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Is your daughter considering joining a sorority? Both of my daughters did. They had different recruitment experiences but joined the same sorority. Speak with almost any parent at any school, and most do not love the process. But like the process or not, sororities have their advantages, especially at a large college.
At this point, you may be thinking why would I want my daughter to subject herself to going through this process? Personally speaking, sorority life may not be for your daughter. There are many benefits to joining:
- Sororities are extremely visible and active on campus even though as a percentage of the total student population, their numbers are small.
- Every sorority has a philanthropy that members help fundraise for and more importantly, learn about.
- Many sororities stress high academics
- They can make the massive size of UF, or any large college, seem smaller. It is so easy to feel lost or alone at a large school. Getting involved, whether in a sorority, club or organization can make the transition easier. To this day, I stay in touch with friends I made in my sorority. Thanks to social media, I have reconnected with some that I lost touch with over the years.
My Daughters’ Recruitment Experiences
Both of my daughters went through recruitment and they had two completely different experiences and expectations. My older daughter rushed her freshman year and dropped out. She did not have a great experience and decided it was best for her. She did go through recruitment the following year and joined the sorority she wanted her freshman year. Collective sighs of relief lead to three years of her making some lifelong friends both in her sorority and in other sororities through her involvement in campus events such as Gator Growl, Dance Marathon, Her Campus, and other organizations.
Her sister, albeit a legacy now in two sororities (her sister’s and mine) went through recruitment with a completely different attitude; some of it was based on preconceived ideas about each sorority, but she knew which houses were where she believed she’d fit in. Speaking of legacies, if you were in a sorority or your student has a sibling that was in a sorority, no matter the college, you can send a letter of recommendation.
What Sorority Does She Want?
Most going through recruitment already have heard about the different sorority houses. In their mind, they know which ones are considered the most popular. That is exactly what makes this a difficult process.
There is a preconceived belief amongst those going through sorority rush that they want to wear certain letters (all of the sororities have different combinations of Greek letters). It does not matter that a particular sorority may not share the same values, beliefs or even be a house where they would feel comfortable. It becomes more about being selected.
I strongly encourage you to speak with your daughters in advance. Perhaps your daughter can look past the process and focus more on finding a place where she will fit in. I have witnessed girls joining sororities because of specific Greek letters only to realize after a few weeks, their choice was not the right choice for them.
How Does Recruitment Work?
I am not going to chocolate coat sorority recruitment- it is based on first impressions, judgments, and appearances; certainly in the first few rounds where conversations last about 10-15 minutes. Of course, that does not preclude them from looking at the rest of their outfit – think shoes, shorts, jewelry. Our interns shared their outfit suggestions as well as what to expect for each round. They have many price points so you can feel comfortable shopping within your own personal budget.
Recruitment involves four rounds and a bid day. As your daughter goes through each round, she will go to fewer sorority houses. She may not get invited back to every house; chances are likely that she will not. However, she will have options that hopefully are houses she is considering.
My Advice for Your Daughters
Yes, there are judgments being made based on the brand of clothes being worn, disingenuous conversations, and misrepresentations. The advice I gave my daughters is to be true to themselves. Creating a false persona just to get into a specific sorority does not result in making true friendships.
I know it is very difficult for some parents to see the process play out. Trust me, I’ve gotten teary calls from friends and acquaintances about their daughter being dropped from a house. I was told that they end up where they belong. Perhaps most do? It comes down to knowing your daughter. If she is not interested, then encourage her to get involved in another way. But if she has her heart set on going through recruitment, I have no problem in recommending joining a sorority.
Just know, once it is over and they find a place they love, it will lead to lifelong friendships and memories. Both of my daughters have amazing friends they met in their sorority. They have lived with them post-graduation, attended weddings, travel together, and hang out.