See The Forest Not Just The Trees In Sorority Recruitment

by Tina VanSteenbergen

For many of us, recruitment season is on it’s way, right around the corner. Whether you’re so excited you could burst, or your eyes roll farther and farther back into your brain when you read that sentence, it’s coming. It’s coming quickly, and it’s time to start to prepare.

All of our type-A recruitment chairs just had a mini-heart attack. ‘START to prepare?? Are you kidding? I’ve been preparing since last July!’ Others of you may be rolling your eyes again (or still) at the thought of getting all of those logistics set up. But it’s okay, because that’s not what I mean when I say it’s time to start preparing. I’m not talking about t-shirts, desserts, bump groups or door chants. I’m talking about you.

When I plan something, an event, a project, something with lots of details and organization (like recruitment), I can sometimes find myself lost in the details. Can’t see the forest through the trees, or something cliché like that. Caught up in the colors, the guest list, the schedule, the budget, and on and on the list goes. I know that if I miss something, I’ll feel terrible. So I focus with all of my might to make sure I don’t miss anything. I focus on each individual tree, and forget the forest.

So, right now, in the midst of all the planning, let’s take a moment and focus on the forest. Let’s take a step back, and instead of remembering each detail, let’s focus on the bigger picture.

Think about why you joined your organization. Think about the moment you knew you belonged there, or maybe the hesitation you felt before joining. Remember what it felt like to be a PNM, how those conversations felt. Remember all of the feelings of that week, and specifically the joy, the relief, the love you felt when you finally wound up exactly where you were supposed to be. Think about your recruitment experience, and how worth it was. Think about the women you met that made your heart smile. Think about your person.

Because that is the most important detail to remember. It’s not that all of those other pieces of putting recruitment together don’t matter—they absolutely do! It’s that each of those components, each of those trees, make up the bigger picture, the larger forest.

You get to be someone’s person. You and your sisters, each of you, will have the chance in a few weeks or a few months to become someone’s person. To be the reason someone joins your amazing chapter or community. To be the woman who makes her feel belonging, relief, joy or love. You get to give someone the gift of sorority. YOU get to be someone’s person.

When things feel stressful or overwhelming, when you can’t roll your eyes any further back because of your outrageous to-do list, take a deep breath, a step back, and see the forest. YOU, and your ability to connect with PNMs, YOU are the most important detail. Think of all the lives you’ll change. Think of being someone’s person. And hopefully, all of those trees won’t seem so big.

…And if that didn’t work, call me.