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  #1  
Old 07-24-2021, 10:31 AM
Mouse Mom Mouse Mom is offline
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A Regal Recruitment (from a Mom's Perspective)

This is a mom’s perspective on her daughter’s 2020 recruitment experience. I’m sharing (with her blessing) because we benefited greatly from the advice and stories here on GC. Her situation involves several factors that can impact a PNM’s recruitment including being a legacy, coming from far out of state, and in her year, the entire week being virtual.

This may end up longer than I intended but I decided to sacrifice brevity for thoroughness. I’ve done my best to maintain some anonymity, including changing the number of chapters and slightly altering descriptions. I know this may break some best practices for GC recruitment stories but felt it was necessary. I hope the story will still have some value.

So without further ado… I introduce you to “Minnie Mouse.”

Like nearly every PNM at Fairytale University, Minnie is smart, accomplished, cute, and friendly. Throughout her school years, she excelled in academics and sports. She was heavily involved in community service and is easygoing, and level-headed. Minnie likes almost everyone and tends to look for the good in people and situations. She’s in the honors program at Fairytale and was chosen to be part of a selective leadership program there.

One of the main reasons Minnie was interested in joining a sorority was for the sisterhood. She has always had close groups of friends and she believed joining a sorority would be a good way to find that at a large school where she didn’t know anyone, other than one relative who is three years older.

Though she doesn’t know any other Fairytale first-years or much about recruitment, Minnie was very lucky to have several NPC ladies providing advice and support before and during the recruitment process:

Merryweather: A family member by marriage, Merryweather lives near Fairytale U and is a very active alumna of her sorority, including as a past recruitment advisor and leadership roles in her local alumnae club. Sweet but tough, Merryweather is a straightshooter and doesn’t mince words.

Fauna: Mom of an incoming Fairytale Princess, Fauna and I met in a social media group for Fairytale parents. She is from (and still lives) in my hometown and her daughter, “Daisy Duck,” was also a PNM. It was nice to find someone whose new Princess was going through the same thing as Minnie, especially with so many unknowns regarding how/if recruitment was going to take place and just the angst and uncertainty that goes with being a parent of a child going away to college for the first time.

Flora: A friend of Fauna, Flora is very well-connected in her area’s Panhellenic circles, a region which is well-represented at Fairytale. Though Fairytale doesn’t have a chapter of her sorority, Flora offered to help Minnie and Daisy with preparing for recruitment and making decisions during the week if they needed a more objective sounding board (i.e. not mom).


BEING FROM FAR OUT OF STATE

Though she had much in common with other PNMs, Minnie was different in one obvious (and objective way). She would likely be the only PNM from her home state—a state more than one thousand miles from Fairytale U. Our family has strong ties to Fairytale which stretch back more than a century. Minnie’s brother graduated from Fairytale about five years ago and she’s known since she was little that she wanted to be a Fairytale Princess. Though her brother wasn't Greek, his wife was in a sorority at Fairytale and was excited to help Minnie. I attended (and rushed at) Fairytale before a medical issue prompted me to transfer to a school closer to home (where I affiliated.)

Minnie wasn’t raised in a place where Greek life is part of the culture. Here in Miceville, sororities and fraternities are seen as an activity reserved for the college years, more like a club. There’s no Panhellenic Alumnae Association in the entire state, despite University of Mice having numerous NPC sororities. Formal recruitment there is very casual so other than her brother’s wife, me, and our members, Minnie did not know anyone who had been through a very competitive recruitment.

Though I’ve lived in Miceville for many years, I was born and raised in a place which takes sorority involvement very seriously and with countless sorority women in our family, I had an idea of what Minnie might need in terms of the application, resume, rec letters, etc. Without this awareness, I think Minnie might have been at a significant disadvantage in going through formal recruitment at a large school.

Despite Greek Life being somewhat under the radar here (and University of Mice only having four chapters in common with Fairytale), Minnie was able to find quite a few women here to write recommendations for her, many of whom were excited to help as they’d never been asked before. DIL assisted with the houses she was lacking, connecting Minnie to her friends from Fairytale who had been in other sororities. Minnie spent quite a bit of time over the summer chatting with these women on Facetime and writing thank you notes.


