What I Wish I Knew About Finding the Perfect Sorority

By Molly Hovden

The big event I had been waiting and dreaming about all summer ended just a few short weeks ago — and I’m happy to say that I’m officially in a sorority!

Just like some of you anxious to join a sorority at your college, I had read numerous advice columns and watched countless YouTube videos about recruitment in preparation. (A girl’s gotta be prepared, right?)

Be 100% YOU

It’s easy for our minds to be clouded by compliments or by how beautiful a house is or by how great the sisters’ outfits are. But, later in the year when you’re having your absolute worst day, you aren’t wearing any makeup, you’re wearing pajamas and your hair isn’t done – who would you feel comfortable to share that side of you with? Who would try and cheer you up? Would you be okay sharing your worst (and best) days with these women? I had some great conversations with some amazing ladies at many of the houses I visited, but the place I felt best at was the house where I felt like I could relax and be my true self, the house where I felt like I was taking a break from recruitment and where conversation came so easy. That’s how I knew I was home.

Listen up ladies because this is my biggest piece of advice: No matter what, be yourself 100%. Don’t change the way you are to try and impress a certain chapter. You want to be accepted for who you are and that doesn’t require putting on a show. When you’re being yourself, it’s a lot easier to find out who you actually click with. You might not notice it in the earlier rounds, but as times goes on you’ll eventually feel that connection.

Keep an Open Mind

From the beginning, I had three favorite houses going through recruitment and at different points of the process I was cut from two of them. It hurt a little bit when it happened, but once I realized I still had a favorite left, my mood instantly changed. It’s important to remember that no one will be asked back to every single house — that’s normal! However, it’s not uncommon for people to get cut from their favorite houses, only to fall in love with a different house later on. Your opinions and views will change throughout this process and you just need to trust yourself. Instead of worrying about the houses that passed you up, focus on the ones that asked you back — these are the group of girls that want YOU and that’s got to feel pretty great.

I understand it can be tempting to have your heart set on one house (maybe you’re a legacy or fell in love with one house right off the bat) but please try to keep an open mind. I saw too many girls who were really crushed and spent the night crying when they didn’t get asked back to their favorite house.

Don’t Be Shy

Remember, recruitment is outside pretty much everyone’s comfort zone, but going through something as crazy and strenuous as the sorority recruitment process makes for tight bonds between you and other women like you. One of the best things about going through recruitment was not only finding sisters, but also getting to know girls I wouldn’t have had the option to otherwise.

Recruitment is all about getting to know women who have the same interests as you. Think about it this way: every girl going through recruitment has at least one thing in common with you already— you all want to be in a sorority! So strike up conversations with the girls in your groups. I met some amazing girls going through recruitment and even though a lot of us are in different houses now, we still make time to hang out with each other.

Make Your Own Choices

Don’t forget that your recruitment experience and your preferences are very personal.  Don’t feel the need to talk about them with anyone if you don’t want to. Everyone will have their own unique experience and at the end of the day you don’t need to compare yourself to others or have others clouding your judgment and influencing your decisions. Trust your heart and choose a sisterhood that YOU want to be in. Even if you start to have doubts, I highly recommend just sticking out the process. You could surprise yourself. Of course there will be ups and downs, but it’s all worth it in the end.

In case any of you were wondering – I’m an Alpha Chi Omega at the University of Iowa and I couldn’t be happier! Good luck with recruitment and have fun on bid day!!