Just before sitting down to write this, I looked up “what to expect during sorority recruitment” on YouTube, and was greeted with advice from hundreds of lifestyle and beauty gurus claiming to know the secret to getting a bid to the chapter you’ve always wanted. They’ve gone through this experience themselves, and therefore, they can tell you exactly what to wear and what to say to ensure this journey is everything you’ve dreamed of.
If you want my honesty, there is no possible way of preparing you for the experience you will have when you choose to register for Panhellenic recruitment. Some of you have known from the day you could talk that this was what you wanted for your college experience. Some of you are dead set that Panhellenic is not right for you. Some of you are reading this and just about every other tab on our website just trying to figure out what any of this means.
When I went through recruitment, I fell somewhere in between. I knew this was what I wanted, but I didn’t know anything about how to talk, dress, or make friends in a community 1,000 miles away from home. On the first day of Round 2, my mom left after moving me in, I conveniently got sick outside of a chapter facility, and I found myself alone and making my first decision completely on my own. Nothing is more glamorous than having to tell the woman recruiting you that you just vomited and cried outside of her home 15 minutes prior (extremely humbling, I know).
I couldn’t have expected any of that. I’d have to be a genie in a bottle to know exactly how my recruitment experience would pan out. I’d have to be able to see into the future to know I’d join Junior Panhellenic within my first semester in this community, become a Pi Chi one year after, and serve two terms on the Panhellenic Executive Board. There is no amount of research or planning you can do to write your own story before it even happens.
As uncomfortable as it may seem, the best advice I could give to you is to let this experience happen to you. Be overwhelmed, be scared, be excited, be nervous, and be sad if you need to be. Some of you will end up exactly where you thought you would, some will make unexpected decisions, and some may decide our community is not right for you. If you have any preconceived notions about what Panhellenic is, I encourage you to take what you’ve heard with a grain of salt. You’ll never really know what this place is like from the outside looking in until you experience it yourself.
On behalf of the entire Panhellenic community, I welcome you to the start of your own journey. Let it happen to you in the messiest, most imperfect way possible. If I can provide you any other words of wisdom, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.