BEING A PNM WITH A STRONG LEGACY TIE

When putting together Minnie’s packet, one of the topics we pondered was whether to include her legacy information and if so, the extent to share. As mentioned, our family has a very strong association with one NPC organization, especially at Fairytale. Minnie would be a triple legacy with many aunts, cousins, in-laws, and relatives belonging to the same chapter. We weren’t sure what to do.

On one hand, including (at least some of) that information might be helpful in showing that Minnie understood the commitment of being in a sorority and wasn’t someone from faraway who would join and then get homesick and leave during the first semester. On the other hand, there was a fear of Minnie being automatically snubbed by other sororities who would assume she was only interested in that chapter and wouldn’t be worth investing time in getting to know. This was made all the more complicated to us by several sororities (including mine) announcing changes to their legacy policies shortly before recruitment started.

Flora advised that we exclude it. We didn’t want chapters making snap judgments about Minnie based on legacy connections. Houses might assume she was only interested in her legacy house, even if that sorority was one which no longer gave advantages to legacy PNMs. “Other chapters might see all the ‘Elsas’ in her family and count her out automatically. You don’t want this to be an easy reason for them to release her during the big cuts.”

But Merryweather suggested we include it. “They will know anyway, whether you put it on there or not,” she said firmly despite my skepticism. Minnie was one of hundreds and hundreds PNMs. How would they know? “They will. They absolutely will,” she replied, unmoved.

We had two very knowledgeable ladies making opposite suggestions, and both their rationales made perfect sense. In the end, we did include the very basic legacy information.


VIRTUAL RECRUITMENT

Fairytale had announced a hybrid recruitment. PNMS were invited to submit an optional one-minute video (which Minnie did). She wasn’t really sure what to say but she did pretty well in talking about how she was looking for a sisterhood and hoping to be very involved in her chapter’s philanthropy.
Again, Minnie was a lot like every other PNM. How could a one-minute video show who she really was?

Some of the ladies who had done recs for her shared what they had written. There were phrases like “A loyal and true friend,” “With Minnie, there is no drama or bragging. I’ve never heard her say about bad word about anyone.” “Confident and kind.” High praise and qualities that might be reflected when talking with an active in person. But could they be conveyed in a short video and Zoom chats? She would just have to do her best and hope her true self came through.
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Old 07-24-2021, 10:51 AM
Mouse Mom Mouse Mom is offline
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ROUND 1- VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE

Round 1 at Fairytale would be entirely virtual, with PNMs watching short videos about each chapter and submitting their rankings. Minnie was a little worried she might not get a true feel for the sisterhood in each house without actually talking to anyone, but she was excited to start the process. She read the chapter summaries and facts in the recruitment booklet to help her feel a bit more prepared. She watched the videos in between packing as we planned to leave to take her to school the following day.


Mouse Mom Musings

Although my family members and I were aware of the (sometimes accurate and sometimes inaccurate) reputations, stereotypes, and images of the chapters at Fairytale, Minnie went into recruitment a nearly blank slate. She knew a little bit about the Annas, Elsas, and Cinderellas because of the family connections but we all did our best to be neutral so she could make her own decisions and trust her instincts throughout the process. One advantage of being from out of state and knowing no one (except the one related Elsa active) was that Minnie was arriving without bias. Had she attended University of Mice, she may have had preconceived notions based on where high school friends and acquaintances had joined.

I am going to go ahead and admit here that I had very conflicted feelings about the legacy situation for Minnie though I couldn't really pinpoint why. On one hand, I thought it would be wonderful for Minnie to be my daughter and my sister and to join this special bond that so many women in our family have. On the other hand, I wanted her to go in completely open to anything and blaze her own path. When I went through recruitment, I had my top two houses at pref and absolutely loved them both. In the end, I went with my legacy house since that was the only real advantage one had over the other. I’ve never regretted it, but I was hoping Minnie wouldn’t find herself in the same dilemma.



