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Old 08-22-2013, 04:59 PM
Andystoys Andystoys is offline
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A UT Austin Toy Story Recruitment

Good Afternoon. Wow what a long two days. As many of you know the University of Texas’ recruitment started yesterday and I have been so excited to start recruitment. Without giving out too much information, I am an incoming freshman from a fairly well know suburban high school. Many girls I know have pledged almost every chapter at UT, some more than others. My family has strong Greek affiliations, but my mom and sister’s legacy chapter (the same one) is not represented at UT. I had rec letters at every chapter and some I had two. Without disclosing my major, I am in an honors program so maintaining my GPA while being an active Greek is important to me. Although I fully understand that listening to the opinions of others is not good for your own recruitment, my dorm is a buzz with all things recruitment and it is just too tempting not to listen too. My dad is a Texas ex so we have been going to games since I was a baby and I have seen sorority women for many years and certainly have formed views on many chapters. With that said, I am very careful to not judge books by their covers so I am trying very hard to walk into each chapter with a complete open mind.

There are 14 houses doing formal recruitment and I have named them after Andy’s Toys in Toy Story:

Jesse
Buzz
Slinky
RC
Sarge
Barbie
Bo
Rex
Etch
Woody
Mr. Potato Head
Hamm
Bullseye
Wheezy

Convocation was Tuesday night and it was kind of overwhelming to move in most of the day and then have to grab a quick shower, get ready and be at Hogg by 8:00. But my mom was a lifesaver and stayed behind so I came back to a fully organized room. My roommate who I did not know until they sent roommate information is also going through recruitment as is most of our hall. Many of the girls went out last night but I chose rest over expressing my new freedom and I am so glad I did. My roommate and suitemates did stay in and we talked about how this week for many hours. We all agreed that we have no idea how it all will end but that we are going to try to stick with it.

This morning we met at 10:00 and our first party was at 10:30, each party is only 25 minutes and we have 15 minutes between houses. Open house is spread over two days and you visit 14 houses but I think the houses do 17-18 parties, so you don’t have a party every slot. I had a break right after lunch, which was really nice but I attended nine parties today. The parties are not in order in which I attended. I don’t want anyone to figure our what Rho Chi group I am in.

Slinky: What I knew about this house was they have had the highest GPA last year. That appeals to me because my honors program requires I keep my grades up. We were told that their house had a face-lift this year, and it was very nice. The girl that met me and took me inside was very pretty but we really had nothing in common. She asked me really basic questions about my move in and such and it was pleasant conversation, but a bit forced. I am sure she was just as nervous as me.

Jesse: This was the next house I went too. Their door chant was really loud! The girl that brought me in the house was someone I knew from high school. We basically spent our time talking about who we knew and what they had been up to the last year. I really wish we would have spent more time talking about the sorority itself, because for me, I feel like that is what I am here to do, to learn about each house. With that said, I had a really nice time and I felt like I was becoming more comfortable with the process.

Rex-I knew quite a bit about this house because two girls I knew pretty well in high school pledged here last year. We are friends on facebook and were friends my Junior year (same EC) but of course they were here and I was back home so I was not super familiar with their lives the last year except FB updates. They have always had really positive things to say about their sorority so I came here with pleasant thoughts. I saw both of them during the door chant, which was even louder than the house before…WOW! This house was really put together too. All the girls were very polished yet not Barbie like. I was brought into the house by a girl that I did not know, but she was in the same honors program as me. It felt really good to have something to talk about besides if I liked my room and how my move in was. We spent most of the time talking about the demands of the program and how you can succeed and have a great Greek life. I left here really happy and am really hoping it is on my schedule for the next round.

Woody: To be honest, I knew lunch was after this house and I was starving and hoping it would go by fast. As I was waiting in my starvation coma, I was jolted into reality by another really loud door chant. The girl that brought me in was really, really nice. She was my same major, but not in the same honors program, but again it gave us something different to talk about and I was glad to have a conversation that I was able to focus on. This house has been a big topic of conversation in my dorm. People either love it or hate it. I really liked it. Too early to be in love, but I had really good time here.

