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Old 08-15-2012, 12:39 PM
Lovethesand Lovethesand is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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A Bedlam Recruitment

The weather in lovely Oklahoma was stifling, sauna like, hot as you know what during recruitment. My overheated mind started wandering to cooler weather and the ocean breeze. I remembered growing up near the beach, wearing a bikini in public (the thought of that now - horror!), the sand between my toes, the ocean breeze, the warmth of the sun. And not the sun that could fry an egg on the sidewalk. With those fuzzy memories buzzing around my head, I felt a beach themed recruitment story (and maybe a stiff drink or two) was just what an empty nester mom needed.

A little background on my snowflake Debbie: a solid student who met the minimum GPA for Panhellenic but not a 3.5; a very good athlete (varsity, competitive travel sports), leadership roles in student body, and involved in extracurricular activities, no history of Greek affiliations in her family, and OOS (not one of the surrounding states). Debbie had no preconceived notions about any houses and was the epitome of an open mind. At some times I think her mind was a blank slate and I'm not sure if that was good or bad.

I've been reading GC for a few months and realize recs are necessary even if the school’s Greek Life said they weren’t. Why do they say that? I digress. So my Debbie has recs for every house, her social media's been cleaned up and private for months, her outfits are ready, and she's as ready as she can be.

Debbie's school doesn't make the Super Competitive thread list. Supposedly it's not even the most competitive recruitment in the state. Looking back, it definitely felt competitive to Debbie (and me vicariously). The dictionary defines bedlam as a place or situation of noisy uproar and confusion. Yep, that would be Debbie's recruitment at times.

So Bedlam Recruitment starts right after I say goodbye. Let me tell you she was a rock while I was a marshmallow. I really wanted to be strong for her but I failed miserably as I said goodbye to my one and only. She gave me a hug, had some tears in her eyes, told me she loved me, and walked away. I got into the rental car, drove to the local Super Wal-mart to return some items, and bawled like a baby in the parking lot. I apologize to the young man helping me with my return who had to deal with a very emotional 40+ year old woman. Not one of my better days.
Old 08-15-2012, 12:56 PM
gee_ess gee_ess is offline
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YAY! Keep going!
Old 08-15-2012, 01:04 PM
Lovethesand Lovethesand is offline
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Back to recruitment and away from my mini-parking lot meltdown. There are 12 houses at Debbie’s school and following my love of the beach, they’re as follows:

Siesta Beach
Coronado Beach
Zuma Beach
Myrtle Beach
Big Beach
Newport Beach
South Beach
Sunset Beach
Manhattan Beach
Hampton Beach
Malibu Beach
Old 08-15-2012, 01:12 PM
ProudandTrue ProudandTrue is offline
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On the edge of my seat.
Phi Sigma Sigma...Aiming High since 1913.
Old 08-15-2012, 01:16 PM
Lovethesand Lovethesand is offline
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Day 1 - Open Houses (4 Houses)

Visits started late in the day and after her Gamma Chi meeting, Day 1 ended around 10:30 pm. Debbie was hot, tired, and more tired. Debbie seemed a little overwhelmed by Day 1 and said she wasn't sure what to expect and it was "different". She said she liked all of the houses, everybody was nice, and no one house stood out in her mind except one.

Newport – the house was very pretty, and she talked to 4 girls. The first girl kept looking over her shoulder so it was a distracted conversation which made Debbie feel uncomfortable. The conversation with the other 3 girls was much smoother and interactive.

Siesta Beach – The Recruitment Coordinator was a little dry compared to the other 3 houses. Debbie talked to two girls and really liked them a lot. She said the conversation was easy and she felt the girls really listened to her. Debbie felt the most comfortable talking to these girls out of the 4 today.

Coronado – Debbie said the girls were nice, nothing good, nothing bad. Couldn’t really remember them to be honest.

Myrtle – Debbie said this house would not be one of her top 9 no matter what. She had an embarrassing experience and said she could never go back there and feel comfortable (picture the drama of a 17 year old as this is being said).
Old 08-15-2012, 01:30 PM
Lovethesand Lovethesand is offline
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Day 2 - Open Houses cont (8 Houses)

Day 2 started with a 7:15 am meeting with her Gamma Chi and group. Then off to the houses.

After a long day, Debbie texted me at 11:00 pm to say she was done for the day. After a shower, she called me and we ran through the houses. She was too tired to get her notebook so she tried to remember off the top of her head. She said all the girls were friendly and engaging.

