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  #1  
Old 05-04-2020, 09:01 PM
Leora Leora is offline
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Join Date: May 2020
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Where the Dream Takes You: An Atlantis Recruitment

Hey! I remember stumbling upon this site as a freshman, and after discovering the vast number of recruitment stories, proceeded to ravenously devour as many as I could. So now that we're all stuck at home for the most part, I thought I'd return the favor and share my own. I am an alumna of my sorority and didn't take any notes while going through recruitment (regrets), so this is by no means going to be a perfect recollection, but I'll do my best.

The theme is Atlantis: The Lost Empire after my favorite underrated Disney film. <3

Background: I graduated high school with a high GPA, not the best, but high. My grades had suffered a little from all the time and energy I had spent on my activities (dance and cheer). I decided to attend a smaller college, "Atlantis," not too far from home, but not too close either. No one in my family was a part of Greek life, that I knew of anyway, but a woman who had just graduated from Atlantis suggested I go through recruitment and even offered to write me a letter of rec for her sorority. That planted the idea in my head - hey, maybe I should - and after doing some research, I finally decided, why not. If I didn't end up in a sorority, no harm no foul, at least I could say I had tried something new.

There were nine chapters on campus, all part of the NPC, and formal recruitment was in the fall, over a weekend, shortly after classes had started. Round 1 - Friday, Round 2 - Saturday, and Round 3 - Sunday.

Here are the chapters in random order:
Milo
Rourke
Kida
Vinny
Sweet
Sinclair
Audrey
Packard
Mole

Since this was fall recruitment and I'd barely been on campus, I didn't really have any preconceived notions about the chapters. One of my classes did have some non-freshmen in it, and the actives made sure to wear shirts with their letters on them to promote their chapters, so I did take notice of that, but it didn't really tell me all that much about them. However, one of the girls in my recruitment group (she stood right next to me in line) had gone through recruitment the previous year, and she gave me a rough idea of who was at the very "top" and at the very "bottom" of the totem pole. That's all I knew going in, oh, and that I had a recommendation too. I looked up to my rec-writer and was eager to meet her chapter.

Round 1:
Call it what you like, I decided day one of recruitment that I wasn't going to wear any makeup. No foundation, no mascara, no lipgloss, no nothing, because the stereotypes I'd heard about sorority girls had gotten in my head, and I was determined to see if they loved me for me. As an active on the other side, I wore a full face of makeup, dress to impress and all that, so I laugh about this now. Do I regret it? No, I ended up exactly where I was meant to, but I am curious if my list would have looked a little different or not if I'd bothered to do more than wash my face and brush my hair. We'll never know.

Anyway, going into recruitment, I was both excited and nervous, and had absolutely no idea what to expect. I'll note here that I only remember for sure which chapter I saw first, and which I saw last, and everybody else is somewhere in the middle.

Rourke was my first chapter of the day, and as a result, they became the chapter that I compared every other chapter to...and boy, did they set the bar high. Okay, admittedly, I had a moment where I stepped in, saw all the actives chanting, smiling, and clapping, and thought I'd accidentally wandered into a horror film, but then I was led to a seat by an active and the talking began. As it turned out, the active had a lot in common with me, including a dance and cheer background, and when the time came for another active to tap her on the shoulder, I did not want her to leave! I still had an enjoyable conversation with the other active, but Rourke #1 was my girl, my future big, I could envision it now, my whole future as a Rourke. I had it bad.

Walking into Vinny, I noticed the atmosphere seemed calmer, less energetic than Rourke. Honestly, calmer was more my style, but it felt like coming down from a caffeine high. Anyway, the active that picked me up, right away, I noticed that there was something familiar about her. We started talking, the usual surface-level introductory stuff, and then it hit me: we had attended the same dance studio! To be more specific, the active had been one of the star dancers there, several years and levels above me, and thus, had been one of my dance role models. I tried to be casual about it: "Hey, didn't you dance at 'Lost'? I danced there too." Her whole demeanor changed. Before she had been warm and friendly, but now she was cold and distant. She completely brushed off the topic, as if I'd never even spoken, and continued on with whatever she'd been talking about before. I was stunned...and hurt. Honestly, I hadn't had the best experience at Lost, so looking back, I imagine even as one of the director's favorites, she'd had a hard time there too. But I decided right then and there, that I never wanted to be a Vinny, and the other active I talked to there did nothing to change my mind.

