Word to the wise… Do’s and Don’t’s for before recruitment

  1. Don’t go out and splurge!

Your unique style is part of you, and that’s exactly what every house wants to see. Do not bother going out and buying an outfit for every round of recruitment! The items you have in your closet will be just fine. Find a piece you really like? Awesome! Go for it. But don’t assume for a second that new clothes, shoes, and accessories are necessary for recruitment.

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  1. Don’t mold yourself to fit an image.

I can tell you from experience that when I went through recruitment I really wanted to put together a combination of outfits that screamed me. So I steered away from the stereotypical look that had been engrained into my mind of what a young woman should wear for rush. I am most comfortable and expressive in my flowy bohemian inspired pieces… so that’s exactly what I wore. And if I’m being completely honest it made an impression! My preference round I was floored by the reactions I received from houses on my look (maxi skirt with 70’s inspired high neck crop top). “You are shining in that outfit!” “This totally looks like you!” And I couldn’t have felt more comfort in knowing that my two favorite houses could tell how relaxed I was in my own skin. So go with your gut and style, and pick the pieces that scream you and make you stand out. You don’t have to always wear a dress on preference round! Go for something that will make the girls in the houses say “remember ____, she was rocking that jumpsuit!”

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  1. Do thoughtful research

I did not know any of the sororities at USC prior to going through recruitment. When I signed up is when I first saw the list of houses, with Greek names that I can definitively confess I did not know how to pronounce. So I went and followed the houses on Instagram, or checked out their Facebook during the summer to see what they were up to. My favorite part of this process was taking a look at the opportunities I was going to open myself up to by going through recruitment. It seemed like these women were EVERYWHERE. Volunteering, going to games, going to fun events like roller-skating or hiking trips, studying together… like honestly what weren’t they doing all over campus?!

  1. DON’T research where you shouldn’t be.

Ahhhhhh good ole’ Greek Rank. The place where intelligent, classy sorority women go to find “insight” on the chapters here at USC. Harmless right? Wrong. You cannot be serious… Ladies do NOT fill your life with such negativity! You are strong, smart, driven women who do not need the malicious words of others to tell you which houses are “worthy” of your attention. Don’t browse, breeze over, surf, or even scroll. It is not worth your time nor energy, and honestly if you live and breathe from this site… maybe you just aren’t mature enough to handle this life changing process. Any site that degrades ambitious and beautiful women like Greek Rank is not even worth a glimpse.

  1. Do prepare yourself for long hot days in the Carolina heat.

Essentials for keeping yourself comfortable during the process…

  • Dry shampoo
  • Gum
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Brush
  • Spray some setting spray on in the morning! Even if you wear little to no make up it will really help with reducing shine and sweaty discomfort.
  • Deodorant and perfume
  • Tissues (to blot sweaty faces)
  • Extra hair ties and bobby pins. Sometimes the hair just has to go up! Change up your hairstyle without feeling like you are ready to play in a soccer game. A cute high ponytail or braid will do the trick when you feel like you’re about to melt.

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  1. Don’t party or go downtown.

Don’t. Even. Think. About. It. Recruitment is a long and tedious process, you need to be alert and ready to face a new day— fresh conversations and new opportunities to talk to amazing women from all over the country are on the agenda… not a hangover and disciplinary measures. Don’t ruin this for yourself, your first night out in the college world will come… I promise. It doesn’t need to come this soon.

  1. Do allow yourself to open up to the process…

Okay all my gals from up north or far away… how much of this is SO foreign to you?! Like the chants and rituals… at first it seems, well to be honest, pretty silly. Remember, those recruiting are having fun and being silly because they want to. They love their chapters, and their funny songs and goofy chants. It is just their tradition and has been for decades. So allow yourself to smile, giggle, and even sing along in your head (because best believe those cheers get stuck in there). You will never get to go through this process again, so take it all in.

  1. …But don’t take it too seriously

At the end of the day, this process is about talking to women. This is a skill we have been learning ever since we had our first mumbled conversation with our moms. We are all connected, and all capable of holding thoughtful and genuine conversations with one another. Strip away the decorations and outfits, and what do you have left? In total you have about five hours of talking with another young lady just like yourself. You guys didn’t click? No worries, you’re meant to find your home elsewhere. Got dropped from your all time favorite house? You’re basing this perspective off of just minutes of a conversation! It’s absolutely okay. It may happen, but trust in your heart that you weren’t made to be a part of that chapter. You were put in that moment to have a lovely conversation, but not meant to be a member for the rest of your life. This process does not define you, so do not let it! You, as your perfect self, will compliment one of these chapters in the most amazing way. You do not need to mold yourself. You are an addition, not a copy. Do not take this as a serious, anxious, stressful and traumatic time. It’s just having some really great conversations with some really great gals.

