First and foremost, what the heck is a PNM? If you’re thinking of going through sorority recruitment, then darling, you are one. A P (Potential) N (New) M (Member) is a collegiate woman who is eligible to sign up for recruitment. This usually encompasses the incoming class of freshmen women, but because some schools require certain student standings in order to go through recruitment, it also refers to the eligible sophomore and upperclassmen students as well.
Because we know recruitment looks daunting, A-List has compiled an easy-to-follow guide on what to expect, what to wear, and what to talk about. Think of us as your recruitment fairy godmother—we want you to succeed! Since all of us are sorority women on the team, we have our fair share of tips to try this recruitment season.
Before we dive into the good stuff, here are a few common recruitment words defined so you know to what we are referring.
- PARTY– not like the crazy, fraternity parties you watched in Neighbors 2; a party refers to a meet and greet with the active members of the sororities at your school. Depending on which day or “round” of recruitment you’re in, the party will have a specific focus like philanthropy or sisterhood. Each party is dedicated to one chapter in particular. (i.e. during Day 1/Round 1 you will have 7 parties, meaning you will visit 7 sororities—does that make sense?)
- RECRUITMENT GUIDE– depending on the school, they are dubbed various Greek names (you might hear Rho Gamma, Rho Chi, Pi Chi, etc.). These women have elected to disaffiliate from their chapters for the summer to provide PNMs with an unbiased guide throughout the recruitment process. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll ask lots of questions—you’re recruitment guide will be there for all of it.
So here’s what to expect…
DAY ONE-GETTING TO KNOW YOU AND GOING GREEK!
You will visit every chapter and spend a short period of time talking to several sisters. You’ll learn a little about what makes each chapter unique. This is their first impression of you, and this is their first impression for you. It’s the most casual night and will feel an awful lot like speed dating.
What To Wear
Remember, though it’s a casual first day, it’s also first impression day. Opt for comfy, cute and something easy to walk in. Imagine you’re going on the world’s most stylish picnic or a dinner date with your long time crush. Keep distracting accessories to a minimum so you’re not fiddling during conversation—trust us, they’ll notice you’re playing with that watch and think you’re uninterested. All in all, nothing too va, va, voom, nothing too grunge.
What to Say
DO: talk about your background and where you’re from. Chat about your family, pets, favorite places in your hometown to eat and shop. Brag about yourself! What leadership positions have you had in the past? What activities do you do when you’re at home? What do you hope to gain from joining a sorority?
DON’T: get too personal about your life. Don’t talk about how much you miss your long term boyfriend, nor get into the nitty gritty details of your love life. Avoid anything negative—you’ll have plenty of time confiding in future sisters about that rough patch through high school, but avoid making the current sister you’re talking to feel uncomfortable.
After you meet all the chapters on the first day, you’ll be asked to rank the chapters in order of preference. The chapters will, in turn, select whether or not they want to invite you back for the next day. If your numbers and their selection match up, you’ll visit the top few chapters that you chose and that chose you.
The second day is spent educating potential new members on each chapter’s national and local philanthropies. Usually it’s a cause or organization that the sorority supports on a national level and their local philanthropy is a charity of the local chapter’s choosing. Usually there’s some crafting and/or video watching involved.
What to Wear
Things get just a tad bit dressier for Day Two. Think business casual, but no need for a suit. Pair some sleek and chic separates together to create a cohesive, yet comfortable look that looks just as good in recruitment as it does going into a job interview. Again, nothing too revealing, nothing too tight!
What to Say
DO: mention all of your volunteer experience in and out of school. Involved with church? Organized fundraisers? Got lots of community service under your belt? Let the chapter know! The structure of the party is more or less the same as Day 1—you’ll talk to some more women in the chapter, maybe say hi to a few of the sisters you talked to the day before. Day 2 is your opportunity to speak about the service you’ve been involved in and also learn and ask questions about the sorority’s volunteerism as well.
DON’T: talk about those other extracurricular activities you’ve been involved in since school started, especially of the partying and boys kind. While it’s good to let loose every so often, keep in mind that these women are looking for sisters to welcome into their legacy. Keep it classy!
Some smaller schools don’t have this extra day but many of the large Greek schools do. This is a lighthearted peek into the chapter’s sisterhood. Some schools call it Skit Day because the chapter puts on a funny, quick skit summing up their chapter. You learn about each chapters’ values and what makes them tick. Again, after Day 2, you rank the chapters you met with and the chapter decides if they want to keep you on for the next day. At the end of Day 3, you’ll do that process one more time.
What to Wear
Think Sunday’s best but with a personality flare. You want to be a little more dressy, but not so much you feel uncomfortable and stuffy. Easy, breezy sundresses are always a classic hit during this round, as are dressier rompers. Save the wedding finest though for the last day though!
What to Say
DO: ask questions about what they do at sisterhood events—do they craft, do they cook? If you figure out how the sisters bond with each other, then it’ll give you the opportunity to figure out where you belong in the sisterhood. Talk to the chapter women about your hobbies and interests and how you see yourself finding a place in the chapter based on those interests. Are you a great event planner? Maybe talk about seeing yourself as a future social chair. Or are you majoring in graphic design? Perfect time to mention how great you are at designing T-Shirts and other graphics.
DON’T: disparage other chapters or women. Recruitment is all about figuring out where you’ll find sisters—those sisters don’t want to include a girl who gossips about how terrible other chapter’s recruitment decorations. Much like our advice for Day 1, keep it positive!
DAY FOUR- PREFERENCE
You’re almost at the end! During your Preference rounds, you’ll meet with your top chapter selections who have invited you back for their last day. This is your chance to experience some of the ritual and tradition associated with the chapter. It’s by far the most formal and most serious of all the days. You might shed a tear—this is what makes the sisterhood truly special.
What to Wear
Don your classy cocktail finest and make yourself up just a little more. Since it is the most formal day, you want to picture yourself going to a wedding or a fancy holiday party. Avoid wearing all white or all black dresses as many of the chapters opt to wear these shades during the ceremony. Want to give the sisters a lasting impression? Be bold and wear a stand out color; as always though, be comfortable. Since you’ll only be visiting a handful of houses (possibly as low as two) you can sport those heels that you’ve been craving to wear.
What to Say
DO: talk about how you imagine yourself in the sisterhood and what you want from the chapter on a much more emotional level than just leadership experience. This conversation should be about finding sisters for life and being a part of something so much bigger than yourself. Remember, by this point, you’re choosing between the chapters that you think you would fit best in.
DON’T: act completely uninterested in the sorority you’re “preffing.” Even if it’s not the chapter you first imagined yourself seeing on the last day, give it a shot and really take a deep look at the sisterhood. You might surprise yourself.
- You’re always going to be walking or standing so bear that in mind when choosing shoes!
- Eat before you report to your recruitment group; we understand that you might be nervous or you don’t normally eat breakfast but the days can be long and you need to have some food in order to stay sharp!
- If you’re offered a mint from your recruitment counselor, take one! You don’t know when you’ll be able to freshen up since you’ll have jam packed schedules!
Thanks for reading future A-Listers! Remember, the key to going through sorority recruitment is to always be yourself! Your time with these sisters will help you determine who see yourself growing as in the next four years; stay true to yourself and give it your best shot! It’ll all be worth it when you’re surrounded by new sisters at Bid Day!
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