The Truth about Preparing for Sorority Recruitment

So you’ve registered for Panhellenic’s Fall Primary Recruitment. You’ve probably spent countless hours googling everything you could want to know about recruitment, putting together the “perfect” resume, planning the most amazing outfits and searching endlessly for multiple letters of recommendation for the chapter you just “know you’re meant to join.”

I hate to burst your bubble, but none of that matters.

My name is Ellie Cahill and I am the Panhellenic President. Three years ago I was in your shoes too. Nervous, excited, and overwhelmed at all the potential outcomes of going through recruitment. By nature, I am a planner. I hate anything out of my control and recruitment was one thing that felt out of my control. I desperately wanted to find my future home at Kentucky and the anticipation made me crazy. When I registered, I submitted my perfected high school resume, overly-edited senior picture, and a few letters of recommendation thinking my recruitment was set.

If I could go back, I would tell myself that it really didn’t matter.

When recruitment finally started, I remember being so terrified walking into my first few houses. I was intimidated by the women and felt like I needed to rattle off my resume to make them like me. By the end of first day of Open House, I was so overwhelmed and and worried that no house would want me back. But on the second day, that feeling changed.

I walked into one of my last houses and for some reason felt calm. The last girl I talked to was from the suburbs of Chicago like me. We joked and laughed about how terrible the Cubs were and yet we loved them anyways, our friends back home, why we both went out of state for college, and so much more. In those quick 10 minutes of us talking, I had never laughed so hard or felt more at ease with a person. When it was time to go, all I could think about was how badly I wanted to talk to that girl again. And I got to. On Preference Round, Bid Day, and every day since. I ended up joining that chapter and the girl who made me feel so at home turned into my Big.

Joining my chapter was the best decision I have ever made. I have met some of the best friends I have ever had. I have seen my confidence grow and felt surrounded and supported by one of the most amazing sisterhoods I could ever imagine. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my three years of membership with my chapter, it's that my resume didn’t matter. My headshot didn’t matter. My outfits didn’t matter. My letters of recommendation didn’t matter. Who I was walking through that door was what mattered. They offered me a bid because they loved who I was and not what pieces of paper said about me.

Since joining the Panhellenic community, I have recruited for my chapter and am on my second year of helping plan and run our recruitment process on the Panhellenic side. I wouldn’t call myself anywhere near an expert on recruitment, but I would say I have more than the average person’s experience with it.

And with all this experience, I can tell you that it doesn’t matter.

The University of Kentucky’s Panhellenic does not require Letters of Recommendation or resumes to go through recruitment. Only about 1-3 women in every single chapter will even see either of those. Both of those pieces of paper are going to highlight you and every other PNM in the brightest light possible. In fact, they’re going to highlight you so well, that you’ll all begin to look the same. That is why when I say who you are when you walk into the chapter matters so much, I am  telling you the whole and absolute truth.

Our chapters want to learn and hear about all the things you love and are passionate about. We want to know why you loved playing soccer or singing in the choir in high school because we want to see you excited to talk about something you love. We want to learn about your best friends in high school and your family and talk about how you’re probably a little homesick. We want to learn that you’re nervous about starting college and we want to offer you our best advice on how it’s all going to be okay.

Those are all things that do matter.

Those are the things that no letter of recommendation, resume, head shot, or outfit could ever tell us about a person. Those are the things that are going to make us want you to come back the next day because we can’t imagine not having the chance to ever talk to you again.

So, no. You shouldn’t pay some random person on Facebook to design you a resume or secure Letters of Recommendations for you because they make the “promise” that you’ll get into a certain chapter. They can't guarantee anything for you no matter what they promise. What I can guarantee, is that you and you alone are the one that will make your recruitment experience meaningful.

The University of Kentucky has 14 amazing chapters that are beyond excited to meet you in August. One of these chapters is going to love and adore you for who you are so much that they are going to offer you the chance to be a part of their sisterhood. It’s okay to be scared and nervous. Coming to college is a big change and recruitment is overwhelming. But don’t let those fears and nerves ever make you lose sight of what does matter. Being yourself. As Mary Ann, our Vice President of Recruitment says, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”

We are so excited for you to be coming to the University of Kentucky this Fall! If you have any questions or concerns feel free to come talk to our Panhellenic Recruitment Team at your seeblueU orientation. We have presentations at 2:30 pm in Whitehall Rm. 118 about Fraternity and Sorority Life and 4:30 pm in Whitehall Rm. 110. We also will be tabling from 12:15-3:00 pm outside of Whitehall. You can also email Mary Ann Miller, our Vice President of Recruitment, at uky.panehllenicvprecruitment@gmail.com or myself at ukypanhellenicpresident@gmail.com.

 Go Wildcats!