THE HOUSES

Fairytale U has a strong Greek system and all of the sorority chapters are great. Thankfully, there are no “struggling” or “bad” sororities here even if five or six are seen as “most desirable.” These descriptions based on my own observations, as well as impressions from family members (older and younger) who attended Fairytale.

Anna: One of the original chapters at Fairytale University, the Annas (together with the Elsas) are generally viewed by PNMs as among the most desirable houses. Like their namesake, the Annas are known for being fun, outgoing, and creative. They are sometimes accused of preferring PNMs with a certain look from a specific region of the state— as in "redheaded PNMs from Arendelle have a high likelihood of pledging Anna." Meriweather and Minnie’s SIL and SIL’s sister (my DIL and her sister) are Annas from this chapter.

Ariel: The Ariels have been at Fairytale for nearly 60 years and are somewhat of an elusive bunch. They aren’t especially known for campus involvement beyond their talent in singing and show performances. They have struggled with grades in the past but have worked hard to improve. They are generally known as nice girls with a strong sisterhood and seem to recruit artsy girls who excel in music and dance.

Belle: The Belles are among the newer chapters on campus. They are very involved and social and seem dedicated to their philanthropy. The Belles’ social media accounts highlight their excitement and pride in being Belles. Though it can be hard to new to campus with chapters who’ve been around for 100 years, the Belles have made a lot of strides in making a name for their organization.

Cinderella: The Cinderellas are another strong and well-established house and have the reputation as likeable and fun. Known as one of the more diverse groups, their social media shows girls of different ethnicities, body types, majors, locations, and interests. Laidback and cooperative, they aren’t exactly cutthroat when it comes to competition but the Cinderellas sometimes find themselves among the top anyway. Minnie’s godmother and Fauna were both Cinderellas at other schools.

Elsa: Minnie’s legacy house. One of the original sororities on campus and a historically strong recruiting chapter, the Elsas are sometimes seen as a bit of a paradox— involved on campus but sticking closely to themselves. Their sisterhood is strong, and they take pride in their success in intramurals, shows, and other campus competitions. There are too many Fairytale University Elsas in Minnie’s family to count (including me, her grandmother, and great grandmother), many of whom have remained involved throughout their lives and have held offices and the regional and national levels. Minnie also has a family member who’s a current Elsa at Fairytale U.

Jasmine: The newest chapter on campus, the Jasmines are staking claim as a unique and independent group. Though still slightly smaller than the other chapters, their spirit rivals anyone. Their membership is a mix of those who are the “traditional” sorority girl and those who fall outside that image, giving them a special strength and pride. The Jasmines are involved on campus, but their relatively recent arrival means they don’t yet have a specific reputation.

Merida: The Meridas were a fairly new chapter when I was at Fairytale and they have made huge gains. Another house which values involvement, Meridas can be found in campus activities far and wide. Although there have been recent rumors about sisterhood troubles and decreasing retention rates, the Meridas are still seen mostly positively on campus and in the Greek community. As an aside, the majority of Minnie’s community service has directly involved the Merida philanthropy. It is a cause she to which she feels deeply connected.

Rapunzel: Locked away in their tower and somewhat removed from the other sorority houses, the Rapunzels are a difficult group to describe. Another chapter without a particular reputation or stereotype, they have a mix of members and don’t appear to recruit a certain type of PNM. They have a respectable GPA and average involvement in campus activities. Their social media accounts highlight their strong sisterhood and the Rapunzels seem proud of their affiliation. Minnie has a much older cousin who was a Rapunzel here.

Snow White: The Snow Whites are among the oldest sororities at Fairytale and nationally. Despite their history, they’ve never established a specific stereotype or reputation. They are passionate about their philanthropy and strong in their sisterhood. The Snow Whites are sweet and hard-working and make a strong effort to be involved in the Panhellenic community. Ask a girl from any sorority about the Snow Whites, and you’re more than likely to get a positive response.

Sleeping Beauty: Beautiful, polished, and sophisticated PNMs gravitate to the Sleeping Beauties. Aptly called the “Doll House,” (not their real nickname), Sleeping Beauty’s members (and their house) are known to be gorgeous and trendy. They are usually a strong-recruiting chapter but tend to be dormant during the school year. Campus involvement and academics are seemingly less of a priority. Nevertheless, the Sleeping Beauties seem to have fun and despite a lower-than-average retention rate, the active sisters seem happy there.