Hamm: My first house after lunch was really interesting. I had heard about the recruitment parties here and it is really interesting to see if what you hear is actually what happens. This is considered a top house, but the chatter at the dorm was this chapter was just too snobby for the average Texas girl. The only girl I knew here was from my camp days but we were in “rival” cabins then and were never close. I saw her at the door but she never stopped by and said hi but she did pass me and it was just awkward. I felt like I was in a bit of a happy groove before lunch and I was hoping that the rest of the day was not going to be like this.

Bullseye: There has been a lot of chatter about this house too. I have to admit, mostly negative, but some positive and I feel like the Rho Chis really talk them up. We were told they were growing and their door chant was loud and they looked as big as the other chapters. The girl that met me was really nice and she brought me and another girl in my group in. This was the first house where I talked to someone and had to share the conversation. I felt for three people that didn’t have much in common it went as well as it could.

Etch: Our walk to this house was interesting. We encountered a group of frat guys that were shouting out names of houses we should pledge. This is where I close my ears. What does a frat guy know about girl matters? Anyway. This house was really nice too. The girls here were also very beautiful and put together. The only issue here was you could tell when actives knew the girls they were brining into the house. They were very loud and celebratory about it which is great for that girl, but it leaves the girls who know no one (I did not know anyone at this house) feeling like they are crashing a party. I did have a nice conversation here and spend most of time talking about the music scene in Austin, which was a nice change of pace.

RC: Ok so this house was one I really was not looking forward to. I have conflict with very few people in the world, but his house had two sisters that I just did not get along with in high school. Interestingly enough I never saw them, and I was met by a girl who has the same kind of dog as me and we spent the whole time talking about this fun quirky breed. I left this house feeling really good, but felt like someone was watching me through the bushes. (not literally, but figuratively)

Mr. Potato Head: Cool house, loud door chant and the girl that brought me in was very pretty and also in my honors program. We talked about some of my required classes for my program and I feel like between Rex and Mr. Potato Head I am ready for this crazy adventure. I hope I come back here.

Thursday, Open House Day 2

Sarge-This was another house that people like to talk to about, but not in the most positive way. A bit on that. I can’t figure out why people care what other people do. I mean this process is long, hot and tiring. I would never criticize someone’s choices. You can’t make someone fall in love with you and you can’t really control what houses you connect with. I feel like girls really try to force square pegs in round holes because the want to join houses that are perceived as “the best”. I mean there is a “Barbie doll” house (and no it is not Barbie) here and if you are a brown haired soccer player (just an example…I don’t play soccer), pretty but not Barbie, why would you want to do that to yourself? Ok off my stool now. Anyway, I had a really nice conversation at this house and I would come back in lieu of a house that has “tip top” billing, because these girls are more like me.

Bo-This was a super spirited house. I heard more than a few times women introducing themselves as “Hi I am Abby and I am on the Cheer Squad.” Back to the paragraph before, I can relate to cheerleaders, but I would never use the word cheerleader as a defining characteristic, even thought I have cheered for many years. So for whatever reason, this annoys me. This was also one of my last houses and I am tired so maybe this would not have bothered me four hours ago.

Barbie-One of my strongest recs comes from this chapter. My mom is convinced all I need to do is show up and I’ll be a Barbie. What mom has to realize is that I might not want to be a Barbie. I really did like this house though, and they are well regarded on campus. The women here are beautiful but they don’t have a stereotype here, many different looks but a commonality with each other too. I would like to come back here.

Buzz-Nice house and nice girls but I think they just tried too hard. Everything seemed really forced, but again, I was tired and hungry at that point and I am not sure if I am seeing with the proper light. The conversation was really good but the girl litereally told me 5 times how glad she was that I was there.

Wheezy-This is my roommate’s legacy house and she is a really big legacy here. She came here yesterday and she said she could tell everyone wanted to talk to her. I didn’t quite have the same experience but I really liked the house and my conversations were good. I talked to many more people here than any other house.

We had to rank our bottom 4 so I listed:
Hamm
Bullseye
Slinky
RC
I had a hard time with this list. Some were known as "Top" houses. (It is really difficult to follow your heart when you brain says "what are you thinking") But for being a "top" house I just didn't understand what they were trying to get across.

Tomorrow is Philanthropy round and I am looking forward to getting my schedule just as much as I am looking forward to getting some sleep.

