Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sorority Rush + Winter Recruitment | My Sorority Experience

Hi Lovely Lady! My time has been so consumed over the past little while especially since I partook in Sorority Rush or Recruitment.. whatever you want to call it! I've been so eager to share my experience with you! 

I did go through both formal rush/recruitment and informal recruitment, which is also known as winter recruitment. First I will start with what formal rush/recruitment was like. Formal recruitment was probably all that you could imagine! Girls upon girls from far and wide trying to find the right house! I was quite surprised to find that there were a handful of girls who weren't in their first year of University but rather in their second, and third! I am currently in my second year and thought that I'd be the odd one out but found it was actually quite normal to join after your first year! I personally didn't join earlier because I had many prior conceptions as to what a Sorority was like and had very much fallen into believing the stereotypical thoughts as to what they really are. First of all, let me tell you that they're nothing like the movies. There is absolutely no tolerance for hazing and all of the girls are amazing and so friendly! Second, there is a lot of philanthropic charity work that the sorority does! I have already gone to one of the events and it was so fun! 

Now, on to the good stuff! The whole process started with orientation. This is where many girls attended a big information meeting to learn about what a sorority was, what all the names of the  houses were, and much more information. Oh! We were also put into our Rho Gamma groups and were assigned a Rho Gamma. (A Rho Gamma is a counsellor/group leader that has become temporarily disaffiliated with their sorority to help you with the recruitment process. The infamous saying they like to go by is "We gave up our letters, to help you find yours").  A couple days later, the official sorority rushing began! We went into our first "round" which was 2 days of house tours! What I loved most about this process was actually seeing the houses themselves. The recruitment process seemed very official, when approaching the houses our Rho Gamma groups would have to get into alphabetical order before actually entering. Upon entering, we were greeted by 2 girls from that house and then taken on a house tour. After the house tour was completed, we were brought back down into a common area where we sat down, had some punch, and talked to the girls. We usually talked to a girl for roughly 5 minutes or so before a new girl would come out and start talking to you. p.s. I've never been asked my name, what program I'm in and what year of university I'm in, so many times! 

As the house tour days were coming to an end, we moved on to the Chapter Pride round. I think this was the day when you found out more information on the sorority which included what their sorority was all about, basics on what their philanthropies were, fees, etc. After the presentations had concluded we got back to speaking with all of the girls. By the end of this day we had to put down our top 3 houses, in no particular order. We just had to do this so our Rho Gamma's knew which houses we were more interested in and leaning towards. 

The next round was Philanthropy Day, this was where we learned all about the different houses (sorority's) philanthropies. It was so nice to see what they believed so strongly in. On top of this, we got to do a bunch of fun crafts that involved the philanthropies! I always love me any great craft. At the close of this day, we were told to preference our top houses in order of which house we wanted the most to least. This was a very hard process because at the beginning of recruitment I thought that I had my head set on which sororities I liked and didn't like (Which you shouldn't, you should go in with an open mind), but by this point I didn't know which to pick. I put down my top picks, handed in my paper and couldn't wait until the preference round to see which houses would ask me back to theirs. p.s.s. All of this is a mutual selection process, you pick the sorority and the sorority picks you. 

Unfortunate for me, I didn't get pref-ed. This meant that I was not called back to go to any of the houses and my sorority rush/formal recruitment process was over. I didn't get to go to the preference round (where you dress super pretty) nor did I get to go to bid day! For me, this wasn't the end-all be-all. I do hear that some girls cry if they do not get pref-ed back or if they don't get the house they wanted but when I got a call from the head recruitment counsellor, telling me the news, it didn't break me. In the winter another sorority did reach out to me and asked if I wanted to initiate with them. I did go to a couple of their Continuous Ongoing Recruitment events but decided that I'd wait to see if any of the other sororities were going to recruit as well. I didn't want to rush into choosing a sorority for the sake of being in a sorority. The choice you make will be with you for the rest of your life so I knew that I wanted to choose the right one. 

I patiently waited and a friend of mine had told me that her sorority was recruiting! You know what else? This sorority was my top pick back when I was pref-ing my houses! I was absolutely stoked and this is where my Winter Recruitment process started. Winter Recruitment is a lot less formal than formal recruitment and is run by the houses instead of the National Panhallenic Conference (the governing body of the 26 national women's fraternities/sororities). Since recruitment during this time is a lot less formal, there were also less events. The first one I went to was a manicure night where all of us girls did our nails and talked to each other. Something that made winter recruitment less nerve-wracking, was that there were some girls I knew back from Formal Recruitment that were there. The second night was decorating cupcakes, which I must say, was a great idea! Who doesn't love cupcakes? After talking with the girls this night, I really began to feel like this is where I wanted to be. When the event had finished, I began to drive home and in the middle of my drive I got a phone call from their recruitment director and was given a bid. I could not believe this! I was jumping up and down in my seat! Was this really happening? Did I get a bid from my favorite house!? The answer was simply - YES!

So for those of you who already have read this post, I decided to add to it rather than to make a new post! Thus, this is a continuation since getting my bid! 

Bid Day -
Bid Day was pretty awesome! It obviously wasn't the same as formal recruitment but my sorority made it just as special as if it were formal recruitment! We took pictures, had delicious food and just spent so much fun time together!

New Member Meetings -
You could imagine how I felt once I got my bid and really got to start my first official day on the job! haha. I was so stoked to start learning more about what my sorority was and the history behind it! These meetings ran for roughly 6 weeks and were a means of education to teach us all things and everything Theta! I'm sure that all other sororities have a New Member program like this to educate it's girls!

BIG & LITTLE!!!!! -
In my chapter we go on things called "Twin Star Dates" with girls who are taking littles so that we can get to know the girls better and find one that we will be best matched up with! Since I went through Winter Recruitment there weren't as many girls who were taking littles but regardless of the fact I found someone that I absolutely love.

Initiations -
After many weeks had gone byThere aren't really many words to say besides the fact that it is such a beautiful ceremony. I am always still in shock when I think back on my initiations. It was so incredible and feels like it literally goes by in seconds!

I am so proud to say that I am part of this wonderful and life-changing organization and am even prouder to say.. I AM A THETA! This is just the beginning of the journey and I can't wait to share the rest with you! 

Special Tidbit: I wanted to note that if there are any of you who are reading that didn't get pref-ed back or did not get their first pick, don't be discouraged! Ask if the other houses will be doing winter recruitment and maybe try out that! Sometimes it takes a lot of patience and waiting but we all got to remember that all good things come to those who wait! I've heard many stories where some girls did not get their first pick but still stuck through with the sorority that they got and ended up loving it! Now, that being said if the sorority that placed a bid on you is something you are 100% against, then wait until the next time the other sororities recruit. Like I mentioned earlier, the choice of which sorority you want to be in will be with you the rest of your life, so make the right choice for you!


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