Tiana: The Tianas are a driven, high-achieving group with lots of goals. The expression “The best never rest” may have been penned by a Fairytale Tiana. The Tianas’ stellar GPA, scores of trophies, and Type A mentality make them appealing to many PNMs. They have a reputation for selecting a specific kind of girl in their quest to be the best, and knowledgeable PNMs will know beforehand if they fit the mold. Fun act: All of my relatives who have gone through recruitment at Fairytale have been cut by the Tianas on the first night except an aunt who became a Tiana nearly 100 years ago.


After watching all the videos with her recruitment group, Minnie submitted her rankings then shared her thoughts with me.

As might be expected, the chapters on Minnie’s “Really Interested” list were among the strongest recruiting chapters at Fairytale, the houses that one might expect to produce the more impressive videos. She divided them as follows (shown in alphabetical order):

REALLY INTERESTED

Anna: Love their philanthropy (related to her career plans); girls seem nice but not too pushy or hyper

Cinderella: Happy, friendly girls; personal connection to the philanthropy

Elsa: Sisterhood and campus involvement were highlighted; excited to see our relative (who’s on exec) in the video

Tiana: Slanted video angle made it hard to watch but they did a good job showing how involved and smart they are


WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT

Ariel
Jasmine
Merida: Strong personal connection to philanthropy
Rapunzel
Snow White

Minnie’s strongest reactions came from the houses she felt were not for her.


NOT FOR ME

Belle: Although she thought the Belles seemed like nice people, Minnie thought the Belle video seemed “too braggy.” She said their video focused mostly on how wonderful they all were and the competitions they had won instead of their activities and sisterhood. She said felt like she would not be a good fit for the boisterous and proud Belles.

Sleeping Beauty: Minnie said that the Sleeping Beauties had a very “professional” video and that the girls seemed friendly, but the thing that stood out to her most was how perfect their hair, makeup, and clothing were. She thought that these Beauties would be too high maintenance for her. “If what I remember from their video is their makeup, clothing, and cars, I don’t think I am a Sleeping Beauty.”

Round 1 was over so quickly, it almost seemed like it a trial run. Minnie ranked the houses as follows (shown in alphabetical order):

1. Anna
1. Ariel
1. Cinderella
1. Elsa
1. Jasmine
1. Merida
1. Rapunzel
1. Snow White
1. Tiana

2. Belle
2. Sleeping Beauty

Minnie would have to wait a couple of days to find out which houses would invite her back, but she didn’t have time worry about that. She finished packing and we headed out early the next morning.
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Old 07-24-2021, 01:34 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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What a fun read. Your daughter sounds like she knows herself pretty well.
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Old 07-24-2021, 02:37 PM
Cookiez17 Cookiez17 is offline
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I'm excited to hear what happens with this story!
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If I can get a bid so can you; a longer recruitment story
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Old 07-24-2021, 05:51 PM
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honeychile honeychile is offline
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Great (yet cryptic!) descriptions! I'm in for the ride!

Best of Luck to Minnie Mouse AND Daisy Duck!
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Old 07-25-2021, 09:41 AM
Mouse Mom Mouse Mom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSUZeta View Post
What a fun read. Your daughter sounds like she knows herself pretty well.
I am so glad that comes across here! From a young age, Minnie has always been comfortable in her own skin and has had pretty good self-awareness.
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Old 07-25-2021, 10:00 AM
Mouse Mom Mouse Mom is offline
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ROUND 2- PHILANTHROPY

Just as we arrived in Royal City, I received a text from Fauna… Fairytale had just announced that all of recruitment would be virtual! This would make it more difficult for both the actives and the PNMs to get a feel for each other but at least PNMs wouldn’t have to worry about running from house to house in the heat.

