Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Reflections on finding my letters

Spirit week is complete. Today is the day, although Saturday is also the day...probably a more important day. Today. Today is the start of sorority recruitment at my alma mater (University of Nebraska). Social media is going crazy with my friends from various chapters sending good wishes to their chapters. My sisters are sending good wishes to our chapter. And the more I think about recruitment, the more overwhelmed I become from recalling memories. 

Out of curiosity, I checked out the Nebraska recruitment schedule. I'm getting old as the schedule has changed. Heck, it changed in the four years I was a collegiate. So, I could write and share about all my specific memories of recruitment. How we had eight party day followed by five party day followed by three party day aka pref day, but that isn't how it is anymore. And it isn't how it is at other chapters across the nation as I've learned by being a chapter adviser for several other chapters. 

When I reflect back on recruitment, I can easily acknowledge I was naive going through the process. I wasn't concerned about wearing makeup and had no clue about fashion (my how things change). Although I've always been a social butterfly I was so intimidated by all of these beautiful, posed, confident women who I wanted to like me so much, who I wanted to bond with, that I could barely say a word and what few words I was able to spit out probably made no sense or were anything but elegant. 

Looking back, I'd like to glare at my eldest sister who neglected to tell  me how the concept of legacies work for her sorority. That would have put me at some ease but I also still would have known nothing is guaranteed. And this is where I'll insert a cliche...what is meant to be is meant to be. To the ladies entering recruitment this year on any campus, don't let it stress you out too much. And remember the cliche of what is meant to be is meant to be and the other cliche...it all happens for a reason. 

Bid day at Nebraska is on Saturday. That is definitely the day for these potential new members. And actives too. Potential new members learn what house has extended them a bid to join. Actives learn which potential new members have accepted the bids. Lots and lots of squealing and jumping up and down occurs. And I mean lots. 

Personally, my bid day was agonizing for me. Back in the day, bid day was the first day of classes. Actives walked around campus attending their classes wearing their bid day shirts. All you wanted to do was run  up to members of the chapter you prefed and ask if you were a member but you couldn't. Bids weren't handed out until the end of the day. In the middle of the afternoon I walked into my English 204 class and sitting there was the girl who recruited me on the second day at the chapter I prefed. I have no idea what was said in class that day because I was so nervous. 

And then...just a few short hours, I received my bid card. I didn't even care my named was misspelled because the bid was from the chapter I wanted to join. The chapter I felt the most comfortable with. The chapter I felt most welcomed at. The chapter my sister joined when she was in college. 

We learned chapter chants and then chanted them as we walked over to the chapter house to join the actives in celebration. As the day went on, I knew it was just day one of a new journey but I had no idea how incredible the journey would be. And continue to be beyond college.

Are you ready? Here is another cliche...It isn't just four years, it is for life. It has been 14 years since I pledged my sorority. I've lived in various states in that time besides Nebraska. I've been involved in various alumnae chapters and advised various chapters at other colleges. And although I'm close with some sisters from my four years at Nebraska, I'm even closer with the sisters I've met in my journey since college. And I still treasure our motto in my heart and try my hardest to always live up to it. I have grown by leaps and bounds from my time as an active and as an alum of my sorority.



Recruitment is quite the experience. It can be overwhelming but ladies going through it should savor it because next year, they will be on the other side of the door recruiting new ladies to join their chapter. Ladies going through recruitment need to remember to breathe and relax and to trust their instincts. Also, don't listen to chatter and gossip on campus about this sorority or that sorority. Choose the sorority you believe is the best for you, the sorority you felt the strongest connection with. Chatter is chatter and it is never the same the next year.

Best of luck to ladies going through recruitment this year. And all the positive thoughts to my chapter at Nebraska for a successful recruitment. No matter what side of the door you are on, embrace and savor the experience because four years fly by. Take comfort though in the fact your bond will last a lifetime.