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  #1  
Old 09-15-2018, 01:06 PM
MayBeth MayBeth is offline
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A Sugary Sweet Sorority Recruitment Story!

Hello all! I can't believe I'm finally in a position where I can contribute to GreekChat. Where should I even begin? Let’s start with a genuine thank you. This website - and all of its beautiful contributors - saved my LIFE when it came to figuring out the vast world that is Greek life over the past year and a half. I definitely feel as though you all don’t receive as much credit as you deserve for advising and preparing anonymous girls like me. Y’all rock!

I feel like it’s safe to assume that most incoming college freshmen are at least somewhat excited to make the transition from home to on-your-own. Take that feeling, multiply it by 1000, and then cover it in some Texas burnt orange sprinkles; that’s how enthusiastic I was about beginning my collegiate life in ATX. I had fallen in love with my dorm, my class schedule, the UT campus, and the city of Austin. Intensify those feelings with an incredibly spirited summer orientation session in June, top it off with sorority recruitment registration in July, and you’ve got one revved up 18-year-old by the time August rolls around. To put it simply, the anticipation that I had built around move-in was almost maddening. Life as a Texas Longhorn absolutely could not come soon enough!

Before I had even begun applying to schools, Greek life had drawn me in with its promises of friendship, community, and general supportiveness; all good things to look for as a scared, friendless freshman living in a brand new city. As someone with no Greek relatives, I took to the internet to find out what exactly I needed to know. Let’s just say it turned out to be a lot more than I could have ever expected! This website, in particular, taught me more than any other, answering my initial basic questions and later the more complex ones as my understanding of sorority life grew. I especially adored reading the recruitment stories, investing myself into each one, taking their experiences and advice to heart, and wondering how my own story would unfold one day (maybe I’d even have some advice of my own to give!) I quickly learned that recruitment at my school, in particular, wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, and that DEFINITELY intimidated me. Every house had a history, a reputation, a gorgeous home, and a perfectly manicured social media account to match. After months and months of continuous research, I was confident that I knew exactly what I was getting myself into (a little naive, I know.) Most importantly though, I had learned that tiers didn’t matter, and that lifelong sisters could be found almost anywhere if I was willing to put in the effort. I had come to terms with the idea that I probably wasn’t going to end up in one of the most popular or established houses on campus. I understood that I was probably going to be cut by houses that I had thought were my perfect match. Most importantly, I accepted the fact that I might not end up in any house at all, and I was okay with that. After struggling with self-esteem issues for most of my life (as many of us unfortunately do), I had surprised my friends, my family, and myself by being so gung-ho about putting myself under a microscope for groups of beautiful, talented, accomplished women to scrutinize. What if no one was going to want me? What if I wasn’t going to be what anyone was looking for? Despite all of this, I knew that rush was something I absolutely wanted to participate in, even if the fear was present right alongside with the excitement. As the summer months marched on, I had a recommendation for every house, an outfit for every round, and a mantra that I was going to repeat to myself whenever things got difficult, as I knew they inevitably would: “it only takes one.”

When deciding on my code, I knew I wanted to keep it sweet. The 13 houses at UT will be represented (in no particular order) as:
Strawberry Shortcake
Cinnamon Sugar Donut
Mango Peach Lemonade
Key Lime Pie
Lemon Pound Cake
Mint Chocolate Chip
Vanilla Cream Puff
Blueberry Cobbler
Watermelon Popsicle
Snickerdoodle Sundae
Raspberry Rose Macaron
Caramel Fudge Brownie
Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

