My Recruitment Week Experience

It's been a little over a week since the University of Alabama's bid day, which seems so long ago to me. My life has been crazy hectic since that day. I went on my sorority's new member retreat, started classes, and started my new member period, and life has definitely had its share of ups and downs in the past week. College is fun but also a little weird, but that's another story for another day. Today we are talking all about my recruitment experience. 

If you didn't know, Alabama is the home of the largest sorority recruitment process in the country. While other schools have more sororities on campus, more girls go through recruitment at Alabama than anywhere else. Over 2,700 girls signed up for recruitment this year. Hearing that number definitely freaked me out. 2,000 people didn't even go to my high school, and this whole process was one giant step outside of my comfort zone. Anxieties were high, and I won't lie to y'all. I cried a lot, and I definitely did not have the "perfect" recruitment experience. Straight up, I cried to my Rho Chi at least twice. (Shout out to her for handling my emotions honestly.)

Let's start from the beginning:

August in Alabama is hot. hot. hot. Imagine trying to look your absolute best in 80% humidity and a heat index of almost 100 degrees. Not the most fun activity in the world. Ice Water Teas are super intimidating, too. I am not sure if all schools do this, but door songs are terrifying even if you know exactly what to expect. I felt so awkward at so many of the houses because it can be super hard to hear in the houses when there are so many girls in one room. My mindset for Ice Water Teas was to let whatever happen, happen. Alabama has 16 sororities, and at one point, most of them began to run together in my head even though I wrote down notes about each house. If the house liked me, they liked me, and if they didn't, I wasn't supposed to be there.

Our next round was Philanthropy, which I think was my favorite round out of all of recruitment. During this round I had 8 houses left, and it was a really fun round because I got to see all the sororities' philanthropies and their personalities. There were four that really stood out to me, and those happened to be the four I got invited back to for Sisterhood round! 

Okay here is where the week started to go poorly. Everyone tells you to keep an open mind, but it's so hard to when you think you've found the house, and I thought I did during Sisterhood. I thought I found my home and where I was supposed to be in two potential houses, and I truly did think that I would be running to one of those two houses come bid day. However, I got dropped from both of those houses after that round, and I broke down on the morning of Preference round when I got my schedule back. I had spent the entire night envisioning my life in those houses, and in an instant, it was gone. I felt like I had my heart broken. 

I know so many people who loved Preference round, but I ruined it for myself because I was so upset about what had happened earlier in the day, which was incredibly rude to the houses I had left. I sat in the Theta house, and I was in a terrible mood. The entire week felt like it wasn't going right for me, and at that point, I honestly did not know if I was going to keep going through the process.

After pref I rushed through voting and didn't really give much thought to my pref card, which I don't recommend doing. Because if I had actually sat down and gone through my week with my Rho Chi, I wouldn't have written down the two houses I had left in the order I did, and I wouldn't have wanted to drop out of recruitment.

But I kept with it, and I got a bid from Kappa Alpha Theta. I could not be happier with how it worked out. Looking back on my week, I loved Theta from the start. They were one of my favorite houses if not my absolute favorite after both Ice Water Teas and Philanthropy round. Every bad feeling I had about the week was my own fault. Theta was everything I wanted in a sorority, and it was the house for me even if I didn't realize it until I opened my bid. They wanted me even when I stood in their house dripping wet and even when I was in a terrible mood after getting dropped from other houses. I remember listening to the stories during preference round thinking "That's the sisterhood I want." And that's the feeling you should have!! Even now listening to the girls talk while I am going through my new member period, I think about how lucky I am to be in such an amazing sisterhood. I am so blessed that I got a bid from the house that was meant to be my home. The system works even if you don't think it will.

So that is my biggest piece of advice when going through recruitment. In the end, it almost always works out if you maximize your options. The system is in place for a reason, and even if you think you know better, you probably don't. Keep an open mind and trust that it will work out exactly how it is supposed to. 

xx, jKm

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