Audrey was the chapter I had most looked forward to because it was the chapter that my rec-writer had belonged to. They performed some extra-snazzy motions to their chants that made them stand out from the other chapters in my mind. An active stepped up to lead me to a seat, and as I didn't know exactly what a recommendation from an alumna entailed, I didn't know that this active had been specifically selected to talk to me because she was my rec-writer's friend. The conversation started out great, everything was going smoothly and I felt like I could picture myself as an Audrey, and then she dropped this bombshell: "Are you a Christian?" I froze. In short, the answer was yes, I considered myself to be a Christian, but I didn't go to Church anymore because the institution didn't sit well with me (mostly the sexism I'd experienced within the Church). But I didn't want to get into the details with her, so I just said, "Yes." It was like she'd kept it all pent up inside of her, the active practically exploded with all her great passion for God including her participation in the various Christian clubs on campus, etcetera etcetera. I was cringing inside the entire time, doing the whole smile and nod thing, and while she was polite about it, she could tell by my short "mhmms" that I didn't share her feelings on the subject. Now, I didn't completely cross off Audrey at this point, as I admired my rec-writer and this had been her chapter, but that conversation had definitely not gone the way I thought it would.

This is the part where I admit I remember absolutely nothing about Packard. Nothing about the decorations, about what we talked about, what the actives looked like, nothing! Needless to say, they didn't make much of an impression on me, unlike their animated counterpart.

The beginning of my meeting with Mole was rather unusual (like the character, haha), or at least, in comparison to the other chapters I had met. Instead of immediately sitting down for conversation, the PNMs were bunched into small groups and led around various tables where actives spoke about the chapter. This wasn't a bad thing, necessarily, but the whole thing felt very rehearsed to me and I became rather bored. Finally, the actives pulled us aside to talk, and the active I spoke with also had a dance and cheer background. Yes! Something I could talk about passionately. As it turned out, her cousin had also attended my high school and was on cheer with me (small world, huh?). Unfortunately, I didn't get much time to talk with Mole #1 because of the whole tables thing, and another active stepped in after we'd only just begun to get into what I considered to be 'the good stuff.' With Mole #2, all we had time for was introductions, and then the bell rang. I'm not going to lie, that made me despise their set-up. How was I supposed to get to know them, and how were they supposed to get to know me when we'd barely had any time to talk?

Sinclair was really impressive, decoration-wise. The active I spoke with was friendly, but it became clear to both of us that we didn't have a lot in common. She mainly spoke about the different philanthropy events, which I was interested in, but was a bit strange considering it was only day 1. I left Sinclair not in love with them, but I didn't dislike them either. Maybe I'd get paired with someone I had more in common with next time? Or maybe I wasn't a match for this femme fatale.

Unfortunately for both the Kida active I was paired with and myself, the chapter had a standing set-up instead of seats. The active was tall, Iím talking, taller than most guys tall, and I was on the shorter side. So here we were, the tall active in heels, and the short PNM in flats, trying to meet each otherís eyes. Her chin was tilted all the way down, mine was tilted all the way up, and it was hardly a position conducive to pleasant conversation. Iím pretty sure I mumbled ďwow, youíre so tall,Ē several times during the conversation, something she didnít appreciate. Thankfully, I did have the opportunity to speak with another active who didnít have the same height discrepancy with me, and the conversation was okay. Not good, but not bad either. Still, I had a feeling that Kida #1 wasnít thinking so positively of me.

Oh Milo. Remember Moleís set-up? Milo did the same thing, speeches by the actives with the PNMs switching from table to table, but there were no conversations at all. The actives did allow us to ask them questions once the speeches were exhausted, but that was it. I was confused: werenít the sororities going to rank us like we ranked them? If so, how were they going to rank me since they didnít know me either way? Some of the PNMs were asking a bunch of questions to make themselves stand out, but it felt obnoxious to me. Looking back, Milo was smaller than all the other chapters and they had probably thought this was the best way to handle round 1. But I didnít know that at the time, so the whole thing left me feeling disappointed and annoyed.

