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  #1  
Old 02-09-2012, 10:44 PM
allthatglitters allthatglitters is offline
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Around the World: Sophomore Recruitment Story

I'm always reading these stories, but I haven't ever posted anything on here so here is my story from last fall!

I am an international business major so my houses are countries I hope to visit one day. There are 14 chapters at my school:

Italy
France
Egypt
Scotland
China
Monaco
Spain
England
Thailand
Germany
Ireland
Russia
Austria
Japan

Last edited by allthatglitters; 02-10-2012 at 03:51 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-09-2012, 11:35 PM
allthatglitters allthatglitters is offline
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I'll be breaking up my post to make it easier to read! This one is pretty long though, sorry.

Visiting the chapters was split into two days so no real ranking was done until Wednesday.
I'm combining the first two days:

Monaco This was the very first house I visited during recruitment and I was SO nervous. When the doors flew open all I saw were perfect girls, with perfect hair, and perfect teeth. Ridiculous. The girl that met me on the side walk was teeny. 5'2 to my 5'9 frame. The conversation was casual, nothing special, but I was thrilled when a old friend from high school took her place during my time here. I almost feel like that conversation didn't really "count" since essentially all it was was catching up with an old friend since I had seen her regularly during freshman year. I loved this house and really hoped to go back Wednesday.

Italy My first impression of this house was, good. It didn't particularily stand out to me, but I had good conversations here. I also already knew girls in this house from my residence hall last year and from high school. Having them stop by to say "hi" during my visit here was definitely comforting. I had a good vibe here and would've been thrilled to go back to Italy

France I was definitely interested in visiting this house since one of my oldest and closest friends is here. I had a really great conversation with the two girls, one of which was on exec. board (all day long girls had been speculating what it "meant" if a exec member talked to you for an extended amount of time. I haven't learned the ways of recruitment yet so I'm still not sure!). The girl I spoke with was super outgoing and the conversation flowed easily. I was sure that I wanted to go back to France the next day.

Egypt Again, a house where I knew a girl from high school. I wasn't immediately impressed by this house and the conversation with the first girl I spoke with was a bit of a struggle. The next girl, an exec. member, was extremely outgoing and we had a great conversation. I remember at one point a second friend in this house bumped the girl next to me and gave me a huge excited wave, super comforting. Overall it was a good visit, but wasn't my favorite.

Scotland Throughout this whole process I tried my best to stay positive, but Scotland was the one house that I absolutely did not like from day 2. This house is VERY popular with PNMs and even general greek life members, but I didn't like it at all. My conversations were very uncomfortable and the overall experience just wasn't very good. As awful as it sounds, I couldn't wait to get out of this house

China China is the house that would stereotypically be what people picture when they think of sororities. While the house is a pretty good mix of girls from various backgrounds. The majority are blonde hair, blue eyed, size 2 and stunning. As a minority with long dark curly hair and a athletic build, I thought I would feel utterly out of place here. While I'm not proud to admit it, prior to recruitment I did judge this house based on the few members I knew and the stories I had heard that classified them as "dumb blondes".

I couldn't have been more wrong. The girls I spoke with were brilliant. And while I didn't feel like this was the house for me, I was so happy to have been proven wrong. Who would've thought that sorority recruitment would teach you valuable life lessons?

Anyway, I talked to some amazing girls here, and again, saw girls I knew from high school (I think its safe to say that in every chapter there is either a girl from my high school or someone from my residence hall floor). I couldn't picture being a member of this house, but it was a great experience and the house itself was BEAUTIFUL. Easily one of my favorites on campus.

Spain Because I went through rush as a sophomore, I had already seen all the houses on campus and already had a general idea of their personalities (or so I thought), except Spain. I knew nothing about Spain. My first day here was a blur. I think I talked with 3 girls, but as this house can unofficially be considered the feeder sorority for my high school girls I had known for years kept coming over to say hi or join the conversations. I really really liked this house and it became a fast favorite.

England This, was the most intimidating house on campus. All the English girls I knew were so smart, and they were known on campus for being "the Brains" the girls you'd want to have in a study group. Pretty intimidating reputation.