Everything was changing so quickly. Fauna and I decided to stay in close touch so we could keep each other updated and commiserate. I would be staying in town until the day before classes started while Fauna would be moving Daisy in, driving home, and returning for bid day. I promised to help Daisy during the week if she had an emergency or crisis and needed in-person assistance.

The next couple of days were entirely a blur. Minnie moved into the dorm, met with her recruitment group in person (socially distanced of course), took a walking tour of the sororities, and on the morning of Day 1 of philanthropy round, she received her invitations.

Ariel
Belle
Elsa
Jasmine
Merida
Rapunzel
Sleeping Beauty
Snow White


Minnie had been prepared for huge cuts so she was excited to see that so many chapters had invited her back. She was a little disappointed not to see Anna and Cinderella on her list because she had really liked them both, had been interested in their philanthropies, and because of the connection to Merryweather, her SIL (both Annas) and her godmother (Cinderella). She didn’t seem bothered that the Tianas had released her but maybe she just had a sense that they weren’t a good fit. She even said she was happy not to have broken the family streak of being released by the Tianas in the first round.

Meanwhile, she was thrilled with the houses she did have left and quickly got herself ready for her first “party.” The philanthropy round was divided into two days and Minnie was scheduled for three parties Day 1 and five parties Day 2.

Day 1- Philanthropy

Sleeping Beauty: The first party on the first day of an entirely new format is bound to have some troubles and Minnie’s time with the Sleeping Beauties was no exception. Minnie said she had a bad feeling as soon as she logged on. She found the sister to be “snobby” and “kind of rude.” This first impression was bolstered when another girl appeared in the background. Minnie wasn’t initially sure what was happening, but the background girl must have been in the wrong place at the wrong time because she was trying to creep against the wall, crouching down so she wouldn’t be seen. This was only a minor distraction until the sister talking to Minnie whirled around and snapped in a whisper-shout “You aren’t supposed to be in here right now! Get out!” Minnie was taken aback but relieved that it was time for her to be bumped to a new sister. This one turned out to be nice and she and Minnie had a good conversation about why the Sleeping Beauty philanthropy was so important to her. The experience at Sleeping Beauty was a good lesson for Minnie about how there are many different kinds of personalities in the same sororities, especially at big schools like Fairytale, but she was still certain that she didn’t click with the Sleeping Beauties.

Jasmine: After the outburst during the Sleeping Beauty conversation, Minnie was happy to find that the Jasmine sister she spoke with was very calm and had a shared love for the same sport. Although the active was nice, she didn’t feel like she had a good sense of the chapter or their philanthropy. The president of the Jasmines popped in for a moment to introduce herself which surprised Minnie. She left the Jasmines feeling neutral.

Belle: Minnie was paired with two very outgoing Belles at her last party of the day. Though she described them as “nice,” Minnie also commented that they were both very hyper, loud, and talked a lot. One appeared to have more in common with Gaston than Belle with her boasting. Minnie didn’t feel a connection to their philanthropy or to them. She said she was absolutely certain she was not a Belle.



With philanthropy Day 1 over, Minnie said she didn’t want to think too much about the three chapters she’d met until after the second day was finished. She had taken notes so she would remember key points about each chapter, but she was trying to keep an open mind about until it was time to rank.


Day 2- Philanthropy

Ariel: Minnie started the second day with the Ariels. Both Ariels she spoke with were nice, if not a little shy. They talked a lot about their fundraising activities for their philanthropy and Minnie shared some of her experiences with community service. She left the Ariels with a pretty positive feeling, hoping that she would have another chance to get to know them better.

Rapunzel: Minnie spoke with two friendly Rapunzels during her visit with them. She didn’t have the impression they were especially passionate about their philanthropy, but she thought they were nice. Even though she wasn’t wowed by the Rapunzels, this was another house she would like to get to know better.

Snow White: At the Snow White party, Minnie was greeted by a friendly active who had participated in the same sports. They had even been at the same national event a couple of years prior. Minnie was surprised that both the president and the fundraising chair of the Snow Whites came in separately to introduce themselves. This was the third party in a row that left Minnie with a neutral feeling. She was still waiting for that “when you know, you know” feeling that she had heard people talking about. Even so, she liked the Snow Whites and would welcome the opportunity to learn more about them.