Finally, I ended the long, long day with Sweet. Admittedly, I wanted nothing more than to crawl into my bed at that point, but knew I had to suck it up if I wanted to make a good impression on the actives. My impression of Sweet was that it was full of cool, casual girls, which wasnít a bad thing at all, but Rourke still had my heart, so Sweet seemed low-energy in comparison. Of course, I had met Rourke at the very start of the day, and met Sweet last, so it was wrong of me to think that they lacked enthusiasm when we were all exhausted. After speaking with several actives, I retained my cool impression of them. I thought they were easy to talk to and was thankful that I could relax a little around them, thatís how tired I had felt.

All nine chapters, visited and done, which meant it was time to rank them! My recruitment counselor summoned each member of our recruitment group one by one to rank electronically. We were to select our bottom three, and the rest would be our top six. Easy enough? I knew Rourke was my top, even if theyíd technically be one of six. I never wanted to see Vinny again, Miloís set-up had left a bad taste in my mouth, and my conversations with Kida hadnít gone so well. There they were, my bottom three.

(Top Six - everyone else)
1. Kida - The first conversation had been awkward, yes, but the other active Iíd talked to, hadnít been bad. Maybe I should give them another chance.
2. Milo - While I hadnít enjoyed their set-up, at all, it wasnít like I really knew the actives, so I couldnít say I disliked them as people.
3. Vinny - I had this strong feeling that the active who had attended the same dance studio as me never wanted to see me again, and the feeling was mutual. I couldnít see myself in this chapter, at all.

All in all, Iíd had a good time and surprised myself by actually feeling things. So much for not getting attached.
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2020, 09:16 PM
Leora Leora is offline
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Join Date: May 2020
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Round 2:
I didnít feel the need to Ďtestí the sororities as I had the day before, so I wore a cute summer dress and some makeup for round 2. Looking good, feeling good?

As to getting back my list, Iíd told myself as long as I had Rourke, everything was going to be okay. Itís not like I had imagined myself in a sorority growing up, so why should I be nervous? Not getting into a sorority wouldnít be the end of the world, like some of the PNMs seemed to think it would be.

When I got my list, it looked something like this:
Rourke
Break
Break
Break
Sweet
Milo

Ohhh, thank goodness, I had Rourke! Glee shot through my system to see that name at the very top of my list. But wait...why did I have so many breaks? Did everyone else have this many breaks? The answer was, no, most of the girls in my recruitment group had been invited back to more than three chapters. My heart sank. I had gotten rid of two of my bottom three, I had two chapters I liked on there (one I was debatably in love with), and I was willing to give Milo another chance, but it still hurt. What had I done wrong? How come they didnít like me? But looking back, it made my decision a lot easier for Pref, and after reading my round 1 stories, I donít think anyoneís surprised. My round 1 was by no means the recruitment of little girlsí dreams! It was time to pull myself together for my first party of the day.

Ah yes, here I was, back at my beloved Rourke. It seemed fitting to have them as my first party of round 2 as they'd been my first party of round 1. Meant to be and all that. The active I was paired with was a sweet, friendly soul, and we got along well. The conversation was smooth, everything was perfect, and then I happened to mention a competition Iíd participated in. "Oh!" Rourke #1 cried. "You have to meet one of my sisters. I think she competed in that same competition!" I was surprised, but that was cool. It meant that somebody else shared one of my interests at least. I didnít actually expect the active to go out of her way to track down that sister, and have us meet. Recognition struck: ah yes, I sorta remembered her. She was experienced and elite, and I was some newborn duckling who didnít know my left foot from my right foot in comparison. The conversation...went downhill pretty fast after my competitor had been inserted in. Rourke #1, to her credit, tried to save it, but the damage had been done. I still loved Rourke, and I didnít have any ill feelings against the active Iíd competed with, but I had a bad feeling in my gut. I just hoped they still liked me as much as I liked them.

The breaks were awful, because they kept us in this one room with food and drinks and we couldnít leave until we had visited all the chapters on our list. So there I sat, waiting. Watching the minutes tick by, watching girls come and go, waiting. And I felt like the longer I sat there, the more I was being judged. I was hardly the only girl who didn't have a full set of invites, heck, there were girls who had gotten completely dropped (mostly grade risks), but it was hard to feel confident while youíre sitting there, waiting.

