Recruitment is both exciting and terrifying. On one hand, you’re beyond excited to find your new home and sisters. On the other hand, the idea of going through a week-long process to get there can be frightening. But don’t fear – I’m going to break recruitment down day-by-day so you’ll know EXACTLY what to expect!
Day 1: Opening Convocation at Hogg Auditorium
You’ve made it to Austin! Most of you will have already moved into your new home for the semester and, if you’re a freshman, you’ve probably spent your day exploring a new city. During convocation you’ll sit with your designated group in Hogg Auditorium and meet your recruitment counselors (also known as Rho Chis). Be sure to befriend the girls sitting around you! You will be spending a lot of time with them during the Open House round. Don’t forget to jot down your Rho Chis’ phone numbers so they can answer all your questions during the week. Oh, and try to get a really good night of sleep… You’ve got a busy week ahead of you!
Days 2 & 3: Open House
Naturally, your nerves will be high as you stand in alphabetical order outside of your first house. If you’re like me and enter recruitment having NO idea what to expect, you will be stunned as doors swing open to reveal about 200 girls bouncing, clapping, and chanting in your face while perfectly stacked on top of each other. No kidding – I questioned what I had gotten myself into when this happened… but I quickly got used to it. Prepare for the sweet symphony of door-chants to be stuck in your head for days!
During Open House, you will go from place to place with your entire recruitment group. UT doesn’t have a “sorority row,” so be prepared for a decent amount of walking across West Campus. Of course, Texas in August means 100 degree weather. Thankfully, you’ll be provided with water outside each house and even more refreshments once you get inside!
Days 4 & 5: Philanthropy
You will have a maximum of ten houses to visit over the course of two days. Everyone has their own schedule this round, so you won’t be walking in your groups anymore. Don’t worry, though – the map they give you becomes your best friend, busses take you to the houses located across campus, and you can always find other girls going in the same direction. You got this!
Philanthropy Day introduces you to each chapter’s local or national philanthropy. Each house will likely show you a video or presentation about the work they do with their philanthropy. These videos can be major tearjerkers, especially if the cause they’re benefitting is close to your heart, so I would wear waterproof mascara just in case! Afterwards, you’ll help finish a small craft that benefits their philanthropy.
Day 6: Skit Night
During this round, you will return to a maximum of six houses. Each house will be decorated to perform an exciting skit for you. Get ready to laugh! These skits are hilarious and will highlight the unique personality of each chapter so you can see where you fit in.
This time you’ll be spending 45 minutes at each house, so there will be plenty of time for conversation before and after the skit. You’ll get DELICIOUS snacks, so don’t be afraid to eat them! My best advice for this night is to relax and enjoy the entertainment. You deserve a little break!
Day 7: Preference Night
Get excited! You’ve almost made it through recruitment! You’ll visit a maximum of three houses on Preference Night. This round is easily the most important part of the recruitment process. You’ll spend an hour at each house to truly see what sisterhood and ritual means to the chapter. This night tends to be very emotional.
During this time, I would advise you to not only pay attention to the chapters’ members, but also the other PNMs around you. These are the girls that may become your new sisters, so it’s important to like them as well!
At the end of the night, you will go straight to make your picks. This can be intimidating, so pay close attention to what you truly want and where you feel at home. Your sisters will become your family, and it’s up to you to choose who you want them to be!
Day 8: BID DAY!!!!
The rumors are true. On this day, you really do have to sit on your bid card during the presentation at Hogg Auditorium (and yes, it really is impossible to peek). Meanwhile, your Rho Chis will come up on stage and reveal what sorority they belong to. At the end of the ceremony, you’re free to rip open your envelope and see which chapter you’ll be joining! You’ll run outside, find the crowd of women surrounding your letters, and run to your house together. I will never forget the wave of emotions as I turned the corner to see hundreds of women waiting for me.
Bid Day is like a huge party with all of your best friends that you haven’t met yet. Take as many pictures as you possibly can and soak it all up! You’ve found your new home. Congratulations!