Elsa: Minnie didn’t have to wait long for the feeling. She knew from the moment she talked to the first Elsa. She described it to me like she was seeing an old friend for the first time. They clicked right away. She told Minnie all about how excited she was to meet her and how much she had heard about her from Minnie’s relative in the house. The president and recruitment chair also introduced themselves and before she knew it, Minnie’s time with the Elsas was up. Minnie adored the Elsas.

Merida: After her wonderful time with the Elsas, any house would have had difficult time measuring up. Unfortunately, the active that Minnie was paired with did little to make the Meridas appealing. Minnie was still interested and excited to meet the Meridas because of her strong ties with their philanthropy—personally, in her community service, and in some fundraising she had done on her own. Once Minnie and the Merida were in their private Zoom room, the sullen Merida proceeded to tell her that she was only informed she had to talk to a PNM a few minutes earlier and had no idea what she was supposed to be doing. Minnie tried to ask questions about the philanthropy, but the Merida gave one-word replies and was disengaged. After her positive experiences at all the other houses that day, Minnie was very disappointed that one she had been so looking forward to meeting was such a flop. She didn’t wish to return to Merida.


I don’t remember the numbers of houses they would have for the next round but if Minnie were to personally have ranked the houses from favorite to least at this point, it would have been:

1. Elsa

2. Rapunzel
2. Snow White
2. Ariel
2. Jasmine

3. Merida
3. Sleeping Beauty
3. Belle


I took Minnie to dinner after the second day of philanthropy round. She was as happy and excited as I had seen her in long time. She'd made a couple of friends in her Gamma Chi group and they had bonded while discussing their philanthropy round experiences. Maybe it was the social distancing and the fact that the PNMs were attending parties alone (and virtually), but she said that she hadn’t heard much tent talk at all. On the way back to her dorm, she asked me to drive her by the houses she had left so she could connect them in her mind with the parties since everything was so out of context on Zoom.

Mouse Mom Musings

Earlier I admitted I had mixed feelings about the possibility of Minnie becoming an Elsa. When she told me how much she loved them that night, I was surprised to feel something an awful lot like disappointment. I wished she had been able to visit all the houses in person. I wanted her to have choices. I worried that Flora had been right and maybe Minnie was being discounted because of the legacy. When I thought about it again (like a sane person), I was glad she had liked the Elsas and had felt a connection with at least one of the chapters. Maybe she wouldn’t be faced with quite such a dilemma as I had been. Of course, I didn’t say anything to Minnie about any of my thoughts. It was her experience, after all.


The Elsa members of my family who live in the Royal City region were all thrilled when Minnie’s grandmother reported back to them what a great experience Minnie had had. We all went to sleep that night excited to find out what invitations Minnie would receive in the morning.
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Old 07-25-2021, 01:32 PM
ladybug12 ladybug12 is offline
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Thank you for your story! Keep it coming....
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:27 AM
Mouse Mom Mouse Mom is offline
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ROUND 3- SISTERHOOD

PNMs would receive the schedule for the sisterhood round early in the morning. Like philanthropy, sisterhood was split into two days. I woke up early and waited for the text from Minnie. When I saw it, my heart dropped.






The Elsas had LET HER GO.



What?!?!



How could this be?




Minnie had had a great conversation with them. They had said things that I thought might border on dirty rushing/bid promising but I had brushed those statements off in light of her excitement.




Her schedule read:

Ariel
Jasmine
Belle



I felt a surge of anger and sadness.

Minnie was likely the most accomplished PNM our family had had and the Elsas had rejected her. Not only that, but we had a family member in the house in a major leadership role. In my clouded state of mind, the anger multiplied and a sense of betrayal replaced the sadness.

I asked Minnie how she felt and she told me she was disappointed and a little confused but ok. She said she knew in her heart that she was not a good fit with Ariel, Belle, or Jasmine. I suggested she speak with her Gamma Chis to help her process her thoughts and options.