Finally, it was time to meet Sweet again. The active I was paired up with was friendly, spoke confidently, and gave off a vibe that I would have found relaxing if I wasn't making comparisons to the ever-enthusiastic Rourke. We spoke about the sororityís philanthropy, which is near and dear to my heart, and included a video that made me cry. I canít give away any details, as it would give the sorority away, but I can tell you that I was passionate about both Rourke and Sweetís philanthropy.

I didnít know what to expect for Milo, not after last time. Thankfully, they had the tables set up for conversation - thank goodness - so we could actually get to know one another. I spoke to two actives here, and while they were both friendly, the first I liked, while the second gave me an awkward vibe. It was mixed feelings all around.

After my three chapters out of a possible six, it was time to narrow them down to two. If you had a full schedule, there would be a top two and a bottom four, but all I had to do was "cut" one. Even that was difficult for me. Rourke, despite the awkwardness that had unfolded, was still my number 1. Sweet had been nice, but they just felt so lethargic in comparison to Rourke. Milo had not been for me, round 1, but I did like that one active from round 2. HmmÖ

Top Two - Rourke and Sweet
1. Milo - Iíd tried to get rid of them before, and while theyíd definitely changed my mind about them, I had stronger connections at Sweet.

Satisfied with the thought of having Rourke and Sweet for Pref, it was time to catch a good night of sleep. The big day was tomorrow, after all.
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  #3  
Old 05-04-2020, 09:33 PM
Leora Leora is offline
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Posts: 8
Round 3: (Preference round!)
Pref was the round to go all out. Full makeup, my nicest short dress, earrings, heels, everything. This would be the day I learned who would be my sisters. I didnít have any sisters and was mostly surrounded by male relatives growing up, and while it hadnít been among my thoughts when I initially decided to go through recruitment, I can say along the way, I realized just how badly I wanted to have sisters. It was funny because if you had asked me at the start of recruitment, I would have rolled my eyes at the thought of getting emotional about it. But there I stood, nearly at the end of the process, feeling emotional. Weird.

I felt more prepared for my list this time around. I knew there was still the possibility of getting hurt, but I felt like Iíd gotten over the worst of it last time.

Here was my list:
Milo
Sweet

As soon as I saw Milo, I knew something was wrong, but it wasnít until Iíd looked it over several times that I realized what was wrong: Rourke was missing. That wonderful active Iíd met on day one, who had changed me from suspicious PNM to sorority-wannabe, was never going to be my big, because Rourke had cut me. Dang. I knew the conversation hadnít gone well during round 2, but I still had hope.

ďAre you feeling alright?Ē my recruitment counselor asked me. She knew how strongly I had felt about Rourke. ďYeah,Ē I said, and forced a smile. What was done was done: I still had Milo and Sweet. In other words, two sororities still wanted to call me one of their sisters, possibly. It was time to see what the big deal was about this whole preference business.

I stepped into Milo and was blown away. Wow. I hadnít expected this at all. The actives were a vision, the decorations transformed the whole room, and they were singing in a way that was completely different from the more energetic chants that I had gotten used to. An active I hadnít spoken with previously stepped up to take me to our own private corner in the room. As a PNM, I didnít realize that, most of the time, for Pref you speak with someone youíve spoken with before, so no alarm bells rang in my head. I was still ooing and aahing over the completely different atmosphere Iíd stepped into; pref was serious business. We started with introductions, of course, but quickly moved on to a more serious topic: what Milo meant to the active. I remember very clearly how she talked about Milo as her home away from home and how when you were a Milo, you had a community that stretched beyond Atlantisís walls. Milos lived all across America, and they were happy to welcome you as...well, as a sister. The last part of the pref ceremony involved the seniors who were due to graduate speaking about what the chapter and sisterhood meant to them. I cried; I could feel how genuine they were, and I wanted that. It was hard to say goodbye after that.

At that point, I was certain Iíd be a Milo, despite the fact that they'd been at the bottom of my rankings previously, and there was nothing Sweet could do to convince me otherwise. Again, the actives were a vision, again, the decorations transformed the whole room, and again, the song they sung sunk into my bones and gave me chills. The actives walked down in a line that mirrored ours, and I saw one of the actives Iíd spoken with previously, but she whisked away the PNM in front of me. Again, I was paired with an active Iíd never met before, but she smiled at me sweetly (much like the name), and guided me to our spot. We breezed through our introductions, and to our mutual surprise, found out we had a lot in common. So much in common, in fact, it was kind of crazy. I felt this deep attachment forming to this person Iíve never met before, and again, I broke into tears when the speeches began. ďAw, donít cry,Ē she told me and offered me tissues. ďYouíre so sweet.Ē You know all those feelings I had for Rourke #1? They felt like a bucketful of water in comparison to the great lake that had opened up in my heart for my Sweet pref mom.