I loved this house. I was guided in by a super talkative girl who had all kinds of questions and topics to talk about, once inside she was bumped by a second, more talkative girl who happened to be from the same original state as me, California. We immediately bonded over missing home and the conversation went well. Even though I knew this house could afford to be selective, I really really wanted to go back on Wednesday.

Thailand This house wasn't very memorable. The girls were very sweet, but when I went home at the end of the day, I didn't remember much about them. No stellar conversation, but nothing "bad" either. It was just a nice house with nice girls.

Germany Prior to recruitment I really wanted to be in this house. So it was a bit of a bummer when I really didn't have that great of a visit here. The girls I spoke to were incredibly awkward and kept talking about food the entire time...it was interesting to say the least. Beautiful house though!

Ireland This house is one of the more underrated on campus. Its fairly new and not many girls were excited to visit here. I however had an awesome conversation. I spoke with a senior who had just gotten back from studying abroad and discussed everything from our mutual love of the show Merlin to her tips and advice on places abroad to visit when I go to Europe for my semester abroad. I hoped that there would be more girls like her in this house because it was the greatest day 1 conversation, ever.

Russia This house is gorgeous. But besides that the interest stops there. I wasn't very impressed by the girls or the conversations. It was all very shallow and while I played along and kept my most respectful smile, I just felt very uncomfortable with the topics of the conversations.

Austria Austria was a very interesting experience. This newest house on campus and also the smallest as they haven't had a very good retention rate in since coming to the university. Their girls are also known to be a bit awkward and there was an excessive amount of tent talk about how much girls didn't want to go here. Despite all that, I was looking forward to going to Austria because I understood that as a sophomore in a really competitive recruitment I don't have much room to be picky, and China shocked me, so I figured Austria might to.
The girl I was paired with was incredibly sweet. This was the only house where I spoke to one person the entire time so that was definitely interesting. I didn't feel like I belonged in this house, but it wasn't a bad house visit by any means.

Japan Japan was the house I was most looking forward to simply because I had more friends in this chapter than any other. I liked Japan, I wasn't wowed, and my conversation was only memorable for one reason and one reason only.

The girl I was paired with dropped the F-Bomb while telling a story. I could tell it was a total accident because she looked mortified immediately after so I pretended like I hadn't heard it, but that is one recruitment moment I will never forget. Despite her careless choice of words, I liked this house. It was nice, the girls were talkative, and I had friends there, I was looking forward to going back on Wednesday.

On Tuesday Night I ranked my houses:

1. Spain
2. England
3. Monaco
4. China
5. Ireland
6. France
7. Japan
8. Italy
9. Egypt
10. Russia
11.Thailand
12. Austria
13. Germany
14. Scotland

Breaking for HW, I'll post the rest in a bit.

Last edited by allthatglitters; 02-10-2012 at 04:02 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2012, 12:18 AM
AXOmom AXOmom is offline
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I was going to root for Scotland, but it sounds like you didn't care for it much, so I'll go with choice B) Italy since I'd love to go to Rome someday.

By the way, the yellow that is England (I think) is really hard to read.

Thanks for a recruitment story!!!
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  #4  
Old 02-10-2012, 05:26 AM
allthatglitters allthatglitters is offline
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Sorry about the yellow! I'll change it from here on out!

So Wednesday was Skit day. You could have a maximum of 11 houses. Everyone piled into one of the auditoriums on campus to get our schedules for the day. My schedule read:

Italy
Egypt
China
Spain
England
Thailand
Ireland
Austria
Japan

I was thrilled to see 9 houses on my list. I was expecting far fewer, or none. My Pi Chi group was made up of almost all sophomores and I noticed that the girls who had been very picky and focused on the houses they hadn't wanted during the open house days had been asked back to the fewest and weren't thrilled about their list. Attitude really is everything.

Italy A trend I noticed during skit day is that many houses did some sort of MTV/Chelsea Lately plot. I may be giving away my university by saying this because it was a pretty big topic of conversation. The skit here was very cute. There wasn't much chance for conversation as the girls in the house house escorted us to our seats then back out after the skit, so any talking that occurred happened within those few minutes. I liked the skit here, it didn't blow me away but you could tell they spent a lot of time working on it and I definitely enjoyed myself.