Minnie reached out to her Gamma Chis, one of whom was already helping a distraught PNM. (She later learned it was the sweet PNM in her group who was a strong legacy to the Annas, who had released her.) The second Gamma Chi was less than sympathetic but did refer Minnie to “Tinkerbell,” a wonderful member of Panhellenic Council. Tinkerbell spent a lot of time talking with Minnie about her feelings and encouraged her to give her remaining three houses another try. Minnie agreed to do that. She didn’t want to make any rash judgements or a decision she would regret by dropping out of recruitment without giving those houses another chance.

Meanwhile, I had informed Merryweather, Fauna, and Flora of the news.

Merryweather said she was surprised that Minnie had been released (“Releasing her I do not understand at all but sometimes it just doesn’t make sense.”) She followed that up with the directive that Minnie needed to give her last three houses a shot and to choose one of them. “Any of those houses would be lucky to have her. Tell her just to get in one,” she advised.

She didn’t know what was happening with the Elsas but she said that it appeared the Annas had made a “statement” with their legacies, releasing them at a surprisingly high rate. My Anna DIL would later make a similar pronouncement. (Both Merryweather and my DIL offered some actual figures. Although fully aware that membership selection is private, I didn’t doubt their numbers since they closed aligned and because neither of these women is the type to make up something to make Minnie feel better.)

Fauna seemed to be as shocked and horrified as I was by Minnie’s outcome. Although we had never met in person and she was stressing about Daisy’s recruitment, Fauna texted me throughout the day, checking in and offering support. Thankfully, Daisy was having a great recruitment and though she had been released from a few houses in the first round, she was thrilled to see her top houses back on her schedule for sisterhood round.

Flora was also stunned by Minnie’s release. She questioned whether there was an issue between Minnie and our Elsa relative. Though the girls weren’t close growing up because of geography, they had always gotten along when they saw each other and the relative had seemed so excited when Minnie decided to attend Fairytale.

Flora then asked whether the relative could have drama with any other Elsas who might want to punish her by releasing her family member. Flora said she had heard of this happening in another sorority at another school. I hadn’t thought of this angle (and of course had no way to know if that was a possibility), but it sickened me to think that Minnie might have been a pawn in such a scheme, especially with this chapter at this school.

“There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with Minnie,” Flora assured me. “She is beautiful, talented, and poised. My gut is telling me that there is more to this story.” She said that in all her years and experience, she had never seen a PNM with Minnie’s qualifications and personality have this happen to her. I don’t know if she was just attempting to make me feel better, but it did work, at least temporarily.


I was holding out hope that Minnie might find a connection with one of her last three houses.


After talking with Tinkerbell, Minnie had two houses to prepare for. (The Belles would be on the second day of the sisterhood round.) She watched the house tour videos and got dressed in what had been her favorite recruitment outfit.




Day 1- Sisterhood


Ariel: Of her three remaining houses, the Ariels were probably the group that Minnie felt best about. Unfortunately, the active she with whom she was paired (who she had met and liked in the previous round) opened their interaction with a statement that turned off Minnie totally. It was something along the lines of “We were surprised to see your name on the list Minnie! I thought you would probably be going to other houses.” Although I suggested later that the girl was probably just trying to express that she liked her, Minnie had interpreted the active’s comment as a sign that the Ariels didn’t have much confidence in themselves. The rest of the conversation was ok but the active talked a lot about the Ariels’ participation in shows and what a great bonding experience that was with her sisters. Minnie has many gifts but being music is not one of them. With her only musical experience being an ill-fated stint with the flute in middle school band, Minnie just didn’t feel a connection to this active or the chapter as a whole. The Ariels were a no.



Jasmine: Minnie was assigned to a Jasmine she had met the previous round, and oddly enough, this girl also mentioned being “surprised and excited” to have Minnie back at their house. Though Minnie liked the girl and described her as “really nice,” she just didn’t feel a connection and couldn’t see herself as a Jasmine. Another no.



Day 2- Sisterhood


Belle: Though the two Belles that Minnie spoke to didn’t say they were surprised to see her, Minnie still didn’t feel positively about the prospective of being a Belle. She thought they were just “too much” for her—too much energy, too loud, too “in your face.” She had nothing bad to say about the Belles personally. She just could never imagine being part of their group. The third party was also a miss, which wasn’t a surprise given that Minnie had been averse to the Belles since the beginning.