On the way to fill out our MRABA cards, one of the PNMs that had attended Pref with me at Sweet asked me if I knew who I wanted to put down as my number 1. "Sweet," I said, no hesitation (we probably werenít supposed to talk about it, oops). "Oh, me too!" she said, smiling. I had that giddy feeling, like a sugar high. Maybe it was too soon to be happy, until I had that bid card in my hand with Sweet clear as day on it, but it wasnít like I thought Milo would be a bad option either.

My final ranking:
1. Sweet
2. Milo

Since Bid Day was really the same day as Pref, it was time to kick back and relax, or well...as best as a nervous PNM can. Our new chapter would give us our bid day shirts to wear, so shorts and a tank top it was.
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  #4  
Old 05-04-2020, 09:37 PM
Cookiez17 Cookiez17 is offline
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I'm excited to see where you ended up!
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  #5  
Old 05-04-2020, 09:43 PM
Leora Leora is offline
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Bid Day:
I knew what I wanted my bid card to read (Sweet!), but if I got Milo instead, I knew it wouldnít be the end of the world. Still, I had my fingers crossed for Sweet. Sitting on our bid cards was the worst thing ever - there were several girls trying to hold them up to the light to see through them, but that didnít work. Panhellenic was too smart to use thin envelopes.

Then it was time for the countdown: three, two, one!

I ripped mine open. I didnít breathe. I saw:













Sweet, also known as, Pi Beta Phi!

Other girls squealed with joy, but I just leaned back, and smiled. What can I say? It was a match made in heaven.

Fun fact: As it turned out, I had been matched for Pi Phiís pref ceremony with an active Iíd spoken with previously, but the line got messed up, and the active who was supposed to Pref me instead took the PNM in front of me. She made sure to find me at our Bid Day party and let me know that was a mistake. She told me, "I'm so glad to see that you found your way home, anyway." It was all really sweet, and Iím pleased the randomizer paired up the character Sweet with my sisterhood. I swear I had nothing to do with it, haha.

Extra fun fact: I actually met my big (though of course, neither of us knew it at the time) during day 1 of recruitment. Coincidence or meant to be?
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  #6  
Old 05-04-2020, 09:56 PM
Cookiez17 Cookiez17 is offline
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Congrats on Pi Phi!
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  #7  
Old 05-04-2020, 10:54 PM
carnation carnation is offline
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Ring Ching!!!
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WARR EAGLE!!! WOOO PIG! SOOIE!! HAIL STATE!!
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  #8  
Old 05-05-2020, 07:02 AM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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Hooray! Happy that you found you home!
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2020, 12:07 PM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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Congratulations to you AND Pi Beta Phi!
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2020, 05:50 PM
ladybug12 ladybug12 is offline
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Yeah! A new recruitment story with a happy ending. Thanks Leora!
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  #11  
Old 05-05-2020, 10:05 PM
Leora Leora is offline
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Thank you all for taking the time to read and comment! While things didn't always seem so bright during recruitment, the 'dream' took me to a happy ending indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carnation View Post
Ring Ching!!!
Snickering, because my arms twitched just to read this. "When I was a student at college..."
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  #12  
Old 05-06-2020, 11:56 AM
syl syl is offline
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Congrats on Pi Phi!
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  #13  
Old 05-12-2020, 12:20 AM
BlueBayou BlueBayou is offline
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Great recruitment. Thanks for posting!
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  #14  
Old 05-12-2020, 07:12 AM
PGD-GRAD PGD-GRAD is offline
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Great story and CONGRATS to you! This is another one of those stories that would be helpful reading for many young PNMs.
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  #15  
Old 05-28-2020, 10:46 AM
GirlinSpace GirlinSpace is offline
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So glad you found your home! I laughed because I have been on the tall side of that short and very tall person conversation, and the awkwardness of the height difference and trying to hear the other girl really was all I could think about.
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