I hope y’all enjoy my story. Hook ‘em!
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  #2  
Old 09-15-2018, 01:41 PM
MSKKG MSKKG is offline
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Looking forward to hearing your recruitment story.
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  #3  
Old 09-15-2018, 02:09 PM
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Sciencewoman Sciencewoman is offline
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What a great attitude! I am excited to hear your story!
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  #4  
Old 09-15-2018, 03:05 PM
UVASquirrel UVASquirrel is offline
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I'm going to be craving desert the entire time I'm reading this I'm sure!! Looking forward to it. It sounds like you were well-prepared with a fantastic attitude!
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  #5  
Old 09-15-2018, 05:22 PM
AmoXO AmoXO is offline
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This thread is not going to do wonders for my diet, but I'm looking forward to it all the same!
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  #6  
Old 09-15-2018, 06:41 PM
MayBeth MayBeth is offline
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Monday, Round 0, Day 0: Opening Convocation

On this morning, I left bright and early with my family to make the drive down to Austin. Throughout the car ride, I felt as though I were bouncing off the walls with happiness. I spent the day moving in, chatting with my roommate, perfecting what little space I had, and worrying about the week ahead. I heard the chatter between more experienced moms and daughters as the building unpacked, and snippets of recruitment advice seemed to carry through the walls. I realized that my dorm was filled to the brim with other rushees and that thankfully comforted me a bit.

That night, an enormous group of us walked to Hogg Auditorium together where the Panhellenic team was holding a mandatory informational meeting. It was a sticky and humid kind of evening, but none of us seemed to mind. We settled into our seats as many different women stood on the stage to welcome us and talk us through the week, highlighting what we should wear, what we should talk about, and encouraging all of us to stick it out until the potentially bitter end. We also had an amazing guest speaker that really put the week into perspective for us. We received our recruitment shirts and were sorted into our Rho Gam groups. I had a good time talking with and getting to know a few of the other girls in my group.

Back at the dorm that night, my roommate and I expressed our rush hopes, fears, and expectations to one another. We even managed to squeeze in a few laughs. It was reassuring to know that I wasn’t the only one who was scared out of my mind for the week ahead. Whether I was truly ready or not, the next morning would present me with the beginning of a journey that I was unable to predict, no matter how much I had felt I’d prepared for it!
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:22 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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Looking forward to reading more.
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  #8  
Old 09-15-2018, 11:40 PM
jolene jolene is offline
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I've been low carbing, but I need some sugar.
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  #9  
Old 09-16-2018, 01:04 AM
unarose unarose is offline
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I’m rooting for Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake! Can’t wait to hear the rest of your story!
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  #10  
Old 09-16-2018, 12:39 PM
MayBeth MayBeth is offline
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Tuesday, Round 1, Day 1: Open House

Getting ready this morning passed in a blur. I was thankful for the simple tasks and fleeting moments that gave me something to do because if I stood still for too long, the panic would start to creep back in. I was also glad that I had decided to keep a mini fan with me because I could feel myself starting to sweat as soon as I stepped out the door!

