My Experience Going Through Primary Recruitment

I always knew I wanted to be in a sorority. Both my parents were involved in the Greek community at their respective colleges and always told me it was some of the best days of their lives. My mom even taught me the Greek alphabet when I was little! I came into college with the mindset that recruitment was something I really wanted to do, but I know that’s not the case for everyone.

I’m sure you saw the “Alabama Rush” social media phenomenon in August. The amazing thing about primary recruitment at Iowa is that it’s so different from what was portrayed on social media. In fact, quite a few girls I’ve talked to even said, “I didn’t think sorority life was for me because I didn’t think of myself as the typical sorority girl.” It can be daunting looking from the outside in. But those same girls that didn’t think greek life was for them, are the same girls that couldn’t stop talking about how much they love it now that they’re in a house. 

First Round

This year, to prevent any Covid outbreaks, the Panhellenic Council decided to move primary recruitment online. At first, I was bummed, but I soon came to realize that it was a blessing in disguise because I didn’t have to walk from house to house in 95-degree heat. 

The first round each house put together a 3-5 minute video about their chapter, and each Potential New Member (PNM) sent in a 2-minute video about them. I’m not going to lie, it was really hard to rank after that round because, after a while, the videos began to sound very similar. Nevertheless, I ranked my top 10 houses and ended up getting 9 back!

Tip: Be honest and make your video as genuine as possible. I know of some girls who took their video while laying in bed. There is no need for a full Hollywood production.

Second Round

The second round is sisterhood. We actually got to talk to the chapters that invited us back via Zoom, which at first was really nerve-racking because I didn’t know what to expect. As soon as I was done with my first party of the day, I thought to myself, “okay, I can totally do this.” It’s so fun and exciting to meet all these new people! Be open to each chapter and what they have to offer. You never know what may be your new home.

Tip: Take notes after each round. After 9 or 10 parties, it gets hard to keep them all straight. Go with your gut feeling at the moment, and be sure to write it down after the party to reference later while you rank. 

Third Round

The third round is philanthropy (where chapters talk about their philanthropic events and fundraising). I got back 6 houses, so I had a full day. This round we got a little more time to talk to girls from each chapter, and it was really special hearing about personal connections to their philanthropies. This was also one of the most challenging rounds because you go from 6 houses to 2 houses, which is quite the jump!

Tip 1: Be enthusiastic! At this point, many girls are pretty fatigued, but on several occasions, girls told me my enthusiasm was “just what they needed.” I strived as excited, if not more, to talk to them as they were to me… It goes a long way!

Tip 2: Don’t get deterred if one of your favorite houses doesn’t invite you back. It’s certainly not personal, it simply means they think there is a better-fitted house for you on campus! Trust the process.

Fourth (and final) Round 

The last round of recruitment is preference, or otherwise referred to as pref. This round is probably the most important and personal round. Round four, you only meet with two houses, and then you pref whichever one you can see yourself fitting in the best. Sometimes, it’s an easy decision based on which houses invited you back. Sometimes girls only have one house that brought them back. Or sometimes it is a really difficult decision. That’s what happened to me. I was so torn between my last two houses, but in the end, I went with my gut and I’m so happy I did.

Tip: Make this decision based on your gut, and not what anyone else says. Don’t pay attention to rumors or reputations. Do what is best for you, trust the process, and you’ll end up in the right place.

The beautiful thing about primary recruitment is the fact that everyone around you comes from different backgrounds and is joining for different reasons. That being said, at the end of the day, everyone ends up where they’re supposed to be. Being a part of Greek life is not only fun but such an amazing way to meet people and get involved on campus. I’ve already met so many girls who I may not know if it wasn’t for our sorority bringing us together. Additionally, I’ve met so many people through my friend’s sororities as well. You’re not just joining a house, but a whole community. I can’t wait to see where this takes me, and the connections I make in the future!

Last but not least… the reveal… I ran home to Tri Delta!! DLAM!!

Go Hawks,

Abbie

College Life VS High School Life: Tips and Tricks

Coming into college, I had a lot of expectations for what life would be like on my own. Whether that be from TV, movies, social media, or my family, I felt prepared to take charge, and make the most of my college life. But the reality is, it’s hard to know what it’s truly going to be like until you get there. I’m not saying my experience has been anything short of amazing, just different than what I was expecting. Below, I’m going to highlight some differences I’ve noticed in my few short weeks here, and try to give some tips on how to smooth the transition.

Free time

My friends and I in high school were constantly slammed with things to do from sports, clubs, homework, social life; it was a lot. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed is how much free time I have now. From having only 3-4 classes spread out throughout the day, to sorority meetings once or twice a week, there are many times throughout the day I find myself lying in my dorm, just relaxing. While I love my downtime, I’m also a person that needs to feel productive. 

Tip: Plan ahead. I suggest using a planner (electronic or paperback) to figure out your schedule so you can maximize your time. Some examples of ways to fill your free time are studying, cleaning up, grabbing coffee with a friend, working out, calling your parents, and you can’t forget some downtime! 

School Load

I’m sure everyone has had at least one teacher in high school say “this won’t fly when you get to college.” Well, I’m here to tell you, that hasn’t been my experience. The workload is relatively similar, with the biggest difference being the reading that comes with each of my classes. The good news is professors and TA’s are super nice, and there to help you! Everyone I’ve reached out to for an extension because I was sick, or extra help on my homework has been more than happy to help and walk me through it. Plus, everything is super manageable as long as you plan your time wisely!

