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