Last edited by Andystoys; 08-23-2013 at 06:10 AM. Reason: Spelling
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  #2  
Old 08-22-2013, 05:17 PM
Lovethesand Lovethesand is offline
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I don't know anything about UT but I love your story. You have a great perspective and I hope your recruitment journey has more highs then lows. Now that you've hooked (no pun intended) us in with your story please don't forget to keep us updated. We live vicariously through you young ladies.
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  #3  
Old 08-22-2013, 05:35 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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Yay for not listening to the frat boys! You seem to know yourself well and are looking beyond tiers. Can't wait to read more!
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  #4  
Old 08-22-2013, 06:03 PM
ElvisLover ElvisLover is offline
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Good Luck! Love your attitude -- open eyes and closed ears!!
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2013, 06:15 PM
MaryPoppins MaryPoppins is offline
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Andystoys you have a great attitude! Wishing you the best of luck - MP
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:57 PM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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Partly with the Top Houses thing is they don't have to try as hard so they may not work on their conversation skills as much as they might otherwise. Also, when it's a chapter you PERCEIVE as best, their foibles come off as charmingly normal. Whatev. And it points out that every single chapter has gals who are great talkers and others who just aren't. Especially for the first round of rush, the best rushers are those who can just push on and find common ground 4 times per party, 10 parties per day. That's a rare and valuable skill! No matter who you get tomorrow, their top, your top or a whole bunch of in the middlers, tomorrow is a new day so start fresh with a clean slate on which to build your opinions. You may find that that phony baloney chapter really does have some authentic and cool young ladies as well. Or maybe not - only time will tell!

From an RFM perspective, you're making me laugh because if everyone invited you back, you'd play havoc with the return results. One of the statistics the chapters look at is what percentage of girls want them, and some chapters expect all but 100% returns because of their status. Drop that #1 chapter into the #15 slot and they'll be horrified! Which makes me laugh
(but rest assured, only the pencil pushers know those results. You won't be hurting anyone's feelings)
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:18 PM
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Sciencewoman Sciencewoman is offline
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I'm rooting for Mr. Potato Head, because that's such a goofy pseudonym for a sorority!
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  #8  
Old 08-22-2013, 08:28 PM
Katmandu Katmandu is offline
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I think your attitude is wonderfully mature! Best of luck to you and your suitemates!
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:21 PM
hillcountrymom hillcountrymom is offline
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Love your attitude! You sound so much like my daughter who went through UT recruitment five years ago. She went to a very "competitive" high school and knew girls in many of the sororities. She was invited back each round to all/most of the houses. She had heard the "tent talk", knew she had dropped three of the "top" houses in favor of three that were said to be "mid-tier" on skit night (went to six skits). She followed her heart throughout, joined a house where she had much in common with those she talked with during recruitment, and she loved all four of her years! She was an active participant and leader in the house. She remained good friends with young women in many of the sororities. All of the sororities at UT are strong and full of intelligent young women. Enjoy making new friends and remember that if you put much into the sisterhood you join, you will receive much in return!
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:15 PM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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This is a great story! Thanks for sharing!
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  #11  
Old 08-23-2013, 02:41 PM
sdtennisgal sdtennisgal is offline
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Wow! I really enjoyed reading this. Your write-up was one of the most thoughtful and self-possessed perspectives I have read on this site. Keep up the great (and logical) attitude and have a continued great recruitment.

BTW: What dog breed?
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:46 PM
ElvisLover ElvisLover is offline
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You cannot go wrong in joining any of the chapters at UT. They're all wonderful, talented ladies in each one. Plus, at a campus of this size, if you have a choice to join, it's great to have a group of sisters to feel like you have a safe haven away from the magnitute of such a large campus.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:42 PM
Andystoys Andystoys is offline
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Philanthropy Round Day 1

To say I was nervous when going to meet the Rho Chis is the world’s biggest understatement. I spent 10 minutes staring at myself in the mirror telling myself that this list is zero reflection on who I am. Each party during this round is 35 minutes long and we have 15 minutes between each. When I got my schedule I was really surprised, but found 8 houses!! Whooha!