Tip: I’m going to sound like a broken record, but utilizing a planner to help keep track of dates and assignments will truly be a lifesaver. On top of that, TA’s and professors have office hours that my friends and I agree are extraordinarily helpful in answering your specific questions. Don’t hesitate to reach out; everyone wants to see you succeed! 

Food

Now that your mom or dad isn’t there to cook for you, your diet is completely up to you. The dining halls are amazing and have so many options to choose from. Not to mention the delicious dessert assortment. You also get to go grocery shopping, so the snack choices are endless. It’s easy to just eat all the junk food you want since no one is there to tell you otherwise. However, you’ll slowly begin to notice the impact that has on your energy levels. 

Tip: I always strive to eat something green with every meal. I’m not one to pass up a good slice of pizza or late-night Pancheros, but at the end of the day, I always feel more energized and motivated when I eat something to nourish my body. My favorite place in the Catlett Dining hall is Sprouts because of their salad bar, fruit, and good sandwiches or wraps that always satisfy my hunger (and are delicious at the same time)!

Basic Health and Hygiene

After late nights of studying or hanging out with friends, it’s easy to just collapse into bed and crash. Coming into college, basic things like showering or doing my laundry seemed daunting because it’s a whole new experience. Not to mention, sometimes I feel like I don’t have the time to schedule a workout or get some fresh air. However, in the last couple of weeks, I’ve taken a step back, refreshed, and rediscovered that extra time and motivation to fit those things back into my schedule, and my body has thanked me for it!

Tip: Be proactive and preventative. Listen to your body, and give it what it needs; you’ll only become more productive and motivated because of it. Whether it be a long, warm shower, or a nice sweaty workout, it feels good to take some time for yourself. This also makes sure you remain healthy. As an incoming college student, you’re exposed to lots of different things, and many kids get sick in the first few months. Listening to your body, and fueling it with what it needs makes a huge difference! As for mental health, Iowa provides amazing (and free) counseling services that are available to all students. They’re a great resource, and there to help you if you need it! 

I hope these few pointers help with maintaining a consistent schedule as you enter the next phase of your life! So far, it has been so much fun and such an amazing learning experience. 

As always, go hawks!

Abbie

 

Let Me Formally Introduce Myself…

I’m Abbie and I’m from Summit, New Jersey. I grew up in New Jersey but lived in Portland, Oregon from age 10-18. I graduated in the high school class of 2020, however, due to the pandemic, I spent the last year working part-time in a boutique in my town but also freelanced jobs on the side. My gap year has been one of the most informative and worthwhile decisions I’ve ever made, and while I wouldn’t change it for the world, I’m twice as excited to get to Iowa this year.

Many people raise an eyebrow when I say I’m going to Iowa. Being from the coasts, people struggle to understand the appeal of the midwest. I have such a fond connection to the genuine, down-to-earth people that are from the midwest, and I found that Iowa had everything I wanted. From the strong school spirit to the kind people, I knew this was the place I wanted to be. I’m planning on studying marketing at Tippie College of Business with a minor in something film-related!

This past week I moved into Catlett, and moving in was a big change for me. Growing up, I could barely attend sleepovers, let alone swallow the thought of being on my own for months at a time. Many kids my age may feel the same way, and that’s totally normal (or at least that’s what my parents tell me)! Trust me, there were quite a few tears as I said bye to my parents, but I was thrust into this new world of independence along with 5000+ of my friends.

Here are a couple of things I took note of when moving in:

1. Everyone is in the same situation as you; use that to your advantage.
Moving into the dorms may feel uncomfortable and nerve-wracking, but I promise, everyone feels the same way (sometimes some people are just better at hiding it). You can really lean into the discomfort of that situation and make the most of it by stopping someone in the hall to say hi, chat in the elevator, or even sit with someone new in the dining hall.

I will always remember this girl who saw me waiting at the elevator with my parents, took out her AirPods, and said “moving in today?” We then chatted about where we were from and all the basic small talk you make with someone you’ve just met. That action was so small but so significant to me because of how welcomed she made me feel. It’s easier said than done, but you’ll thank yourself in the long run for sticking your neck out every once in a while.

2. Your door can be a gateway to new friends!
It’s a little bit cliché, but I 100% recommend setting aside time to hang out in your room with your roommate with the door propped open. Walking through my dorm, other Hawkeyes left their doors open and made my roommate and I feel so welcome to just pop in and say hi. So, ultimately when we got back to our room, we did the same! On my first night, I had already met quite a few kids who I was able to get to know and make my dorm feel a little bit more like home.

3. Saying goodbye to your parents is hard, but it’s best to just rip the bandaid off…
I have a very close relationship with my family, so leaving them was really hard. At the end of the day, the hardest part was anticipating them to leave. It was like a looming feeling that I couldn’t shake, but once we said our goodbyes and they hit the road, I felt almost empowered to get back to my room to hang out with my roommate and meet other floormates. We’re all in this together.

4. Say YES!
Now, I’m not making any promises that any lingering feelings of homesickness will go away overnight. It may take a couple of days or weeks, but one thing I’ve found to be enormously helpful is staying busy. While I still miss my parents and younger sister, being out-and-about has made Iowa City feel more and more like home. Making sure you’re meeting new friends, discovering new places on campus, and just saying yes as much as possible, helps a ton. If you’re still struggling with being away from home, Iowa has quite a few resources to help with that, as well. There are plenty of people who are there to help you; from your RA to free University counseling services, someone is there to listen and help.

Every OnIowa leader I’ve come across (whether it be moving in, navigating campus, or leading classes) has been extraordinarily kind, helpful, and making this transition as smooth as possible. Moving in is a different experience for everyone. It’s important to do whatever will make you feel best, and stick with it. It’s only up from here! As always, go Hawks!!