Bid Day was this week, and it has me thinking about my recruitment experience. Here goes!
Freshman year of college, I didn’t go through recruitment. Girls in my dorm scared me away with (completely untrue) horror stories:
They haze you DURING RUSH!
They literally only rate you based on your LOOKS!
They definitely creep on your bank account! I don’t know how. But they want to make sure you can AFFORD them.
They have weird tests… if you take the lemonade instead of the water, they won’t invite you back. Or maybe it’s the other way around. I don’t know. But you canNOT take the wrong drink.
If you aren’t a legacy there, don’t even try to get a bid. You won’t.
Needless to say, I didn’t go through with it. I joined a service fraternity and wrote for the campus magazine. I had close friends that way, and didn’t think I needed anything else.
That is, until I met a few girls from Sigma Kappa. We were in the service fraternity together, so I got to know them in a comfortable environment. Outside of the terrifying formal recruitment process. And guess what! They were wonderful. Kind, down-to-earth and passionate about community service. I knew in my gut that those recruitment rumors weren’t true. There is no way that these women would be capable of those things.
The following fall, I did it. My roommate and I went through formal recruitment. And while, yes, it was an exhausting and emotionally draining process, I know that I ended up exactly where I needed to be.
For the first few days of recruitment, I was confused. I was overwhelmed with the possibilities. My school has 18 (well, now 19) sororities. Each potential new member visits every sorority… in the first two days. You have around three-minute conversations with a few girls, watch a song/dance and leave. Then, you rate the house and the house rates you.
I will admit that, after the first few days of formal recruitment, Sigma Kappa was not my first choice. I’m sure that I’ve made this point clear already: the first days of formal recruitment are a very shallow, difficult process. You have a short amount of time to make decisions and are likely blind-sighted by things that, ultimately, do not matter.
I will be forever grateful, for that reason, that I kept returning to Sigma Kappa.
With each round of recruitment, you delve deeper into the sorority. What brings the women together; what they are passionate about. Their philanthropy; their sisterhood. The “deep” stuff… the real stuff.
By the last day of recruitment, I was head-over-heels obsessed with this sorority. The last day is the Preference Round. Each potential new member has the opportunity to talk with an active member for 45 uninterrupted minutes. I remember talking about my involvement on campus, what I did in high school and what I’m passionate about. I asked why she joined Sigma Kappa. She told me about her favorite memories in the sorority.
In addition to that conversation, Preference Round includes a ceremony. A few active members share amazingly passionate, heart-felt stories about the sorority that bring most to tears. They sing.
I was crying as a potential new member.
(I also cried as an active member, but that’s beside the point.)
I knew that day, that I was meant to be a Sigma Kappa. And, when I accepted my bid the next day, I gained a family. A huge, wonderful family of 150 sisters.
They have been a comforting support system and an amazingly fun group of women. A mug of cocoa and a shot of tequila.
Basically, everything a girl could ask for.
I even have a perfect pledge family. Ever the sorority stereotype, my big and my little are two of my best friends. I can’t imagine a life without them – we were definitely made for one another.
So, to the women that have made an amazing impact on my life: thank you. You have been so important to me, and I don’t know what I would have done – where I would be – without our sisterhood. You have taught me to be a leader, to be passionate and to have a positive impact on others. You taught me how to be a great conversationalist (thank you, recruitment workshops). You have provided me with lifelong friendships and an unbreakable bond.
I will always be grateful that I found Sigma Kappa. Like the active members sang when I was just a potential new member, during Preference:
If you just realize what I just realized,
Then we’d be perfect for each other,
And we’ll never find another.
Just realize what I just realized.
We’d never have to wonder if
We missed out on each other now.