Jesse
Buzz
Sarge
Barbie
Bo
Rex
Etch
Woody

This I could completely handle but what I had a really hard time handling is the girls around me freaking out about the reality that was staring them in the face. I hate seeing people upset and really just wanted to hand my schedule to one girl and say “here you can have it.” MANY tears were flowing, cell phones were calling moms, etc. I texted my mom and told her who I had and she was really happy for me. She has really been a mess (so my sisters says, she seems ok to me). I have no idea what makes a chapter choose one girl over another. Many girls around me seem put together, they have to be smart enough or wouldn’t be here, and seem sweet. Who knows, but I do know I am happy with my list but really disappointed that not everyone is happy. Guess it is just like toys in the box…sometimes people always want the same one. With that said first party was:

Rex: This was one of the houses I was really looking forward to going to. The house was decorated so cute and I actually was not looking too forward to this round in general because philanthropies to me are something you should be passionate about to do quality work. There are some chapters that have charities that I can really relate too, but this chapter’s philanthropic work was a big question mark for me. After watching the video they showed, I honestly got it. And what really moved me is they do make a difference in the lives of some very special people. Because of their local affiliation, they can do this everyday if they could find the time. I was rushed by a different girl than yesterday, and she too was in an honors program, but not the same as mine. We had a really nice conversation and I got an opportunity to meet the President of the House and the VP of Membership. I left here feeling really good about this house. But at the same time I took a deep breath and realized that I need to make a good showing everywhere else.

Jesse: This time I did not know who I was paired with and for most of the party I was talking with two actives. They had told me my friend in the house said really nice things about me. There were a few awkward moments in our conversation but mainly because it was just so loud I honestly could not hear the question. I feel like I said “can you repeat that" too many times, but not as bad as giving what ends up being a dumb answer to a question you thought it was. I enjoyed hearing about their philanthropy although I have never known anyone to need the services of the charities they honor. I can see them being in my top 6.

Buzz-Really love this chapter's philanthropy and they were really big at my sister’s SEC school, but I think they struggle for an identity here. All the girls are nice, mostly pretty and seem to love each other but it seems very forced. Like that little kid that says, play with me! play with me! The girl rushing me literally kept telling me over and over how happy they were that I there (where else was I going to be? Kirby Lane having pancakes maybe??) I had forgotten how I felt at this house the day before and when I looked at my notes it said “tried too hard.” If everything goes well at the other houses, I could see this house being in my bottom 2.

Etch-This house sure has so much spirit you can tell they love doing what they do. This would be considered one of the very top houses and part of me sees why and the other half just doesn’t get it. Or maybe I don’t get what “top” is all about. But that is a story for another time. I was paired with a girl that is on cheer for UT at this house and we of course talked about Cheerleading. I have to say for me cheerleading is something I did because I was good at it, but not because of the lifestyle that people perceive cheerleaders to live. It was just one of those things I knew I would do, but my school work was really important too and I knew I would not pursue Cheer in college. If anything, I wanted to get away from it. So Miss Peppy Patty was a little over the top for me and when she found something we had in common she would do a little clap that cheerleader types do and I really think I rolled my eyes. I tried to control it, but I have no idea if I was successful. I was passed to another girl I loved but I have no idea how much damage was done at this point, so they probably are not headed for the bottom of my list but I would not be surprised if I was on the bottom of theirs. Not my most shining moment.

Woody-Last but not least today was Woody. I really can see how these girls share a really bonded sisterhood. Their philanthropy is really awesome and I enjoyed learning about it. I really like the two girls I talked to and I met the President and Director of Recruitment here. They were very nice to me and said how they wanted to get to know me better. I had a really great time here and don’t want to say too much to give the house away but I know they will be in my top 6.

Okay, well it is bed for me soon and I have three parties tomorrow. I was going to update them all at the same time but didn’t want anyone to get cranky by skipping today's update. On a different note, the weather has been really nice. A week ago temps were well into the 100s and yet this week, the mid 90s. For Texas that is really good and of course no rain because we don’t know what that is here.
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:00 AM
Lovethesand Lovethesand is offline
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I admit it - too lazy to look it up - how many houses this round?

The eyeroll made me laugh.

As the AT&T commercial says, "we want more, we want more".
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:47 AM
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AnchorSouth AnchorSouth is offline
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Love your style! Best of luck!
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