Zuma – I didn’t get a lot of details about this house. That's what happens when you talk to them late in the date and they're tired.

Big Beach – Her best friend’s family wrote her a rec for this house, she loved their philanthropy and wanted to like them. She said the conversation was awkward and she left thinking “no, not this one”.

Cancun – Similar to Zuma, not a lot of details.

South Beach – This is a new chapter that was using one of the fraternity’s houses during recruitment. She liked the girls and said how nice they were. I wasn't sure if she'd consider the lack of house or newness a negative and she didn't.

Sunset – The girls were very friendly and she enjoyed them a lot.

Manhattan – The girls were great conversationalists. She also heard tent talk about this house – they were super smart, very religious, non-partiers. She liked the girls but hearing tent talk about them made her wonder if she’d fit in and not because she's a partier. I'm sure she heard tent talk about the other houses but this is the first house she mentioned tent talk.

Hampton – Debbie initially didn’t remember them and when I asked she said, “Oh, I liked them”. So they didn’t stand out in a negative way to her.

Malibu – A close family friend is an alumna but again not a lot of details.

One nice thing about not being a legacy, being OOS, Debbie has no preconceived notions about any houses. Debbie said she didn’t have any favorites. No houses really separated themselves in her mind. She was still a blank slate. Debbie clustered her top 9 for the next round:

Siesta Beach
South Beach

Bottom 3:

Myrtle – for the reason mentioned above on Day 1
Big Beach – Debbie said the conversation was just so awkward
Manhattan – she didn’t want to be the dumbest girl in the smartest group

Each PNM can receive a maximum of 9 visits for Round 2. Debbie wasn’t expecting 9 and was hoping for 5 or 6.
Old 08-15-2012, 01:39 PM
TriDeltaSallie TriDeltaSallie is offline
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Originally Posted by Lovethesand View Post
Manhattan – she didn’t want to be the dumbest girl in the smartest group
LOL! I think that's the first time I've read that reason on GC.

And my only is a daughter so I can imagine how you felt when you dropped her off...
"Let us found a society that shall be kind alike to all and think more of a girl's inner self and character than of her personal appearance." Sarah Ida Shaw

My recruitment story: My sorority membership changed my life.
Old 08-15-2012, 02:11 PM
Ladybugmom Ladybugmom is offline
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I LOVE your writing style..reads like a great book!
I have an only I feel your pain..I still cry when I drop her off and she is a junior this year...
We have lots of friends at your Daughter's school...looking forward to the rest of your story!
Old 08-15-2012, 03:09 PM
Lovethesand Lovethesand is offline
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Round 1 Results

The Gamma Chis take the phones early in the day. As a courtesy to moms freaking out across the country (or locally), could the PNMs at least text us real quick, then have the Gamma Chis take the phones? What about the moms?!?!?

So I'm across the country, trying to get some work done (failing miserably), chugging caffiene like a madwoman, and making myself a little crazy. I think to myself, "If I'm this stressed, how's Debbie doing?"

Finally hours later I receive an email from Debbie during a break in her schedule. She has 4 houses. I’m thinking to myself “ouch”. Even my husband who knows nothing about this process says “that’s not very good, is it?” “No, sh##, Sherlock” I mutter to myself. This isn’t a time for him to be obvious or try to be helpful. This is all about Debbie (and me a little). He wasn't there doing the resume writing, the rec obtaining, the shopping, the hair and nail appointments. How dare he try to be concerned or act like he understands?! As you can tell I am slowly (or maybe quickly) headed to the dark side. Normally I'm a professional woman, well prepared, good head on my shoulders. Bedlam is becoming my new best friend.

Back to Debbie. This all about Debbie, right? Debbie says it’s not great and is upset and discouraged. Via email, I try to keep positive (now is not the time for negativity), encourage her to focus on the houses she has who want her, and tell her she can be relaxed and focused on the remaining houses over the next two days. Not sure if she’s listening to me but I try. I think the sound she hears is similar to what the kids on "Peanuts" hear when the teach talks.

