So you’re going through recruitment! You’re excited, nervous, anxious and you can’t stop trying on your new wardrobe for the week and having pretended conversations with yourself in your mirror.
Oh…that was just me.
Whatever your feelings are towards the process of Greek recruitment, uncertainty is almost bound to be one of them. Your recruitment staff will help guide you through this tumultuous week (I say tumultuous only because I go to a school with an ENORMOUS and therefore competitive sorority recruitment period). Your Mom will be there to listen to how your days were. Your boyfriend will be absolutely baffled by the entire process so don’t count on much more than foot rubs. All these people all well and good, but who can you talk to about what’s really pressing you? How do you carry on a conversation with a complete stranger for 20 minutes?
Never fear lovely potential new members, I’ve got your back on what to say (and what definitely NOT to say). A simple Rule of Thumb is to Avoid (at all costs) the 5 B’s.
Don’t talk about your boyfriend. You don’t want to be that obnoxious girl who only has one interest: her Snuggle McWonderful Honey Bear. Do not go on for hours about your last date night, his favorite foods or colors, or what the names of your future children are if you are seeking an invitation back to that house.
Do NOT name drop the names of your all time favorite Frat Boys. It may seem impressive to you that you can name all the older guys at XYZ house, but to the woman rushing you it might come off as desperate or weird. Some of the boys will most likely be her friends, and you don’t want any of your indiscretions from your wild Freshman Summer coming back to haunt you. Even worse, she may have dated any one of said studs and it might irk her to learn that her ex-boo has been gettin’ jiggy with the freshmen population. Just don’t talk about boys. This week is about sisterhood and finding the right house for you…not the men in your life.
If you are going through Panhellenic recruitment, chances are whatever house you’re at has it written in their bylaws that drinking is FORBIDDEN. These women work hard to portray and maintain a classy reputation for their chapters and don’t want to hear about your still-drunk walk of shame that morning. They are not looking for a new party-partner (despite what you may have heard). They’re looking for a girl to call their sister no matter what day of the week and no matter how much Franzia is involved.
Of course a poppin’ social life is a major perk of being Greek, but those good times are about bonding with your sisters, not Jack Daniels. If your social life is a top priority and you want a sisterhood that will support your partying endeavors, feel free to make it known. Just make the focus of your conversation about the girls you want at your side while you scream Journey into the mic, and not about drinking. So ticking off your top 5 favorite mixer themes = way cool…counting down your top 50 favorite mixers with vodka, not so much.
Politics, in general, actually. OF COURSE this is on everyone’s mind at present time, and we all know elections are in 2 months. But you just met this girl. Do not delve into hot button issues, no matter how important they are to you; they’re probably just as important to her, but she might just be at the complete opposite end of the spectrum of ideals. Save yourself and incredibly awkward aftermath and do not bring up Global Warming or Roe v. Wade.
Stick to “polite conversation” that you would feel comfortable having in a job or college interview. When you find your new home at the end of the week, rally up the sisters that share your mindset (whatever it may be) to go petition, campaign or protest. Politically active girls belong to all the different houses, and will be open about their beliefs at a more appropriate time–follow that lead.
Again, this is a cornerstone of everyone’s life so of course it will be reflected in the way you behave and present yourself. I’m not saying to pretend to be something you’re not (never ever do this! No matter how badly you want to be a part of the house, if you don’t fit in as your own badass-self, you do NOT belong there!) or to lie about your religious affiliation or extracurricular activities.
If you were a Youth Group Leader at your Church or Temple, awesome. Tell your girl alll about your interests, activities and passions. Do not instigate an uncomfortable, disrespectful or rude debate about your personal beliefs (which may be incredibly similar or WAY different from hers.)
Talking about money is tacky. Asking people how much they earn, while it has grown more acceptable in our need to know everything generation, is still considered bad manners in a casual social setting. Talk about your job if you love it (or hate it, I’ve heard some funny stories), don’t talk about how much you make. Feel free to gripe about gas price (she’ll commiserate), just don’t detail its impact on your bank account. And definitely divulge your favorite places to get f-ing AWESOME clothes for ridiculously cheap (she’ll feel you on this one).
Don’t try to talk your family or yourself up like a Rockefeller; you’ll either seem snobbish and intimidating to the poor girl rushing you, or she’ll be secretly laughing at you because she’s like…a legit Rockefeller (it happens). If you feel the need to bring up financial issues because you really and truly want to be Greek but aren’t sure how you’ll manage dues, bring this up when the woman talking to you explains her chapter’s financial requirements (there’s usually a designated day for this) so you can discuss payment options, scholarships, and installment plans.
It may seem like eliminating these topics will skim much of your personality away too, but think of the first parties you attend through recruitment as casual conversations with any other random stranger. You want them to have a positive opinion of you (not your boyfriend) that won’t be negated by any of your–ahem– lesser virtues.
And if the conversation seems shallow at first, remember: you just met this girl. You both have been having the same conversation over and over again throughout the day (major, hometown, high school activities). But as recruitment continues and you find yourself returning to the houses where you really felt at home, you’ll feel your conversations become genuine and you’ll be able to better evaluate where you truly belong.