At this very moment, at colleges all over the country, but most importantly at MY beloved University of Arizona, a very important event is taking place.
Now, I may have already lost some of you whose eyes glaze over at the mere mention of Greek Life, but if you’ve stuck around, I think you may find something interesting. Because in my opinion, Sorority Recruitment is FASCINATING. It is something out of a bestselling novel or top-grossing movie. It has something for everyone: drama, comedy, adventure, action... even horror :)
How do I even go about describing it? Unless you’ve been through it, it sounds totally foreign and let’s face it, completely insane. Recruitment is the process that helps new students at colleges figure out which sorority they’d like to be a part of. This is done over a period of a few days where the students have the opportunity to visit each sorority and try to get to know what that particular sorority is about and why it stands out from the rest. At the same time, the sororities and sorority members are trying to whittle down the entire pool (at Arizona, the number of new students is in the thousands) to figure out which girls they’d like to have as members of their sorority.
And the whole process happens in a very bizarre, cheerleader-like way -- as each new student enters each sorority house, she is greeted with the entire group of women at the door, wearing matching outfits and cheering, jumping, clapping, and singing sorority songs at the top of their lungs. The new students then have the opportunity to talk with the sorority members one-on-one to get to know each other. As they leave, they are literally cheered out the door by more singing, screaming, and jumping.
I’m not doing the process justice. It sounds nuts, but in reality, it’s one of the most exciting, overwhelming, amazing things, and a true bonding experience if you go into it with a positive mind. You are constantly thinking on your toes, trying to view yourself, your friends, your house, and your sisters all through the eyes of a group of confused, probably scared to death freshmen -- but it matters. The whole thing matters. You need to sing louder, cheer harder, clap faster, jump higher, than every other sorority. You need to be the best.
The reason why recruitment is on my mind is, of course, because it’s happening as I write this, and I’ve already gotten several phone calls from girls I’m close with who are still at UofA doing their thing all week long. I’m EXTREMELY jealous. There are girls in sororities who dread recruitment and can’t stand any part of it - the days of practice, the cheering, the chit chat, the endless hours spend discussing and voting, all that time together with your sisters... me, I LIVED FOR IT.
Recruitment is all about doing things you usually don’t do, all with a smile on your face. After I joined AEPhi, I took over the skit -- on one of the days of recruitment, we perform an original skit for the new students -- and spent hours and hours every year writing, directing, performing, and perfecting it. I helped think of new dance moves and new songs. I bounced and clapped til my legs were sore and screamed and cheered until I literally lost my voice. I wrote nametags and glued safety pins to hair-bows and fought with the T-shirt designer who screwed up our shirts until he agreed to reprint all 200 of them at no charge. I handed out glasses of water and cups of pretzels and picked up the trash when everyone left. I straightened people’s hair, fixed others’ eyeliner, told jokes and “would you rather?”s at the door, and handed out mints - all while maintaining perfect hair! Ah, the things we do for sorority love :)
Last year, a good friend of mine was AEPhi’s Recruitment Chair, and they were having a rough go of it - 30 girls got sick with the swine flu! The moment she called and said she could use my help, I booked a ticket and into Tucson I flew. NOTHING makes me happier than a few days spent in the company of my sisters, bouncing, cheering, screaming, and recruiting people into AEPhi :)
I’m very open about the fact that joining AEPhi changed my life and made me into the person who I am today, which is why I encourage everyone to give sorority recruitment a shot, no matter if they think they’re right for it at first or not. I personally didn’t know a single thing about Greek life or recruitment - no one in my family had ever been in a fraternity or sorority - and look at how my life turned out because of it!
So, to my sisters in AEPhi at Arizona, and to everyone else who is going through recruitment - on either side! - GOOD LUCK!
Keep a smile on your face and your hair perfectly straight, and you’ll be just fine :)