With Recruitment just a mere two weeks away, the daunting task of figuring the process out can become overwhelming very quickly. To be honest, it has been a lot for me to process too. As a rising senior, I would consider myself a recruitment expert but this summer, my team and I have had to go back to the drawing board to figure out the best way to make sure you learn about our wonderful members and find your home at UT.
As I reflect on what recruitment has looked like in the past and what it will look like this year, I want to provide five timeless tips for you that will bring you confidence as you meet our members.
Number One: Breathe
We all know that breathing is automatic but in times of stress or uncertainty, we can lose control of our breathing and it can make us anxious. By taking the time to focus yourself and pace your breathing before you enter the zoom party, you can increase your levels of acetylcholine which will counteract all the adrenaline running through your body. I remember as a PNM trying to calm myself down outside of houses when I was nervous by taking it one breath at a time. With the way virtual recruitment is set up this year, you have time in between parties to do a little breathing exercise before and after each party at your desk or bed. I’m telling you, it will make such a big difference in the way you feel and how you present yourself to the recruiters!
Number Two: Take Notes
I barely remember conversations I had earlier in the morning throughout the day. Throw in meeting multiple members from 13 sororities in the span of a week, my brain was fried as a PNM. I found it helpful to write down key points that came up in conversation once I left the house. At the end of each round, I was able to review these notes, remember how well I clicked with a recruiter, and think about which houses I wanted to talk to again and which ones weren’t the best fit for me. I remember going through these notes again before Bid Day then running home to ADPi where I saw the women who I had impactful conversations with and felt right at home. While we may not have the bags that UPC provides to keep a little notebook in, you can have one right by your computer on your desk or nightstand to jot down things that stood out in that conversation.
Number Three: Stay Hydrated
This one may sound kind of odd since we’ll be sitting in our rooms with the AC on versus running around in the Texas heat. Nevertheless, you still need to be drinking water! You’ll still be talking to women almost non stop throughout the week and don’t want to strain those vocal cords. My first year as a recruiter, I had to present a speech about our philanthropy for 18 parties over two days as well as talk to PNMs at every single party - I learned how important water is very quickly. My favorite way to stay hydrated is by filling my Hydroflask halfway with ice and fill it to the top with water. I love using my Hydroflask because it will keep my water cold for soooo long. Any type of insulated water bottle will work so make sure you’ve got a good one on hand!
Number Four: Treat Yourself With Kindness
Recruitment can take a toll on you not only physically but mentally. As a PNM, we all want to find our home filled with women who accept us and will be our lifelong friends. Throughout recruitment, the process can feel harsh. It can feel like you really connect with one sorority but not get invited back the next day. I know when I was a PNM, not getting an invite from some houses made me look down on myself at times. Wondering why they didn’t want to see me again. Was it something I said or wore or did? Being in a sorority for three years, I realize the process works and you will find your home but during recruitment, it can seem like the world is working against you and your plans. My best advice is to not blame yourself. Take the time during the week to treat yourself and take care of yourself. For some, it may be journaling in the morning before zoom parties or taking a bubble bath with a face mask after the day is over to destress. You’ve already dealt with a lot of change by starting college and adjusting to that life. You don’t need to add the stress and worry of not getting invited back to the maximum number of houses each round.
Number Five: Be YOU
I know, I know. This is super cliche but I couldn’t help myself. As the first one in my family to go greek, my mother was pretty clueless about the process and just kind of nodded along when I called her everyday to update her on my party schedule and conversations. On one of our calls, I remember her telling me, “Lauren, don’t join a sorority where you have to pretend to be someone else.” Three years later, I remember her saying this so vividly and I still think about it when I reflect on my time as an ADPi. I reminisce on the nights where Mary Kate and I would sing along to Hamilton (before and after the HamilFilm) and talk about the meaning of the play, the staging and everything else. I remember the day I met my little, Serena, during recruitment and we talked about baby goats and how much we both loved nerdy things like Star Wars. I cherish the times where ten of us would pile into the twin size beds at the house and watch To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before eight times until we all fell asleep. These are the types of memories I would’ve missed out on if I hadn’t been myself during recruitment. As my time as a collegian is coming to an end, I will always remember how real my friendships are in ADPi because I didn’t try to hide who I really was.
I hope y’all take these tips to heart as we all navigate through RecruitZoom together. I have loved every moment of being an ADPi woman and couldn’t imagine my time in college being any better than this. I cannot wait for y’all to meet ADPi and our outstanding women.
See you guys soon!
Lauren is a senior and apart of the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at UT. When she's not studying or planning Recruitment for ADPi, she loves to teach fitness classes, cook, and read books.
People underestimate the power of a group chat. In March, when UT moved classes online and I was pulled away from my freshman year of college, I found myself missing, more than anything, the little things. The daily coffees, study dates, classes, meals, and even chapter meetings with my sisters were suddenly so meaningful, and I ached to have those moments back. I still do. Being suddenly and unwittingly moved back to my home in California and away from the people I’d become so attached to in Austin, I searched for ways to stay connected in every way that I could. Constantly texting and updating the group chat full of my sisters and best friends was just one of the many ways that I have tried to hold onto college and the people who ground me as the world turns on its head.
Social distancing, I have come to learn, is not synonymous with social isolation. In fact, it feels as though it has had an opposite effect. Being unable to be with the people who mean the most to me has given me a new perspective, a refreshed appreciation, for every moment I have had and will get to have with them. Now, every facetime call, every text, every instagram post and snapchat and tiktok sent to each other means so much more.
We are so often made to believe that technology is the enemy, that the internet is evil and ruining human connection, and yet this pandemic has served as a reminder of just how precious connection (whether in person or through a screen) really is. It is because of these online means of contact that I have been able to stay grounded in my best friends. If it were up to me, I would be with my sisters in a heartbeat, but that is sadly not the way the world works. So for now, I’ll take the facetime calls. I’ll take the snapchats. And the tiktoks. The texts, the book recommendations, the virtual study dates and the coffee recipes that just never seem to be quite as good as the espresso machine in the ADPi house.
In the midst of these terrifying times, having these things gives me a sense of sanity that I wouldn’t trade for the world; staying connected with my sisters has proven to be one of the most important aspects of my life in quarantine. If it weren’t for their support, their constant jokes, their daily facetime calls, their impromptu tutoring the day of a midterm, their optimism and geniality, and most importantly, their love, I would be significantly less happy away from UT. I cannot wait for the day that we are reunited, but until then, I will be grateful every day for everything they give me, even two thousand miles away.
Kate is a rising sophomore majoring in Neuroscience and is on a premed track. She enjoys hiking, exercising, cooking, and hanging out with her sisters in her free time.