With the sisterhood round over, Minnie had a decision to make. She spoke again with Tinkerbell, the PHC rep, who encouraged her to trust herself and do what she thought was right. I also encouraged Minnie to trust her gut.

After an hour of deliberation, Minnie returned with a verdict. Although she knew she wanted to be part of a sorority, she sensed that she wasn’t a fit for Ariel, Belle, or Jasmine. Minnie made the difficult decision to withdraw from recruitment.

At the same time, Minnie did decide she would register for COB. If nothing else, the process had reaffirmed her desire to be in a sorority.

Tinkerbell and Flora both offered to help her as much as they could during the COB process. Even Fauna (only somewhat calmed that Daisy's near perfect recruitment was continuing) was already strategizing how to make sure that Minnie had a successful COB. Minnie would be the first in our family to participate in COB. Though I’m not normally a very emotional person, I broke down in tears when I called to cancel the bid day basket I had preordered for her.

A few days later, I went home. Minnie would be on her own.




Mouse Mom Musings

Nearly a year later, writing this still brings up a lot of emotions. Though at first glance it may seem that my anger stems from my daughter being released by her legacy house, it’s more complicated than that. At first, there was a huge sense of betrayal directed toward the active Elsa who held a leadership position in the house. (I won’t bore you with the details, but I have had mixed feelings about that side of the family for as long as I can remember. I realize now that my mixed feelings about the Elsas were probably more related to the family ties than the chapter itself.)

The betrayal turned into anger when I thought of the possibility that Minnie had been limited in her choices because of her legacy ties while not getting any benefit for them either. It seemed especially unfair given that her legacy was not her choice. It seemed like she could have been punished for family affiliations forged before she was even born. I’m not saying that I definitively believe Minnie was released from so many houses because of her legacy. Of course, we have no way of knowing that. But even the possibility of it was upsetting.

My biggest worry had been that Minnie would be torn between houses she loved. That the difficult decision would be how to rank the houses, not whether she should even continue. I’m sorry to say that I never even considered the possibility this might happen.

I was also so sad for Minnie, who I knew was feeling rejected. Even when her senior year was cut short and stripped of all its rites of passage, even when she suffered an injury that removed all hope of competing in her sport collegiately, even when it became apparent that her first year of college would be far from normal, Minnie had never once complained. There had been no tears or tantrums. She had always looked for the positive.

I started to question the wisdom of letting my 17-year-old go to a college in the middle of a pandemic so far away. Maybe I should pack her up and take her home and start fresh next year. I floated this idea to Minnie who thought about it for a moment and declined. My brave, resilient daughter said “No mom. I’ve always wanted to go to Fairytale and I am going to stay. I’m not going to be one of those people who just quits when things don’t go their way.”

I admired Minnie now more than ever.
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Old 07-26-2021, 04:37 PM
thetalady thetalady is offline
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What a roller coaster!!! Sounds like your Minnie has a very level head on her shoulders. I hope she enjoyed her freshman year, even without sorority affiliation. Has she already done COB or is that to come later?
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:00 PM
Mouse Mom Mouse Mom is offline
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Originally Posted by thetalady View Post
What a roller coaster!!! Sounds like your Minnie has a very level head on her shoulders. I hope she enjoyed her freshman year, even without sorority affiliation. Has she already done COB or is that to come later?
There's one more part of the story which I am writing now.
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:04 PM
*winter* *winter* is offline
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Hoping for a happy ending!
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:36 PM
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honeychile honeychile is offline
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This fairytale needs a happy ever after!
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Old 07-26-2021, 06:54 PM
Sister Havana Sister Havana is offline
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There's one more part of the story which I am writing now.
Can’t wait!
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Old 07-26-2021, 08:48 PM
gjcowin gjcowin is offline
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I’m ready to personally kick the Elsa’s asses and burn down their house! Just sayin!

Last edited by gjcowin; 07-26-2021 at 08:53 PM. Reason: Corrected an erro
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