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Dear PNM by Hannah Avalardo

Dear PNM,

Zeta Tau Alpha is so excited to have you here in Iowa City, thinking about joining the Panhellenic Community! We hope that as a Potential New Member, you truly have an amazing time discovering things about yourself, as well as new friendships, and sisters within these two weeks.

Now I myself was in your shoes not too long ago, as I am a member of the 2019 pledge class. I had been pretty familiar with the recruitment process prior to attending the University of Iowa, as I have a few family members who went through the process, and I myself wanted to join a community of strong women who empower others. Remembering your values are vital to the process, and I knew I wanted to join somewhere that felt like home, with a strong sisterhood.

It’s totally okay to know absolutely nothing about sorority life or recruitment! If you are unsure about whether or not to rush, is to just do it- you never know unless you try! You may be nervous, but just know that the girls recruiting you are even more nervous- because we just want the best for you, and for you to find somewhere that you can consider home- and we just hope that you find a home within Zeta Tau Alpha! I can promise you that there is an amazing family waiting for you at one of the fourteen chapters that we house on campus- and we hope you are able to feel welcome during this process.

Recruitment is… a lot- dare I say overwhelming. It’s a lot of mad dashes to the houses, and the chanting can definitely become intimidating to someone who has never seen so many people stacked in one tiny little door. The days are long, so make a promise to yourself to have a good attitude throughout these few long days. Make sure to keep notes somewhere, of what you talked about and the name of who you talked to (if you can recall). This will make ranking your chapters at the end of the day so much easier!

While recruitment was a busy time, it quickly became the highlight of my first semester at school. You get to meet so many amazing friends in your groups, and you get to talk to so many girls who are in 14 different sororities, and all want to meet you and hear about what you have to say. I would definitely suggest carrying a bag around, as well as a jacket. Trust me when I tell you that comfy shoes are needed, as well as maybe an emergency umbrella- you never know what Iowa City weather has in store for you!

It is pretty easy to become biased before Panhellenic recruitment, and I found that reminding myself to keep an open mind was the best piece of advice I could have given myself. Make sure you look for those qualities that you have thought of previously during recruitment orientation! Your Rho Gammas (basically your counselors) are there to help you, the PNM, make an unbiased decision.

Don’t focus on aiming for a certain sorority from the get-go. Don’t be too discouraged if you get dropped by a house. These things happen, yes, and they do feel discouraging, but just remember to trust the process. Cheesy- I know. But it is so true and is the number one piece of advice I would offer anyone. Maximize your options and trust your gut, only you know what is best for you.

The only other tips I have for you is to be yourself. This process is about where you feel most at home, and where you feel like you can be yourself.

This is your experience and we want you to make the most of it!

Good luck, and we here at Zeta Tau Alpha are so excited to meet every single one of you!

Zeta Love and Mine,

Hannah Alvarado

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