Egypt I was really underwhelmed here today! I was really hoping I would have a better conversation than during day 1 but my conversation here was even more forced. That was a bummer. The skit here was also a play on MTV/E! Television. It was cute, not my favorite but they did a nice job. On the bright side their dancers were absolutely incredible. So good.

China I was SHOCKED to see China on my schedule but pretty excited to see what their skit would be like. The skit in China made me laugh harder than any other skit the entire day. Not only had these girls showed their campus stereotype to be false, they were clever and had put together an amazing set with a rather original theme and the main actress was brilliant. I absolutely loved it. I still didn't feel like this house was a good fit for me, but I'm glad they had invited me back for this day. That skit would've been something I would have hated to miss.

Spain I really really liked this house. It was still early in recruitment and I didn't want to get attached but I loved the personality of the girls here and really enjoyed their skit. Afterwards we were paired with girls and I happened to be paired with one of the skit girls and she was even funnier during our conversation. I really liked Spain and hoped I'd go back Thursday

England England was the only house that had a completely original skit. It wasn't based on a TV show or movie like all the other houses and I really liked that. I was led into the house by one girl, bumped by another who then led me to the skit area. Both were incredibly sweet girls and the conversations were nice. After the skit one of the girls I had talked to on day one made her way across the room just to tell me how excited she was to see me back at their house that day. I initially wanted to think this was just a recruitment tactic and they said it to everyone but she seemed so sincere. That was a really lovely gesture. I absolutely wanted to go back Thursday

Thailand This skit was very cute, based heavily on a old movie that utterly terrified me for years so that was weird, but they tied it into their recruitment theme which was very well done.

Ireland This skit actually surprised me. I don't know why I didn't expect to be wowed, but it was just really, really good. They too did a TV theme, but mixed it up by having commercials and show "previews" that most everyone would understand. My conversation wasn't as great as the first day but she was still a nice, sociable girl and we had a great talk! I liked Ireland

Austria This skit...it was very awkward. As I reflect on it, I'm almost at a loss for words to accurately describe it. I just didn't really understand what was happening at all. It was so strange. After the skit I was paired with a girl who seemed very uncomfortable and really didn't talk I didn't know what to say so instead of her talking about me, I asked about her:
Mistake number 1:

Me:"So what made you want to join Austria?"
Her:"Well honestly I got cut from everyone but them, I rushed as a sophomore so my choices were limited." *looked like she's going to cry just reliving the experience* "But I love it now.."

My recovery was NOT smooth after that, I honestly was so taken aback by her response I didn't know what to say. Thankfully we only had small talk for a few more minutes then it was time to go. I really was hoping this house wouldn't be back on my list the next day, or at the very least I hoped I could avoid that girl. I felt terrible.

Japan This skit was cute, my 3rd favorite of the day behind China and Spain. Very very cute skit. Not too original as it was just like an episode of Chelsea Lately, but the girls were great actresses. Really liked it.

Ranking:

1. Spain
2. England
3. Thailand
4. Ireland
5. Italy
6. China
7. Japan
8. Egypt
9. Austria
10.
11.

Last edited by allthatglitters; 02-10-2012 at 04:04 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2012, 05:56 AM
allthatglitters allthatglitters is offline
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Thursday: Philanthropy Day/House Tours
Again we piled into the auditorium to find out what houses would tell us about their individual philanthropies. You could get a maximum of 7 that day.

My list read:
Spain
England
Thailand
Ireland
Austria
Japan

I was THRILLED to see Spain and England on my list! I was happy about the others but I had two of my original top choices and I was besides myself.

Spain The philanthropy here was one of my favorites because it was for a girl who had actually attended my high school before becoming a member of this chapter. I really liked that they actually worked directly with their organization rather than just collecting money and sending it to an individual. This philanthropy was specific to the chapter, their national philanthropy was also awesome and I really liked how active their chapter had been with it. This house, is one of the most interestingly constructed buildings I have every seen in my life. The outside looks like a normal house, but the inside is a maze of hallways. It was so pretty. Again I liked this house, a lot. And I was greeted outside by the same girl who I had talked to the day before which I really liked. I left with high hopes of going back to Spain for preference day.

