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Top 4 Things I Wish I Knew: What College Freshmen and High School Seniors Should Be Doing This Month


Written with love by Caroline Hudson | SororityPackets.com collegiate blog contributor 

It's early in the year with a new month right around the corner, and with that in mind, I have compiled a list of things both college freshmen and seniors in high school should be doing right now. Hopefully this insight will help maximize your experience, whether it be adjusting to spring semester life or finishing the final chapter of your high school "book." These are the top four things I wish I knew at both stages! 

 

College Freshmen:

  1. Reconnect with your sisters/friends—Reconnecting is essential to having a successful spring semester. You need your sisters now more than ever...it's hard to stay motivated with the winter weather! Plan a fun "date night" or "movie night" in. This is a great, inexpensive way to hear all about each other's winter breaks. Do this before the semester progresses too far and things start to get hectic!

  2. Gameday weekends are no more—use this time to crack down on studying and discover new places in your college town! Saturday day trips are always a plus!

  3. Look into summer opportunities now—A lot of deadlines for summer programs, internships, and jobs have early deadlines. The earlier you apply, the less likely those spots are to fill up before you snatch an interview. Don't forget to double check your recruitment calendar so you won't miss out! 

  4. Document and print your memories—Four years later, you're going to wish that you had taken pictures at your first formal (or even just that one time it snowed). Take pictures and print them! They will make a great photo album or scrapbook when you graduate, and in the meantime, they make great wall décor.

High School Seniors:

  1. Study study study!—Crack down on your last semester whether you are on the block system or period system. Start on the right foot for the end of your senior year. Make sure you bring in that 4.0 or 3.5 so that your GPA isn't an issue for you when it comes to scholarships or receiving a bid!

    Fun fact: Look on your college's Panhellenic website to see what the recommended overall GPA is so that you have an idea of what you should aim for. Most Panhellenic communities will provide a red, yellow, and green range of GPAs as a point of reference. Many chapters have a minimum GPA that's required in their bylaws, which means they are not allowed to carry you forward in the recruitment process if you do not meet those requirements. These specific numbers and scores are confidential and vary between each chapter, so they will not be published on the Panhellenic website. A good goal, as mentioned before, is the Panhellenic's recommended GPA.

  2. Look out for any recruitment forums occurring in the spring with your local Panhellenic alumni associations and pre-register—This is a great way to network and meet alumni that could write your rec letters! Check out this post to learn more about these forums and find a local one near you!

  3. Pre-register for any "spring parties" or "spring teas" if your college's Panhellenic community hosts them—The University of Alabama has banned spring recruiting events, but some schools may still have them. By attending my college's preview day, I had a much better perception of what to expect during the first round of recruitment. It accustoms you to how recruitment will work, especially if you are not familiar with the process. Check out this video for more information about what to expect during Open House.

  4. DO NOT start stressing now!—You have SO much time (and I will be here to guide you every step of the way)! Also, it is great if you already have alumna willing to write your rec letters. However, please double check the dates individual chapters prefer your letters be sent. A lot of chapters may be participating in a spring COB or spring recruitment, so sending in your rec letter super early may cause it to get lost with the spring PNMs, and you don't want that to be the case! In my experience, it is best to send your letters early summer, as in May or June. Of course, I will have a lot more to say about rec letters later in the spring! 

HOMEWORK: START PREPPING

1. Learn more about what kind of information to include in a recommendation packet for sorority recruitment + start drafting your own social resume here.

2. Download our free cover letter template here—a cover letter should be included with every sorority packet you send!   

3. Love checklists? Check out our step-by-step guide to what you should be doing in January-February and March-May to prepare for sorority recruitment. 

4. Alumnae Panhellenic recruitment forums are happening all throughout February! Take a look at our guide to Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston area recruitment forums to find the meeting nearest you. 

About the Blogger: Caroline is a senior at the University of Alabama and served as a former VP of Membership for her sorority, Delta Gamma. Stay tuned for more of her insights—they are truly invaluable for PNMs and chapter members alike! | Follow Caroline: @chudson09


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