Pi Chi, Rho Gamma, recruitment counselor — the name changes based on your college campus, but they all serve the same purpose. These are the women who temporarily disaffiliate from their chapters in order to help PNMs (potential new members) find their home during sorority recruitment. The purpose of being “silenced” is so your PNMs feel comfortable talking to you about any situation or chapter.
Once you’re silenced you realize how significantly your athleisure clothing options decrease. Why didn’t I bring more old high school sweatshirts with me to college?!
Then you blink and recruitment is suddenly tomorrow and you have a list of your 45 girls. Cue the last minute conflict texts, outfit pictures, and anxious emails — all welcomed because that’s what you’re here for.
You quickly realize there are 2 ways to not give away which chapter you’re in: either genuinely know everything about every chapter (colors, philanthropies, cheers, etc.), or pretend you know nothing about any of them. I opted for the latter. Kappa Delta’s founding year? Sorry, not sure. Delta Gamma’s founding year? Sorry, not sure. This method might be frowned upon, but it works.
Your fellow Pi Chis become your source of sanity when sleep deprivation kicks in. Sometimes this results in impromptu yoga sessions while waiting for PNMs, or telling stories until you cry laughing (on the day you decided you didn’t need waterproof mascara). Anything that’s yours is theirs and vice versa; it’s a beautiful bond.
Gradually you attach the unfamiliar names to faces and personalities. Before you know it, these girls become your girls: you support them blindly, pick them up when they fall, feel what they feel, and embrace the mama bird/Panhellenic cheerleader role to keep everyones spirits high over the long days.
You hold back happy tears when they come back from chapters on cloud nine. You talk through the tough decisions, and come up with all sorts of scenarios to help them figure out which chapter their hearts are in — “Which chapter would you rather throw up in front of?” proves to be a useful tactic.
Bid day feels insanely similar to your own. The same nerves, the same excitement — quite possibly more. You just want everyone to be happy and you contemplate whether or not this is what being a mother is like. The bid cards are teared open and you watch to see where everyone runs home to, secretly hoping some will end up in your own chapter.
Even though it’s only been a few days, you’ve missed your chapter so much. You didn’t know you could appreciate your sisters more than you already did until you had to pretend you didn’t know who they were. You revel in running home to the best people you’ve ever known.