[Our newest team member, Shira, shares a blog comparing The Bachelor to sorority recruitment. Shira hasn't even started working for us, and she's already proving (as her bio states) that she will likely be our resident expert on pop culture and celebrity gossip. Love it!]
by Shira Tober
Do you watch The Bachelor (or The Bachelorette – new season starts tonight!)? It is both entertaining and positively absurd. So is sorority recruitment sometimes Here are five similarities I’ve observed between The Bachelor and Sorority Recruitment:
1. First Impression Rose: The Bachelor is asked to single out the woman that makes the best first impression during the initial conversations, giving out the First Impression Rose. Many contestants come on really strong with a cheesy joke, a not-so-sentimental gift, or even try getting the first kiss. But when all is said and done, the woman who gets the rose is the one that makes the Bachelor feel most at ease. The same can be said for when a potential member walks into a recruitment room for Round 1. She is looking for a place that she feels most comfortable and welcome. Unfortunately, many groups think first impressions are about decorations and outfits, sorority women’s equivalent to coming on too strong, and similar to Bachelor contestants, they fall short of getting the rose and go home on the first night. Be authentic.
2. Fantasy Dates: The Fantasy Dates on The Bachelor are incredibly indulgent, including getting a private concert from a famous recording artist, having an amusement park all to themselves, and even sitting on the Icelandic volcano mere days before it erupted. Even though the dates are spectacular, they set the contestants up for unrealistic relationship expectations once they’re in the real world. Why do we as sorority women set up these same falsities? Do we really perform skits and sing songs while wearing perfectly matching outfits on a daily basis? Why don’t we present ourselves as we are in real life? We are smart, down to earth women who like to hang out with our best girl friends talking about classes, families, and the latest Gossip Girl episode. We need to be true to ourselves when we give a potential member a glance into our sisterhood so we can both see if she’ll be a comfortable fit in our daily lives. Be real.
3. Group Dates: The Group Date is the worst type of all the Bachelor dates; contestants are sometimes competing with 7 or 8 other women to get one person’s attention. Very similar to the first impression rose, the women are trying so hard to make a lasting impression that many come across as desperate. Instead, the woman who gets the coveted rose is the one that has the best conversation with the Bachelor and gets to know him on a sincere level. The chapters that are going to stand out in recruitment are the ones having meaningful conversations about why sorority membership has changed them for the better, the leadership opportunities they have been afforded, and the best friends they’ve made. The women who speak from their hearts and move away from the superficial conversation will surely get the group rose, or at least the invitation to the next round. Have meaningful conversations.
4. Last Chance Dates: It’s down to the final two women and the Bachelor usually says he’s in love with both women and has no idea how he is going to choose. During the Last Chance Date the women put it all on the line to make that last ditch effort to sway his choice. They spend their remaining few hours together talking about what the experience has meant to them and what their relationship would be like in the real world. Preference round is the last chance in formal recruitment when you relate your personal experience to the one the potential member can have. It’s the last opportunity to say (in not so many words), “I see you fitting in here,” and it’s the potential member’s last opportunity to see where they fit best. The last chance date isn’t about proving you love the person, clearly, the Bachelor loves both; it’s about making sure both the chapter and the potential member will have a lasting connection throughout the rest of college and their adult lives.
5. Second Chances: Many of the most beloved Bachelor contestants haven’t received the final rose on their original seasons. In fact, the Bachelorette is a woman who gets a Second Chance because she didn’t find love with the Bachelor or she wasn’t comfortable with “the process” and left early. So many great potential members are intimidated by the formal recruitment process, but that does not mean they lack the potential to be great sorority women. Women who leave the process, or never even begin, should still have an opportunity to find their home in a sorority. The Bachelor franchise does a fantastic job of keeping in touch with former bachelors and bachelorettes who have yet to find love on the show; they even have reunions and television spin-offs. Chapters need to do a better job of keeping in touch with women who have dropped out of formal recruitment and must work harder at finding the women who did not even sign up. If we kept in touch throughout the year and cultivated friendships with these women, they would be more likely to want to trust the process and seek out a rose.