How To Be A Mom During Sorority Recruitment
So this is a post that I have wanted to write for a super long time and now I finally am! Next week is the beginning of Arkansas Panhellenic Recruitment! It is already here can you believe it?! Normally I am writing about recruitment for girls about to go through it, but this time moms this is for you!
My amazing mother watched me throughout high school struggle to find a niche that I truly clicked with, so with recruitment my freshman year she was on pins and needles! I think she was freaking out more than I was! But in the end, everything worked out and it always does, which brings me to my first point:
Everything is going to work out and will be okay and your daughter will find a place to call home and it will be great!
As a Mom, your daughter will call you with the bad news that they have been cut from EEE and they are devastated because that was their favorite house. It is your job to be the encourager. Do NOT cry on the phone or encourage her to drop out of recruitment altogether. The best thing that you can do is say, “Well God’s plan is better than our own plan that we have for ourselves.” Because it is true and he has a plan for every single gal going through recruitment, including your daughter, trust Him and that truth.
Do not encourage your daughter not to go a certain house because when you were in school they had a “bad” reputation.
With every pledge class creates a different dynamic of houses. I would say that about every 3 years the houses go through a transition period. Of course, grades will determine the “smart” sorority but the women is what truly will determine which house your daughter will call their forever home. Encourage your daughter to have meaningful conversations with gals in the houses and get to know them beyond the makeup and the matching outfits, because behind all of that we are just college gals that are probably sleep deprived and could use a Starbucks.
Stay out of the local drama.
There will be drama in your hometown. I am just going to be honest with you. Someone will get cut from multiple houses in a day and that girl will be the talk of the country club. DO NOT BE THE MOM THAT TALKS ABOUT THAT GIRL. If I found out my mom was doing that I would be absolutely mortified, and livid! That could have been your daughter, so remember that.
Do not be a helicopter mom.
If you do decide to rent a hotel room for the week to emotionally support your daughter (yes people do this – no my mom didn’t – yes I am still living and breathing) please don’t Srat lap looking for her throughout the day. I promise you will embarrass her if she does see you and odds are you won’t find her because there are 1,000+ girls in the same outfit. Give your daughter space. I made SO many friends on the lawns of sorority houses in between parties and the last thing I wanted was to see my mom driving by spying on me. You raised her, trust that she is strong enough to go to college, make friends on her own, and to be at her party at the right time.
If your daughter is a direct legacy that’s great, but still let her decide what house she wants.
Odds are you put her in a onesie that said, “Gamma Chi Legacy” before she could even walk, and she has been surrounded by your sisters and amazing Greek life stories growing up. This is why she is probably going through recruitment in the first place – congrats you didn’t burn her out – but now is not the time to remind her that all of your friends will be waiting at Gamma Chi on bid day for her. There is a chance she could hate the girls at Gamma Chi and then she will be pressured to go that house anyway because of you. I have known so many girls that have done this and if it wasn’t for their moms they would have gone a completely different house and clicked way better. Trust your daughter when she says that her legacy house is not for her, and let her know when you drop her off for college that it won’t be the end of the world if she doesn’t go Gamma Chi. Trust me it will feel so much better on bid day hugging her if she joins your sorority knowing she did it for the right reasons.
Be there on bid day.
This day will be up there with her wedding day at the end of her life. I remember seeing my mom as I walked into the Greek theatre and was so so excited that I was going to be able to share this day with her. I also remember texting her as fast as I could saying, “MEET ME AT ZETA!!!!!” and running to find my bid day buddy. The moment that I saw her running over to me on the lawn with tears down her face was the best moment and one that will ever be engrained in my mind. We threw the crown sang the chants and jumped up and down screaming because I was finally home. The niche that she had been praying that I would find, I finally found and she was there to see me grow up. I can’t express how much it will mean for your daughter for you to be there on bid day, so if you have to miss it send flowers, Facetime her, anything just so that you can see her smiling face. Trust me it will be worth it.
To my mom:
Cynthia Gail McLain, man I can’t thank you enough for all the things you have done for me and especially that summer. From the rec letters to the resume packets that we had specially made, to the calls you made to people you hadn’t spoken to in years, you really out did yourself and you are the definition of the perfect recruitment mom. You stayed out of the drama at home. You helped me shop for the perfect jewelry and shorts to go with my colored t-shirts and you had encouraging phone calls every single day. You did it all and I have enjoyed every second of being a Zeta Tau Alpha at the University of Arkansas. Thank you for always pushing me out of my comfort zone and not letting me give up on the hardest week of my life. I love you forever and I will never forget all the fun memories we have made at ZTA Mom’s weekends.