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Madi Carzon ~ VP of Public Relations ~ University of South Carolina Panhellenic Association

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Letters from the girls who wore your shoes

Letters from Fall ’16: Sorority Women who were in your shoes only a year ago.

Joining a sorority is nothing short of an overwhelming, exhilarating and pivotal moment in one’s college experience. One moment you’re stepping into a sorority house filled with hundreds of screaming girls, and the next moment you’re accepting a bid from a sorority, not entirely sure what to expect. Recruitment goes by in the blink of an eye, but it is one of the most crucial events and processes you may go through during your college experience, and we want to ensure that you take everything away from it that you can. So, we’ve decided to share some letters of encouragement from women who were in your shoes just one year ago. Although everyone has a different recruitment and new member experience, we hope that you may find comfort in their words and take away some valuable information from their experiences.

 

Megan Sherman, incoming Junior- Fall ‘16

When I made my decision in the Spring of 2016 that I was going to transfer from my small Virginia school, to the University of South Carolina, I was extremely nervous. I did not know a single person at USC and I was wondering how I would make friends, especially going from a school of only 2,000 to 33,000. I knew that I was very interested in Greek Life and also figured it would be a great way to find a home away from home and make a big school like USC feel a little bit smaller. I had no idea that going through recruitment would not only give me an amazing group of friends and sisters, but a support system as well. Alpha Chi Omega has forever changed my college experience and me for the better.

As an incoming PNM, some advice I would give to you all would be to be yourself. A lot of girls feel that they need to look extra pretty, act different or try to impress each chapter by being who they think the chapter wants to see. The wonderful part about recruitment is that every chapter is incredibly different, so as long as you stay true to who you are and don’t try and be someone you’re not, you will find the home that is perfect for you.

As a new member, I would say don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and step out of your comfort zone a little bit. Its important to remember that every new member feels the exact same way and you’re all trying to get to know one another and make friends. Stepping out of your comfort zone and sitting with girls you don’t know at the house, or starting a conversation with another new member at an event is the best advice I can give. It can be awkward in the begging because these girls are your sisters, yet you do not know most of their names or even their hometowns. However, eventually you will and you’ll end up finding people within your chapter that will be your forever friends and you’ll wonder how you ever went through life without them.

 

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Joanna Tiller, incoming Sophomore– Fall ’16

“If you would have told me a year ago that the girl who left me a weird voicemail about being my “pi chi” would later become one of my best friends, I would have laughed with confusion and uncertainty. Thankfully, in my case, it did not take long to realize how similar my pi chi and I were, and we instantly hit it off. On bid day, running home to the same place as my pi chi was such a relieving and incredible feeling. If it was not for her constant nagging about my tardiness,  or encouragement when I was in doubt, I am not sure I would have found my home at Alpha Chi Omega and been lucky enough to call her, amongst 400 other women, my sisters. As a new member, she took me under her wing and never let me feel left out. Even though she was a senior and I was a freshman, I was completely welcomed with open arms into Alpha Chi. Whether I needed someone to pick me up from class, borrow a dress from, or simply had any question about anything, she would always be there. She will always be someone I consider a close friend and the person I look up to the most. So, here’s a thank you to my Pi Chi, and all the Pi Chis’s. PNMs, do not be afraid to get to know them or ask them for help, that is what they are there for! Plus who knows, you could end up running to the same house as yours on bid day, which is a feeling unlike any other!”

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Heather Fordham, incoming Sophomore– Fall ‘16

“Go into round one with an open mind. When you’re engaging in conversation be you’re true self! We are just as nervous to talk to you as you are to talk to us, so don’t be nervous, we want to get to know you! There are not “top tier” sororities, it is based on what YOU feel fits your values. Join the sorority that aligns the closest with your values and beliefs, and the sorority where you feel most welcome, and at home. Do not let other girls tamper with your thoughts on a chapter, have your own opinion, and stick to that! Just because one girl had a negative experience, should not affect your outlook on that chapter, especially if they were one of your favorites. And lastly – trust the process. Your Pi Chi’s will tell you this over and over again, but it really, truly, is so important.”