England I really, really liked England's philanthropy and that they too had members that were directly affected by their cause. Unlike Spain, this was the national philanthropy so it was sheer coincidence that there would be a member who was able to speak about her personal experience. It was definitely emotional and I left wanting to go research the organization. This house was also beautiful. The staircase immediately caught my attention as I hadn't seen a spiral staircase in any other house. I loved it. Again, I was approached by one of the girls I had talked to on day 1. She *looked* excited to see me which was completely flattering. I was so happy to be back at England.

Thailand Thailand was so nice. I loved how they had everything set up. Instead of focusing on the house and the philanthropy, they had set up stations on the main floor of the main things girls in their chapter were involved with. I had been pretty active freshman year so I already knew what organizations I was interested in, but if I had been a freshman with no idea what to get involved with, this would've been incredibly helpful. On the outside, this house isn't that visually appealing, but inside and upstairs it is very cute. Some of the other houses were very "regal" in appearance, but this one was very homey. The walls had been painted on by girls that had passed through years prior, and it was all very cute. The rooms were MASSIVE. And I while I loved England's philanthropy, Thailand had a philanthropy that was very personal to me and therefore my absolute favorite for the day.

Ireland I LOVED the girl I was paired with here. She was wonderful and made my visit to Ireland so entertaining. This house appearance is so decieving. It looks tiny from the outside but was HUGE inside. One of the coolest layouts I saw that day. The philanthropy here wasn't very memorable sadly and they didn't have much involvement yet because they're still a newer chapter.

Austria I wasn't too thrilled to see this house on my schedule again but I put on a smile and went back to Austria for the 3rd day in a row. Their philanthropy was interesting. It was the only one that didn't directly relate to any member of the community. The money raised went to some obscure fund for, something, which was strange to me. They're the newest chapter on campus so overall involvement was pretty low. This chapter is renting out a fraternity house that had been kicked off campus years ago and the house is awesome. The rooms are massive, some are divided by various styles. I have never seen any other house that had loft beds. Loved the rooms, but I didn't love the house or the philanthropy.

Japan I was paired with a good friend here so that was definitely fun. We chatted about life, watched a video about the skit, walked around the house then talked some more. Easily my most comfortable house visit, but then again it almost doesn't count since I was paired with someone I knew pretty well. Cute house. VERY impressive philanthropy and turnout for their on campus events. I left impressed.

Ranking:

1. Spain
2. England
3. Thailand
4. Japan
5. Ireland
6. Austria
7.

Last edited by allthatglitters; 02-10-2012 at 04:04 PM.
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  #6  
Old 02-10-2012, 06:14 AM
allthatglitters allthatglitters is offline
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Friday: Preference Day
Today we would learn more about the sisterhood of the chapters we would visit. You could only have a maximum of 3. From what my Pi Chi's told me. Preference Day was the day they *knew* where they belonged and that its a very emotional day.

I didn't believe any of that nonsense and thought any girl that would cry at a sorority ceremony was ridiculous.

I got my list:
1. England
2. Thailand
3. Ireland

I was pretty upset about losing Spain and wondered for a few minutes what I possibly did wrong that they wouldn't want me, but as I looked around the room and saw girls in various stages of despair and disappointment, I realized that I had the maximum number of houses on the very last day, as a sophomore. And one of my absolute favorites was at the top of my list.

I feel that its also important to note that at the beginning of recruitment, my Pi Chi group had 78 girls. This day there were around 30 left. Many of the sophomores who had been picky or openly bashing houses during tent talk had slowly started disappearing...

Anyway.

I went to my first house of the day England. I was led inside by the girl that had walked me inside on day 1. By now I just absolutely loved her and was so excited to see a familiar face. The ceremony was beautiful and so personal. After the first half of the ceremony, we were led upstairs to hear a speech from the seniors about what their time in the house meant to them, and then we were each met with a girl who had some connection to us, somehow. I was met by the second girl I met on day 1. The girl I had immediately bonded with over our homestate of California. She stayed with me through the rest of the ceremony and when she walked me outside she tearfully told me that from the moment she met me she had hoped I would become a member of her chapter. At this point I had already been crying, despite shaking my head hours earlier at the idea of crying over a sorority ceremony, and didn't ever want to leave England. Ever. She hugged me (rush violation, oh well) and told me that no matter where I end up I would always have people that care about me in England. I cried more. Then I left for the next house.

