Sorority recruitment an emotional rollercoaster

Kara McIntyre

Kara McIntyre

Recruitment is the most exciting month of every sorority girl’s life (and yes, I said month). We practice every day for almost a month straight, learning door chants, pref songs, and how to talk to a PNM (potential new member) properly. But I’m not going to lie, I questioned my sanity too many times during that month. Thoughts of strangling my sisters came to mind a few times (I swear, I love them). Here’s what the real recruitment rollercoaster looks like:

Sleep deprivation

Four hour or more practices every night after a full day of college classes can get really old, really fast. Not to mention that none of us had time to even begin homework until after we snapped, clapped, and chanted our hearts out. I don’t think any of us got more than five hours of sleep most nights, and we were “so done with recruitment” a little more each day.

Missing your disaffiliated sisters

Each sorority has to send a few of their members to be Rho Gammas, which are the girls who talk to the PNMs and help them find their home throughout the summer and Rush Week. They have to disaffiliate from the chapter — no T-shirts, jewelry, car stickers, or anything that could label them as a member of their sorority. It has to be a complete secret, which means none of their affiliated sisters can hang out with them publicly in fear of a PNM finding out; therefore, Bid Day becomes the biggest countdown.


If a sorority girl says she didn’t cry during recruitment, she’s lying. Whether it’s from the pressure, the nerves, or seeing your rush crush go to another chapter, every girl has shed a few tears during the process. Lord knows I did.

There aren’t just bad tears. I cried when I saw my Chi Omega new members and our Rho Gammas running towards my sisters and I on Bid Day. These girls figured out that a home doesn’t have to always be four walls and a roof — sometimes all it takes is one person (or 56 waiting sorority girls, in this case).


This is embarrassing, but my fingers were actually sore from snapping so much (because, you know, sorority girls don’t clap). I didn’t know fingers could even be sore until recruitment came around. No, I’m not joking.

My feet were ridiculously sore, and for good reason. Walking around in heels will make anyone want to chop their feet off at the end of the night, too. Come look at my heels — I have blisters from my first night of recruitment shoes.

Intense bonding

I have never felt closer to my sisters than during and after recruitment. They picked me up when I felt down. They invited me to dinner dates and lunch dates. They carpooled with me to practice and jammed out in the car. They reminded me that it’s okay to mess up, because that means I have room to improve (and they made sure I did). They primped my hair and made sure I always had minty fresh breath when talking to a PNM. My sisters were my support system and always will be, even if we wanted to claw each other’s eyes out sometimes.

Looking back, all of the complaints I made seem so trivial. What I got out of recruitment matters so much more: closer bonds with my sisters and 18 wonderful new members. If I have to go through a month of sleep deprivation, missing my disaffiliated sisters, tears, and soreness for that, I’ll take it.


Chi Omega new members sit front row after Bid Day on Sunday. Photo courtesy Chi Omega
Chi Omega new members sit front row after Bid Day on Sunday. Photo courtesy Chi Omega