Sorority Recruitment Tips

Monday, August 12, 2019

The new semester is about to begin and for many colleges it also means that sorority recruitment is about to begin as well. Sorority recruitment is a process where Potential New Members, or PNMs, are able to meet all of the different sororities on a college campus in hopes of joining on at the end of the process. I am a rising junior at Clemson University in South Carolina and joined Kappa Alpha Theta at the beginning of my freshman year. Even though my sorority is no longer active on my campus (a long story that I sort of shared about here), many of y'all have asked me to share posts about the topic so I decided to share a few recruitment related posts this summer leading up to fall recruitment (check out my posts on why I still recommend going Greek even though my chapter was shut down and outfit inspiration for recruitment)!

Sorority recruitment can be an overwhelming and emotional process so I wanted to share a few tips with y'all that came in handy when I was a PNM and that I also realized last year being on the sister side of recruitment to help y'all feel more prepared for recruitment and have a positive experience!

my bid day freshman year (which you can read about here)

be open-minded

It's hard to know what a sorority is like before getting to talk to them yourself. Just because their instagram is super cute or another girl in your Pi Chi group says they're the best on campus, it does not mean they're 100% the house is for you! Be open-minded to all of your options and recruitment will be such a smoother process.

This also means to give houses a chance. After the first round of cuts, you may be going back to a house you didn't love. Have an open-mind as each round, you are only talking to 3-5 girls out of a chapter that can have 200 girls in it (at Clemson, but some schools have 400 girls in a chapter!) so just because you didn't love that conversation, it doesn't mean you won't connect with someone else in the chapter.

be confident

Be confident in who you are! Recruitment gives you the opportunity to show off what makes you great (though don't be braggy) and you should definitely be taking advantage of it. Even if you feel a little nervous, be confident- you totally got this!

wear what makes you feel comfortable
I shared some outfit inspiration for recruitment last week on the blog but ultimately you should wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident. My style is very preppy and bright and I wore Lilly Pulitzer throughout recruitment even though it's not as trendy anymore. Don't wear something that isn't your style just to fit in during recruitment as you want to join a sorority that accepts you for you!

don't let other opinions influence you
Your decision to join a sorority is your choice alone. If someone says they hated a chapter you adored, don't let it bother you as you aren't joining a house to make that person happy but to make yourself happy!

look for your best fit
Recruitment is all about finding the place you will call home for the next 4 years. Note that it's about you- not your roommate, not your best friend from home who is rushing at another school and wants y'all to both be ABCs, not family members who want you to join their chapter. Look for the place you can be 100% comfortable being your most genuine self. The girls recruiting you may turn into some of your friends and you don't look recruitment ready everyday of college! 

be yourself
You want to find a chapter that loves you for you, not for the person you pretended to be during recruitment. If you, for example, have a more relaxed personality and fake being peppy at the really peppy chapter, you may wind up joining that chapter but you may not be happy as that isn't who you are.

befriend the girls in your pi chi group
Recruitment is not a competition and the other PNMs aren't competitors. Befriending the girls in your Pi Chi group, or recruitment group, will make recruitment so much more enjoyable! Recruitment is all about meeting new people and making friends so start with your Pi Chi group as you may have new friends for life no matter what chapter you join!

pack snacks & gum/mints
Recruitment is full of long days so you will definitely want snacks! I would also pack something to freshen up your breath as you don't want to have smelly breath talking in a party.

stereotypes are just that, stereotypes
Throughout recruitment, you may hear different stereotypes about the different chapters whether it's ABC is a chapter for only blonde party girls or DEF is full of girls who are total book worms who never party and XYZ is the weird chapter. With a large group of women, it is difficult to place a stereotype that is true for such a large group. There will be partiers in the studious sorority and girls who don't go out in the party sorority. Focus on your experience in each chapter, not what other people say!

walk over in flip-flops
You will probably have a walk from your dorm to wherever recruitment is held, whether at chapter houses or the basketball arena if you go to Clemson, so do yourself a favor and wear flip-flops on the walk over! Your feet will definitely thank you as it will make the day more bearable and you can slip into your nicer shoes right before the party begins!

know that the rooms can get loud
At Clemson, there is no sorority houses so recruitment is held in sections of the basketball stadium. Each "room" is sectioned off by curtains, which aren't sound-proof, so it definitely gets loud during each party. Even if you are going through recruitment at a school with houses, there will be a lot of actives and PNMs trying to have conversations at one time. Expect this going in and don't be afraid to ask the active to repeat herself if you can't hear her. Everyone has been in your shoes and will understand- a "I'm so sorry, it's so loud in here and I couldn't hear what you said. Do you mind repeating it?" goes a lot farther than a "wait what?"!

Also know that since it is so loud, you will find yourself talking louder during conversations and that does a number on your voice! Definitely drink some tea at home and try to rest your voice when not in rounds so you don't lose your voice.

don't wear a watch
At Clemson, Panhellenic asks PNMs not to wear watches (including Apple Watches) during recruitment as you may not even think about it but I know I check it pretty frequently out of habit. That can come off as you being uninterested even if you aren't so just leave the watch at home to avoid this!

it's ok to be nervous, but don't let it get the best of you
A secret from the "other side" of recruitment? Sorority women are just as nervous to meet you as you are them. It's ok to be nervous as it can be overwhelming but the process is meant to allow you to meet women from all the sororities. Recruitment is not an interview but rather conversations so relax and enjoy it!

order a size up in your recruitment t-shirt
It will likely be hot and while the recruitment parties will be indoors, the rooms may be warm and you still have to walk over from your dorm. Sizing up one size gives you a more comfortable fit that won't cling to you as much without giving you the "I'm not wearing pants" look- save that for when classes start ;)

if your t-shirt round is 2 days, order a second shirt
If the round where you wear the recruitment t-shirt provided by Panhellenic is 2 days long and they give you this option, definitely order a second shirt. I did this when I was a PNM as I didn't have to worry about washing my t-shirt for the next day or if it smelled or anything like that! One less thing to worry about!

get plenty of sleep + eat well
You want to give off the best impression during recruitment and if you aren't getting enough sleep and eating well, you won't be able to do that! Recruitment is definitely not a time where you can get a lot of sleep but get as much as you can. Try to eat balanced meals and pack lots of snacks to avoid getting hangry!

"trust the process"
A sorority cliche saying that is actually so so true! Recruitment can be crazy: you may be cut by a house you love or grow to love a chapter you initially did not like! Just let the process happen and enjoy the week, I promise everything will happen the way it is supposed to!

dress for girls, not for guys

Guys are not a part of the recruitment process at all so I would definitely recommend dressing cute but classy as other girls want to see an outfit that is cute and looks good on you but not too scandalous. If the dress/shorts/top/shoes/whatever are better suited for a party or a night out, maybe save it for that!

be careful in who you confide in

It is totally ok to have opinions about different sororities, whether you loved them or didn't like them as much. I would definitely avoid telling everyone you loved or hated a specific house as it can get really awkward as everyone's recruitment is different. Your best friend may love that house you absolutely hated. Even though your Pi Chi is a resource for you and you can definitely talk to her about what to do doing the process, remember that she is a sorority member and it can be hurtful to bash a chapter to her as you never know if that is her chapter! I confided in my mom throughout the process as it is definitely helpful to talk it out and your mom is usually a safe bet!

Any other tips for sorority recruitment? Add them in the comments!


  1. TLAM girl! These are the same tips that I would give :)



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