Mint Chocolate Chip: What felt like seconds passed, and suddenly I was standing outside of my very first house of recruitment. I was grateful for the fact that I had been expecting the door chant, but I knew that that hadn’t been the case for everyone else (the girl in front of me let out a soft “what?” as soon as it started, so it was a little hard not to giggle.) The way they led us into the house was incredibly strange (I’ve since wondered if this is normal for other schools/sororities?) and left me feeling a little uneasy to be honest. Thankfully, I was paired with a girl that made talking easy. We chatted about my dorm and our majors for a few minutes before a second girl came and joined the conversation. Unfortunately, she seemed like she would rather have been anywhere else at that point. She seemed annoyed when I would ask her questions and dismissed herself quickly. The round passed in a matter of minutes, and before I knew it we were walking to the next house. An interesting start to my day to say the least!
Watermelon Popsicle: I remember thinking about how much I loved the unique architecture of this house. It didn’t necessarily scream sorority house, and that piqued my interest. The main girl that I talked to seemed nice, and we had been involved in the same extracurricular in high school, but I wasn’t sure that our personalities clicked. She appeared to be running through a predetermined list of questions in her head and would try to quickly get back on track if I asked a question that she hadn’t originally planned on talking about. Another sister of this house came by a little bit later, and we ended up talking about the food truck scene in Austin. I felt a little disappointed with how my conversations as a whole had gone at this house but was hoping they’d give me another chance.
Lemon Pound Cake: This was a beautiful house, and I had their door chant stuck in my head for most of the day. The first sister that I talked to in this house was impossible to talk to in a way that I hadn’t really expected. I did everything that I could think of to get her to talk to me, but she just did not seem to be in the mood for recruitment. I genuinely felt like I was the active because getting any kind of response out of her was like pulling teeth! She actually ended up getting sick while we were talking (I felt so bad for her), so another sister came to talk to me instead. I absolutely ADORED her! She was hilarious and so easy to talk to. Another sister ended up coming by and we got along just as well. Despite my first conversation being a little lackluster (poor sick sister), this house had jumped to the top of my list thanks to the second and third sisters that I met.
Cinnamon Sugar Donut: One of the first things that I noticed about this house was how incredibly dark it was when we walked in. I talked to one girl the entire time, and while she was funny and seemed pretty easy going, she really loved to talk about herself. She told me all about how she had never had a boyfriend but was trying to find one, her sisters boyfriends, her friends in frats. Everything was about boys! It was honestly a little strange, but only because she talked about it for most of the round.
Blueberry Cobbler: This was another house that I really appreciated the nontraditional aspects of. Both the exterior of the house and the inside were so unique, I remember thinking about how cool it would be to just get to explore this sorority’s house alone. I immediately clicked with the goofy personality of the first girl that I talked to, and I felt so comfortable with her that I ended up accidentally sharing an embarrassing story about myself. Thankfully, she thought it was hilarious. The second and third sisters that I talked to got along just as well with me, and one even ended up complimenting me in a really sweet way. I liked the feeling of genuineness that I got from this house, but I knew it was too early for me to be certain about any of my first impressions.
Raspberry Rose Macaron: For whatever reason, this house was one that I had had high hopes for before recruitment even began. I talked to three girls here and loved each and every one of them. This was definitely one of the louder houses, as two of the sisters I talked to had already lost their voices! The way that a comment was worded by one of the sisters as I was leaving though made me think I probably wouldn’t be invited back here.
Snickerdoodle Sundae: I was a little worried about going into this house because I absolutely did not fit the look that they seemed to go for. I ended up being pleasantly surprised with my conversations here anyway. All three of the sisters that I talked to were a little silly and didn’t seem to take themselves too seriously, and that was something that I really appreciated. I was still wary of liking this house, but they had definitely made a good impression on me.
Key Lime Pie: The main active I was paired with was one of the few I met that didn’t seem to be putting on a facade. Don’t get me wrong, practically every girl I met was obnoxiously wonderful, but I know that for situations like recruitment we all want to put our best faces forward: myself included. This active, however, seemed unapologetically confident with who she was, what she was saying, and how she was feeling. I found this extremely refreshing, although the house as a whole was a little unmemorable for me.
Mango Peach Lemonade: I already knew a few of the sisters in this house and had visited with them in the springtime, so I was really excited about talking to them during recruitment. I liked every single sister that I talked to in this house, and they seemed to be genuinely having fun with recruitment. I left feeling like I could truly belong here, and I hoped I’d receive an invitation back for the next round.

There was nothing that could’ve prepared me for the amount of walking that we did on this day. The houses at Texas aren't on a street or two in a typical "sorority row" style, but spread over an entire area that we refer to as West Campus. By the time I got back to my dorm room I was thoroughly exhausted, and a dull soreness had started to settle into my throat. I had one of those moments where you look into the mirror once you get home after a long day and your first thought is “…yikes.” All I wanted was to decompress with a hot shower, a clean face, and a nice cup of honey lemon tea, and I was on a high from the excitement I felt knowing I would (hopefully ~ fingers crossed) find my home by the end of the week. The prospect of new sisters and a fresh start for the next day lulled me into a quick and restful sleep.
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  #11  
Old 09-16-2018, 01:17 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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Yay! Sounds like a good first day, all things considered.
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Old 09-16-2018, 01:34 PM
tinydancer tinydancer is offline
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas - "Where the West begins"
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I'm a UT grad and I'm loving your story!
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  #13  
Old 09-16-2018, 03:19 PM
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Sciencewoman Sciencewoman is offline
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Eager to hear more!
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:55 PM
MayBeth MayBeth is offline
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Wednesday, Round 1, Day 2: Open House

I knew that today was going to be significantly shorter than the day before, so I had a little extra pep in my step while getting ready. I was really looking forward to meeting the four houses that were left on my group’s list!

