Put Your Worries on the Shelf and Learn to Love Yourself

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

If you keep these words of Alabama Shake's "Hang Loose" in the back of your head during Panhellenic Recruitment, you'll be golden.

I told a few of you I'd write up my two sense on Recruitment and its connections to personal style, and now that it is a looming two weeks away, Recruitment is becoming more and more relevant. I think a list might be the easiest and most organized way to spill out these thoughts (in no particular order) so here it goes:

1. Okay, what exactly is Recruitment? Recruitment is the first step in joining a sorority. Every college's process is a little different, so I'm only speaking from my experience at UGA: there are different rounds and you visit all the houses and then decide by narrowing your list of favorites each day. Finally, at the end, you are offered a bid, you may accept the bid and join a sisterhood!

2. There are Recruitment counselors (kind of like camp counselors) there to help you. Ask them a million questions: about Recruitment, about your school, about life at college. They are there to help you get through rush but also to help you adjust to college in your first week.

3. During each round you'll talk to different girls at each sorority. Making a good first impression is really important because you might only speak to a girl for 30 seconds. Good first impressions are made by open body language, a genuine smile, being a good listener, looking polished and presentable, and most importantly, eye contact.

4. You'll hear the phrase be yourself every five seconds, but it is so true. If there's any advice I can give to Potential New Members (PNM's), it's to be yourself. Masking your personality or trying to be someone you are not will only hurt you. Recruitment is important in finding the best fit for YOU. Be yourself, and you'll be gravitated towards friends who you get along with.

5. On the note of finding the best fit, it's also important to keep an open mind. Do not listen to stereotypes and do not base your opinions of different sororities off of who you know in certain ones or on what other people will tell you. Get to know the girls like you would any other friend and make your own opinions. I have at least one friend in every sorority on campus, and I love each of them as much as the girls in my own sorority. There is also a wide variety of personalities within one sorority.

6. Maybe the most important advice I can give is to stay positive. Recruitment feels very personal and most of the time it might not work out the way you thought it would, but that being said, I think everyone ends up where they are supposed to be.

7. Alright, now on to the important stuff: what to wear! (haha) I always feel my most confident self when I have on a killer outfit, so look your best and wear your favorite clothes! Because many of the conversations are short, a great outfit is a good way to stand out and display your personality and your personal style.

8. Different rounds require different dress codes, so read up on the rounds and ask your recruitment counselor if you have questions. At UGA, the first round lasts two days and you should wear something fun and semi-casual. Sundresses are great, so are skirts and tops. I wore a Lilly the first day last year and a pencil skirt and sleeveless top made of the same material for day two. Shoes are debatable. I wore flats everyday except for prefs, but some girls wore high heels or wedges everyday. You are standing all day and walking a lot, so it's your call on how high your pain tolerance is, but it is a lot easier to be happy and positive if you are comfortable. Round two for us was tee-shirt day, so we were all given a periwinkle blue (really, REALLY?) Panhellenic shirt to pair with our choice of bottoms. I wore a mini skirt (actually I think it was a skort...yes I went there) and flip flops. Most girls wore cute patterned shorts or white shorts or skirts. Maxis are always fun, but can be hot. Accessories are important on this day to dress up your tee shirt. Round three was another day to wear a cute, casual dress or skirt. I pinned my hair up into a faux bob this day which was a pain to keep re-doing but I didn't care because I wanted short hair. Finally, prefs is the last round and is usually more serious, so you need to dress up. You didn't have to wear a black dress (LBD) but almost everyone did. Get creative and dress according to your personal style to stand out from the sea of LBD's. Fun details like zippers and pockets and the cut of the neckline (I like boat necks) make an LBD interesting. I really love turquoise jewelry with LBDs also. If you are going to wear heels or wedges today is the day.

9. Bringing the right essentials is important. Pack a small purse (a cross body is the best to hang over your shoulder and not distract you) with the following: gum/mints, oil-blotting wipes, lipstick, tissues, a mini notebook and pen, your phone, and a snack. Sometimes they serve snacks at the houses or they'll have little bags of pretzels or water outside, but the time between lunch and breakfast is significant and the last thing you want to do is faint from hunger. A notebook is important to jot down your thoughts of each round and each house because you'll basically forget everything the moment you walk out the door. Everything happens so fast. Your phone is for checking the time and in case you get lost or go to the wrong house. Have your recruitment counselor's number in there.

10. Make friends with as many PNM's as possible. I've been encouraging everyone to go through recruitment because it is a great way to meet girls and you'll automatically have a common experience.

11. The adjustment to college and dorm life can be hard, but recruitment takes away all of your time and energy, so you might be too tired to be homesick.

12. Speaking of which, did I mention a typical day starts at 4:30 am? Remember, stay positive! ;) And pick out your clothes the night before.

13. Most of all, have fun. Enjoy meeting new people, take the opportunity to express your very best personal style, and keep reminding yourself you are in college, baby. You've got your whole freshman year ahead of you and it's going to be fantastic. The quality of your college experience is all based on your attitude, and with a great one, you will go far. So good luck, smile, and if you're headed to UGA in the fall see you in Ath and GO FREAKING DAWGS.

{currently listening to}

***I've just touched on some of the aspects of Recruitment, but please leave comments and questions if you have any! And tweet at me fahsionistas! I'm on Twitter at @hepburncommame

***Check out my post on last year's Recruitment here. Gosh my hair was so long.

image: pinterest.com

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