Debbie and I had talked before she even got to lovely Oklahoma that her GPA (primarily), lack of legacy, and not knowing anybody may do her in and she could face some big cuts. I think she was expecting cuts but not quite this many. And of course Debbie feels her schedule is the absolute worst and I think there’s a little ego and confidence bruising going. All I can do is tell her to keep her chin up, put on her happy face, and keep going. If it was me, I’d probably want to go lick my wounds and have some ice cream, chocolate, and a drink - all at the same time.
Old 08-15-2012, 03:14 PM
shirley1929 shirley1929 is offline
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LOVING this story!
Old 08-15-2012, 04:00 PM
Lovethesand Lovethesand is offline
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Day 3 - House Tours/Philanthropy

So Debbie's 4 houses (out of a possible 9) are:

Big Beach – They were her bottom 3 but she was relieved to have them. She said beggars can’t be choosers. Great attitude, Debbie.
Coronado – She couldn’t even remember them from Round 1 but was happy to have them.
South Beach – Debbie liked them and was looking forward to getting to know them better.
Sunset – Same as South Beach.

Day 3’s lone house was Big Beach. She wanted to like these girls because their philanthropy is special to her but she just couldn’t click with the girls. One of the actives from Round 1 came by and said hello to her and I told her later that was a positive (and I know nothing about recruitment). She said it felt so awkward but she’d wait until she visited the other 3. She did say she liked the physical house itself and would love to live there. I don’t mention that you have to be a part of the house to actually live there. Don’t think my parental wisdom will be appreciated at this point. Debbie does mention that she talked to her Gamma Chi after her visit and talked about her "weak schedule" according to Debbie. Debbie feels much better after talking to her. And even her Gamma Chi said it was good that the active came by and said hi. Debbie says, “If I manage to get a sorority, I want to be a Gamma Chi”. So there’s a little woe is me attitude mixed with some positivity. Fun times.

Later that night we talk via Skype (the first time for me and the webcam - do I really look like that?). As soon as she sees me she says, “Mom” in that voice and starts crying. Trust me I can start crying too but this time I’m not a marshmallow and keep it together. We talk about the day, talk about the cuts (and it's not release to her, it is cuts), and by the time we hang up she’s feeling better. Thank goodness. Nothing like your baby being upset to ruin a good night's sleep.

Parental tent talk says cuts were tough. Some houses used a 3.5 GPA as a cutoff and some houses released 400+ girls the first round. So that would be Debbie. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. I don't even know how accurate this is, I don't tell Debbie, I just have a drink for every .1 she was off on the GPA.

As a sidenote, I'm not slipping into the dark side at this point. I am well and truly living in the dark side right now. I'm the epitome of every bad dancer mom, soccer mom, skater mom, hovering mom you've ever laughed at. I'm not proud. I realize but I can't help myself. I reach out to multiple women who I consider Greek experts and they are lifesavers. They listen to my rants (no raves at this time) and they give me great advice to share with my daughter. These women are fantastic - THANK YOU!

Time for mom and Debbie to regroup.
Old 08-15-2012, 04:00 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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ackkkkkkk.........need.......more.........updates. .........
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:09 PM
Tulip86 Tulip86 is offline
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Great story!
Old 08-15-2012, 04:22 PM
Lovethesand Lovethesand is offline
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Day 4 - House Tours/Philanthropy (cont.)

Debbie's 3 remaining houses (out of a possible 9) for Round 2 are today.

Up first:

Sunset - Debbie enjoyed her visit, enjoyed meeting the girls, and felt very comfortable. For some reason she thought they might cut her (maybe tent talk, they had one of the highest GPAs of her remaining houses). Didn't want to think negative thoughts so I didn't push the issue.

Coronado – Debbie loved these girls which was funny because she couldn’t remember them at all from Round 1. Their philanthropy has personal meaning for her. She felt like she clicked with the girls, like interests. I could hear the excitement in her voice talking about these girls. Finally something that felt warm and fuzzy, in a good way.

South Beach – Debbie continued to like the girls she met, saw the house plans (the house is going to be gorgeous), and seemed to be positive about South Beach. Another plus.

So another round ends, more clustering, down to 6 for Skit Day. In Debbie's case it was about keeping all 4 even Big Beach and hoping it gets better with them. Debbie says she still doesn’t have any clear cut favorites although she likes Coronado. The only one she’s ehh (think teen-age shoulder shrug) about is Big Beach. But she clusters all 4 and hopes for the best. She’s all about maximizing her options right now. Dark Side mom thinks if she can keep most of her houses maybe by Pref she'll be ok numbers wise.

Last edited by Lovethesand; 08-15-2012 at 04:24 PM.
Old 08-15-2012, 04:34 PM
BeenTooLong BeenTooLong is offline
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SOOO glad you are writing this! Lots of girls get these kind of cuts, but there are very few threads on here that chronicle the imperfect recruitment experience. I wish I could have read something like this before my daughter went through with low-end of acceptable GPA and OOS! (and had her read it!)
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