Strawberry Shortcake: The first active that I was paired with had a personal connection to their philanthropy, so it was really interesting to hear about what her experience had been like in her chapter so far. An older, quieter girl came up to us after that, and we talked about my dorm for a little while since she had lived there the year before. I didn’t feel at all uncomfortable in this house, but I wouldn’t say I was blown away.
Caramel Fudge Brownie: I have very little to say about this house. I had heard that they didn’t treat the PNMs that they didn’t want in the most polite way, and I ended up having a first hand experience with one of the most popular rumors. I could tell that the active I talked to wasn’t listening to anything that I said, but I didn’t mind. If this house already knew who they wanted, then I hoped that the girls who ended up would be very happy.
Vanilla Cream Puff: I talked to two girls for most of my time in this house, and I could tell that they were genuinely good friends with one another. One of the girls was really interested in my major, so it was interesting to hear her thoughts on the career field that I was hoping to enter into. I didn’t think that I fit the look of this house either, but I was hoping that I might still be given a second invitation.
Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake: The two sisters that I talked to in this house truthfully seemed done with recruitment. I’m not sure if it was me specifically, but neither of them seemed interested in the conversation whatsoever. I kept a happy face and continued to ask them questions about themselves before it was time to leave. I couldn’t believe it, but just like that, open house was over with!

Ranking wasn’t difficult for me this night, partly because I was sure I wouldn’t be getting a full schedule regardless. The order of our top 10 houses didn’t matter, but I ranked them in order anyway to help keep things straight in my head.
I casted my vote as:
1. Mango Peach Lemonade
1. Blueberry Cobbler
1. Lemon Pound Cake
1. Vanilla Cream Puff
1. Raspberry Rose Macaron
1. Strawberry Shortcake
1. Snickerdoodle Sundae
1. Key Lime Pie
1. Watermelon Popsicle
1. Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake
2. Mint Chocolate Chip
3. Cinnamon Sugar Donut
4. Caramel Fudge Brownie

My dorm that night was full of girls anxious over how their schedules would look the next day, myself included. Many of my hall mates vocalized their fears of not being asked to join a “top tier” house, and I couldn’t help but wonder what truly separated the “top tier” from the “bottom tier.” For the most part, every single sorority at Texas seemed to be truly incredible. If someone had asked me to tell them what specifically distinguished the “bottom” houses from the “top” ones, I wouldn’t have had a clue as to what to say. I’ve always thought that the people who feel the need to explain how or why they believe themselves to be better than others aren’t people who are worth worrying much about at all. I had witnessed multiple girls entering houses over the last two days engulfed in a cloud of superiority. I couldn’t imagine how that must feel to a chapter, working so incredibly hard to put together an organized and enjoyable recruitment, just for certain girls to write them off from the get-go because they believed they were too good to be there. Everyone wants to feel liked and accepted, and I honestly feel like sorority recruitment is one of the most vulnerable situations you can voluntarily put yourself into. I was already experiencing my own self doubts in regards to how I had looked and whether or not I had been outgoing enough. There was no reason for girls to put other people’s personal opinions and experiences down by telling them that certain houses weren’t worth joining. I chatted a little longer with my roommate and a couple of other girls before I laid down and stared at my ceiling for what felt like hours. I hadn’t realized how truly nervous I was until that moment, and a thousand thoughts swam (probably completed an entire synchronized swimming routine, actually) through my head before I actually drifted off.
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:17 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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I love how you are thoughtfully proceeding through rush.
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