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Best of luck during Recruitment 2017. We can’t wait to meet ya’ll!

 

 

 

Trusting the Process (And Your Instincts)

“Trust the process” is a phrase women planning on going through recruitment hear so many times it starts to lose meaning the more you hear it. I started hearing it from my mom’s friends long before recruitment began and it continued all the way through preference round. “Trust the process and you’ll end up in the right place for you.”

You will meet amazing women during every round. Every chapter is full of exceptional friends, leaders and role models. But you will never know the inner workings of a chapter, the character of the sisterhood or the genuine feeling of home within its walls until you become part of it. As a northerner, I came down here with absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew nothing about the houses, I was in awe of every single woman I talked too and I was completely torn on how I was ever going to figure out where was right for me. Every time I voted, I second guessed myself. Every time I got a list back, I worried I had made the wrong decision. The girls living in my dorm confidently knew where they wanted to go and what houses they wanted to join.

Despite the sacred rule, we talked about our lists. We discussed which houses we got back, which ones we wanted back. I was almost too embarrassed to participate given how it seemed I knew so little about sorority recruitment and how I truly found every house amazing. Sitting on my dorm floor, I finally confessed which houses I wanted back. When I shared this, my suite mate said “Oh, I pictured you in another chapter.” I worried that I made the wrong choice. Anxiously awaiting pref, I was relieved to see Gamma Phi on my list. I went to two amazing, eye opening preference ceremonies. Finally, it came to voting. For the first time, I was confident in my responses, putting Gamma Phi at the top of my list.

It wasn’t the number one for that girl on my hall, for my sister, my mom or a multitude of other PNM’s, but it was the number one for me and the incredible women I now call my sisters. I would’ve never ended up where I am, as happy as I am, if I had trusted anyone but myself (and the process).

– Meg Fitzgerald, Senior, Gamma Phi BetaScreen Shot 2017-06-28 at 7.32.06 PM

Green Dollars and Golden Friends: Are you really paying for friendship?

Insight into the real financial obligations of being in a sorority

Don’t let anyone fool you – being in a sorority at the University of South Carolina is not cheap. By the time you graduate college, you could likely buy a small car with the money would have paid in dues, meal plans, special trips, t-shirts, and philanthropic donations. Yes, scholarship money is available sometimes, however it is very competitive to receive and normally driven by the acknowledgement of leadership superiority, severe financial need, or above and beyond acts of sisterhood. But do not let that discourage you- but make you ask better questions of potential organizations.

Just like you splurged on the perfect prom dress or the ultimate summer vacation – memories don’t often come cheap. Why not splurge to have the best four years of your life? Where USC offers many clubs and organizations to choose from, choosing to become a member of the Greek community is an honor and a lifestyle. You are not paying for your friends, rather you are not paying enough to have front-line access to the best people on campus. Individuals who will be by your side no matter what, those who will push you to become the leader you never knew was inside, and those who will offer you more shoulders that you will ever need when you can’t hold back tears.

On average, for the 2016-2017 school year, it cost just over $4000 to be a member of a housed, Panhellenic organization. However, for the moments where memories are priceless, you can count on a group of sisters surrounding you and being the highlight of many future stories you tell your children about college.

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Amanda Mcguire – Vice President of Administration – University of South Carolina College Panhellenic Association

The Three Major Things I Learned Through Greek Life

When I came to school early for sorority recruitment, I didn’t know what to expect. I was 500 miles away from home and I knew maybe two people at USC, but I was excited to join a sorority and find a home away from home! Joining Greek life was one of the best decisions I’ve made during college! Being in a sorority has helped me find my people, my passion, and myself.

 

  1. My people

Because of Greek life, I’ve found my people! Whether it’s making late-night Cookout runs or going on weekend adventures to the beach, I’ve made the best memories with the best friends by my side. Beyond that, they’re my biggest encouragers and always the ones to wish me luck on a big exam or to celebrate victories with me. I have a team to root for and be proud of, and I have Greek life to thank for that!

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  1. My passion

Being involved in Greek life has also helped me find my passions. Phi Mu is composed of such a diverse group of women. Everyone is involved in something unique and is passionate so many different things! Being in this environment has allowed me to be more confident in trying new things and discovering passions of my own! I even got to share a passion for service with other sisters when traveling to Honduras on a service trip last year.

