. This is probably because every sorority member has an extreme case of laryngitis at this point.
Drink the water.
Last year, there was this fictitious theory that sororities were conspiring to see who would fall into the trap of drinking the water. This was simply not true. The temperature is going to be similar to volcanic lava, so staying hydrated is crucial. The last thing you want is a full body cramp or to pass out. For fatigue prevention, I recommend bringing your own water bottle and snacks for the breaks. When trying to make your best impression, you don’t want to be wilting like my mom’s plants.
Write in a journal.
You will attend many parties. Each type has the same format, so they’ll start to blur together. Bring a notebook and pen to document everything you felt, saw, and thought. When you’re making tough decisions, you’ll be glad you did. From personal experience, looking back at it a year later proves to be comical.
Keep an open mind.
Everyone has pre-judgments. You’ve heard that sorority AAA is the best, that sorority BBB is weird, and sorority CCC has a girl from your hometown that you can’t stand. For starters, don’t choose a sorority based on what others think — choose it based on where you feel at home. This is your potential sisterhood — not theirs. Also, don’t base your decision on one person in a certain sorority. You might love her or you might hate her, but she’s just one member. Focus on the big picture instead. Continuing, don’t feel pressured to follow in your mom/sister/cousin/grandmother/best friend’s footsteps. What might have been their best fit is not necessarily yours. I’m sure you have your heart set on a sorority or two already, but try to refrain from this. Give every sorority a chance, and you’ll be surprised by how much you’ll appreciate about each one.
This is the most important. It’s going to be tempting to try and impress everyone you meet. Don’t get me wrong, you want to be your best self, but be just that — your best self. Ultimately, you want to find the place where you’ll feel most comfortable. If you’re pretending to be someone you’re not, you’re jeopardizing yourself and your experience. People will love you for who you are. If sororities cut you, don’t take it personally. Everyone is experiencing that. It’s their loss, and it could be your gain. Relax, have fun, and go through the week, letting your personality shine through.
The week of recruitment can be overwhelming, but don’t get discouraged. You’ll make lifelong friends and unforgettable memories. It’s more than worth it!
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Cassie S.
Every day is an Auburn Adventure for Cassie as she lives "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Cassieness."
Her favorite ways to stay active include daily treks to class, playing volleyball or tennis, spontaneous dancing, and taking advantage of the Recreation and Wellness Center.
Cassie enjoys expressing herself through creative stories with endings that may only be revealed in 140 characters or less.