Thailand The pref. day ceremony at Thailand was structured a bit differently than at England. Instead of being led inside, we had to remain on the sidewalk until our names were called. It was mid August. And hot. My name was almost last. Needless to say I didn't look my best during this pref. day ceremony. I really really liked the personal touches that Thailand added. When I walked inside, I was handed a card with my name on it. We had to wait until the end to open it, but inside were personal messages from EVERY girl I had talked to that week about things we talked about and wishing me the best with my recruitement decision. Also inside the card was a message from a friend that I knew was in Thailand but hadn't had the chance to talk to during recruitment. I really really appreciated the level of detail they put into their ceremony. But sadly, the entire time I was at Thailand. I missed England and wanted to go back.

Ireland The ceremony at Ireland was beautiful. Again they added personal touches but my two earlier pref day events had been so incredibly personal and impressive Ireland couldn't really compare. I still was glad to be there and was honored that they had invited me back for this special day.

Rankings:
1. England
2. Thailand
3. Ireland

Last edited by allthatglitters; 02-10-2012 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:28 AM
allthatglitters allthatglitters is offline
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Saturday: Bid Day

Most surreal experience of my entire life.
Standing on that field with 1000+ individuals who would be divided into our respective houses in moments was an absolutely insane concept.

Our Pi Chi's handed us our cards....then revealed their own houses. One was from England, another from Thailand, and the third from Germany. It made me 10x more anxious to think that there was a possibility I would be sisters with one of my Pi Chi's whom I had grown to love SO much over the past week, especially the one from England who I had become closest with.




After what felt like hours of singing and other nonsense. It was finally time to open my card. I prayed harder than I've ever prayed before. Somehow hoping that even if my card didn't say England, it would, by some act of divine intervention, read England when I opened it.

My prayers were answered and when I ripped open my envelope my card read:England.





Also known as


Kappa Alpha Theta.



After a few moments of excitedly jumping around and flailing my arms (kinda embarassing now that I think about it..) I took off to the Theta seniors who were waiting to welcome my new pledge class. Turns out the first girl from day 1 was a senior (bittersweet). And was waiting with open arms to welcome me home. I found my Theta Pi Chi and she cried and hugged me and the other girl from my pi chi group and we left for the house together

And the girl that told me she knew from day 1 that I belonged in Theta?
She became my pledge mom.

Also, my Pi Chi also went on to become my Theta mentor and has been a wealth of information regarding academics.

I honestly couldn't be happier, and reliving that whole experience made me so excited to go through recruitment on the other side this coming fall and welcome all of our new members home.

Last edited by allthatglitters; 02-10-2012 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:52 AM
allthatglitters allthatglitters is offline
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After Bid day notes:

My recruitment year, over 1600 girls went through, and a little over 1000 received bids. This doesn't necessarily mean the ones who didn't get bids were cut, a LOT of girls dropped because they weren't happy with their choices. I can't speak on behalf of the freshman that went through recruitment. But as a sophomore, one thing I learned is that when recruitment is as competitive as it is at my university, you can not afford to be as picky as a freshman. Being a member of any chapter is an accomplishment in itself. I honestly don't think its any coincidence that the sophomore girls in my group that had great attitudes all week or at least kept their mouths shut are ALL in chapters, and the girls that publicly bashed chapters, aren't greek at all...

I came to this site during and before rush to look for stories that would show a positive sophomore experience so I hope mine helps one person at least.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

My school isn't southern, but our recruitment is competitive, and as a sophomore I was highly advised to get rec letters from as many alums as possible. I didn't know any women who were greek (or so I thought. I later went back to my high school and found out my favorite teacher is a Theta), so instead I researched the local alumni groups of every one of the 14 chapters at my university, and sent a personalized email regarding obtaining references for recruitment.