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  1. Myself

People always say that who you surround yourself with is who you become and I can definitely attest to that statement. I feel accepted for who I am in the Greek community, but also encouraged to become a better version of myself. Being apart of Phi Mu has played a part in shaping me into the person that I am today!

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If you’re reading this and you’re hesitant about going Greek, my biggest piece of advice is to go through recruitment and give it a try! You never know what you may find and it could truly change your whole college experience for the better.

 

Morgan Hamel, Phi Mu

 

 

10 Things I Wish I knew When Going Through Recruitment

 

  1. Your Pi Chi’s are there to help you find the best fit! They’re there to help you navigate campus, make new friends, talk you through tough decisions, and be a shoulder to cry on if you need it.
  2. You will become friends with girls in your Pi Chi group. You’ll see each other on campus over the next 4 years and it’s always nice to see a familiar face.
  3. Be yourself! The girls in the chapters can tell when if you’re telling us everything you think we’d want to hear. Tell us about a thrilling experience from the summer, what you’re watching on Netflix, or about your bucket list. We want to know the REAL you.
  4. If you get released from a chapter do not panic. You can’t share a genuine connection with every single girl you talk to. You will find your home at the end!
  5. Chapters are different at every university. When I went through recruitment I thought I wanted to be in the same chapter my brother’s girlfriend was in at a different college. However, when I met the girls it wasn’t what I expected, which worked out in the end. So be sure to keep an open mind, and don’t get set on one chapter.
  6. If your friends end up in a different chapter than you do, realize that means DOUBLE the fun! This way your friends can take you to their events and vice versa. You meet so many girls on campus this way.
  7. Make sure you are hydrated, well fed, and had a good night sleep. You’re out in the South Carolina heat and the days can get really long. It’s always nice to a little snack and some water on hand.
  8. Try to remember how you felt at each chapter. If you feel comfortable, like all the girls, and enjoy talking to the members that’s a great sign! These feelings can help a lot at the final rounds when you’re making hard choices.
  9. Ask the members what kinds of sisterhood events they have, leadership positions, and how the sorority has impacted their lives. These answers can help you visualize the chapter outside of recruitment.
  10. HAVE FUN! Recruitment is a one of a kind experience that is frustrating yet exciting all at the same time. Keep reminding yourself that it will be so worth it in the end! I wish I could go back and do my 4 years at my chapter all over again.

Best of luck! Elizabeth Earle, Alpha Gamma Delta

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Welcome to our house!

Many of our sisters would argue that there aren’t many things that are better than the Kappa Delta house. For our chapter, the house is the hub of all things KD! It’s where we eat meals, hold meetings, have study hours, practice for Greek Sing and Spurs and Struts, hang out with our friends, watch the bachelor, and SO much more!

Living in is just one of the ways that our sisters choose to take advantage of our beautiful home. Our house is suite-style, so that means that you live in a room with one other sister, and then share a bathroom with two others! Some of our favorite things to do include studying out on the back porch, watching the beautiful Columbia sunsets from the front balcony, hanging out with our sweet house mom, Mem, and of course, pranks.

Pranking is not a rare occasion in our house. Some of our favorites have included dressing up like a gorilla and running into other rooms and putting one of our sister’s bed on the front balcony. Whether it’s pranking, carving pumpkins, or riding bikes around Greek Village- our sisters know how to have fun.

One of our favorite weeks at the house is Big/Little week. You can go into anyone’s room and see canvases, t-shirts, and KD letters everywhere! Often times, sisters will take their things into their friends’ rooms to craft together. Then, when it’s time for the littles to pick up their baskets, the bigs line them up around the upstairs hallway. You can feel the excitement in the air as the clock strikes 5 and the littles can come and get their presents!

Holidays are so fun at the house, as well. For Halloween, we decorate our house and participate in “Trick or Treat with the Greeks” where families come to trick or treat in Greek Village. For Thanksgiving, our kitchen staff makes a Thanksgiving dinner. Christmas time is our favorite, however. Our house mom, Mem, decorates the house top to bottom. We decorate the Christmas tree together, and all make holiday door signs for our doors while listening to Christmas music and drinking Apple Cider

Whatever it may be, the Kappa Delta house seems to make it more fun. Getting the chance to live with 34 of your sweet sisters is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We love the KD KDSTLE!!!

By: Ann-Marie Erny, Kappa Delta