I had responses from 11 of the 14 houses. I only knew one of those women personally. I don't know for sure, but I am willing to bet that those letters definitely helped during my recruitment. Especially at China. Maybe they invited me back for day two because they liked me, or maybe having a rec letter made them take me back. I guess I'll never know, but deep down I know having a letter, actually 2, to that house definitely did help.

Tip: If you receive a letter from an alum, or even a response. Thank them.
And keep them updated on your recruitment results. They all seemed to love living vicariously through my recruitment experience.

For the women that I had addresses for, I sent personalized thank you cards. For the ones that I did not have addresses for, I sent thank you emails. They had absolutely no obligation to help me or even respond to my email, and yet they did. One lady even gave me the name of a woman from another chapter who would write me a rec. letter for that house.

Contacting them all took a little work, but it really didn't take much time.

Friends and Family

If you're going through as a sophomore. Try not to listen to the gossip from friends about chapters. It was harder to go into recruitment with a COMPLETELY open mind because I had been around for a year and thought I had *some* idea of what certain houses were like. Recruitment is a personal process. Few people knew I was interested in recruitment, and even fewer knew I would actually do it. The only phrase I heard as much if not more than, "SO why did you want to rush as a sophomore???" was "OMG! I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE GOING THROUGH RECRUITMENT!!" every time I saw a friend in a house.

...and they didn't know, because I didn't want them to

I am a legacy for a NPHC organization, at my university.
And the daughter of a African American IFC man.
My family had mixed reactions initially to my decision to rush and my NPHC family members took it a little personally. Eventually they realized this was a personal decision and while going the NPHC route was right for them, they understood that it might not be right for me. My mom now proudly tells anyone who will listen that her daughter is a Theta. I'm almost certain my whole neighborhood knows...

Go Greek!

Being greek has brought me and my dad closer than we've ever been before in my entire life. I have always been a daddy's girl and love my parent's more than anything, but having something to talk about with my dad has been awesome. I absolutely love it. He is so excited for Dad's Weekend haha.

I've also met so many people just through greek life networking. Joining organizations helped also, but being greek is just one more way to meet more people.


One last thing:

Before I decided to go through recruitment, I heard from countless individuals, some greek some not, that sophomores who rushed NEVER got "top tier" houses. And "almost all sophomores get cut anyway"

That year my chapter took over 10 sophomores.

And my pi chi group, made up of mostly sophomores was smaller than on day 1, but there were still a good amount of girls present on bid day.

Moral of the story?



Haters gon hate.


Just kidding, the real moral is, don't listen to rumors (I know, easier said than done). And if you have serious doubts talk to the people in your school's greek life office instead of sassy, opinionated 18-19 year olds.


I really hope this helps someone. Thanks for reading!

Last edited by allthatglitters; 02-10-2012 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:36 AM
ComradesTrue ComradesTrue is offline
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Congrats and welcome to Theta!

Great message and tons of wisdom in your story. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:23 AM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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Your story will be so helpful to sophomores and those pnms who think they don't know any sorority women. Thank you for sharing it and congratulations on Theta!
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:28 AM
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AZTheta AZTheta is offline
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Sending you twin stars to guide your way, and a kite to lift you ever higher. LOVE reading a Theta ending :-)

And your "After bid day notes": very helpful! Bet they get referred to a lot in the future when sophomores/upperclassmen ask about "my chances".
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:31 AM
ZTAOnlytheBest ZTAOnlytheBest is offline
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Did you mention your school in this? I couldn't find it but wasn't sure if I just overlooked it lol
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:45 AM
MaryPoppins MaryPoppins is offline
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Welcome

To Theta!
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Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, Kappa Alpha Theta exists to nurture each member throughout her college and alumna experience and to
offer a lifelong opportunity for social, intellectual, and moral growth as she meets the higher and broader demands of a mature life.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:01 AM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Congrats!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by allthatglitters View Post
I am an international business major so my houses are countries I hope to visit one day . . . .

Africa
I have to say since you are an international business major, that I trust you know that Africa isn't a country.

But you balanced it out by knowing that Scotland and England are two different countries.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:02 AM
allthatglitters allthatglitters is offline
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No I didn't name my school, I wanted there to be a little mystery

And thank you for all the well wishes! It feels like I'm in that recruitment afterglow all over again.
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