Unexpected Life Lessons

Hey, everyone!!

First- congrats on getting through the first few weeks of school! I am sure it’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks with the hecticness of high school midterms and getting back into the swing of things for college kids!

I actually came back a week before classes started for Recruitment at Virginia Tech! My mom drove me and a few friends from Richmond that were also going through Recruitment.

I had no idea what Recruitment REALLY was before I actually went through it! So I’ll give a brief overview of what I experienced really quickly! So the first day you visit all 12 sorority houses and have quick conversations to get the feel of each house.  After that round you have to rank your favorites! So essentially after each round (Open House, Philanthropy, Sisterhood, and Preference) you rank your favorites before you go back to your dorm.  The next morning you go back to your Holding House and get back your schedule for the day.  The process is completely “mutual selection”- So, essentially that means if you liked certain sororities and rank them well, and they enjoyed the conversation with you and want to talk again, you will get that sorority back the next morning.

Going into Recruitment I really had no idea what to expect- but I can say, the night before it started the LAST thing I would have thought was how many life lessons I would learn in ONE week.

Neither one of my parents were Greek and it was never really something I thought about until my senior year of high school because I had a lot of stereotypes in my mind about it.  All I really had ever heard was about Greek Life until the end of high school was that you just paid for friends.  Throughout the Recruitment I had SO many moments of wishing my mom could be standing right next to me so she could hear how many FANTASTIC things exist in Greek Life, so many things that proved “paying for your friends” wrong.  So, essentially, below is an explanation of every life lesson I learned in one week that I know my mom, and many parents, would be proud of their daughters to learn.

  1. There’s nothing you can do about it now
  • It was completely nerve wracking to love a sorority, rank them in your top, go home and spend the whole night wondering if they also enjoyed talking to you.  One night I was on the phone with my mom and all she said when I told her this was, “Well, Hadley there is absolutely nothing you can do about it now”. To me- this is such a HUGE part of life.  Sometimes you give something your ALL and you have to accept that your ALL is enough, and then you have to move on.


  1.   YOU are enough
  • Be yourself. That is something that everyone hears ALL THE TIME and to be honest I get rather sick of it. But Recruitment is a time where you absolutely HAVE to be yourself because you are trying to find your people- not your friend’s people, not the “popular” people, etc. Recruitment reinforces the “be yourself” principle because you will know when you feel at home in a certain house because during that 45 minute round you will feel like yourself.  You have to embrace and accept that principle and let yourself feel comfortable and happy there. Being yourself is vital throughout the process and in life.


  1. Disappointment
  • Every morning you would return to your Holding House and get back your list for that day- so the list that tells you if you were invited back to the houses you liked the previous day.  There were definitely days in the beginning that I was disappointed because I thought my conversations were good and I wasn’t invited back.  But once you see that list you have a few minutes to get your game face back and go the houses that loved you and want to see you again!  Dealing with disappointment quickly and recovering with a positive attitude to encourage yourself and the people around you is fundamental in life.  Life can be incredibly disappointing but (as pinteresty as this sounds) it’s all about your attitude in dealing with that disappointment that truly defines you.


  1. Happiness
  • There were some mornings in the Holding House toward the end of the rounds that I was so thrilled to get my list back because I LOVED the amazing women I talked to in those sororites! I literally could not wait to run back into those houses and didn’t want to leave once that round was over.  But when you are really happy you have to remember to still be considerate and respectful of the people around you who may be experiencing disappointment.  Finding a balance of humility and respect while also being happy is something that I learned over and over again that week and will also encounter for the rest of my life.


  1. Respect
  • On the rounds where you visit less houses it got easier to tell as the days went on that you may not be fitting into that sorority.  This was hard because sometimes you are exhausted and hungry and just not “feeling it” there. But you absolutely HAVE to be respectful and grateful even if it is not the place meant for you.  These women worked SO hard for this week and deserve to have a polite, kind conversation even if you know the house may not be the one you will run home to. A respectful attitude takes people so far in life as well as Recruitment.


  1. Having Faith
  • Unfortunately, sororities get the reputation of being a place to just have fun and party with much regard for anything else.  It’s ironic because I cannot remember a time in my life where I felt such a strong connection with my Faith than going through a week of Recruitment.  In order to get our list back in the morning we had to give up our phone for the day.  I now understand why our youth leaders made us give up our phones during week long mission trips.  It’s amazing how much more connected I felt to myself and what was right for me when I was sitting by myself trying to figure out how to rank houses without a distraction of technology.  It was refreshing to reflect and make decisions without the pressure of texting people to get advice. During the last round of Recruitment I loved the three houses I went to- they were all phenomenal women doing extraordinary things but I was looking for “signs” as strange as that might sound.  At the end of the day I realized that my opinion wasn’t as important as following the path that I believe has been laid in front of me. I am a true believer that EVERYTHING happens for a reason and so when I walked out of ADPi on the last round I realized that it was my place those were my people.  I had so many moments in that house that weren’t just irony- in my opinion, they were supposed to happen, and for me they served as a sign pointing me home to Alpha Delta Pi.  Following your gut feeling and having Faith that you will end up where you are supposed to be brings a sense of peace in the craziness that is life.  I am so grateful that Recruitment taught me that lesson so well.


I am still slightly dumbfounded by how many things I was taught within such a short period of time.  Not only the six lessons listed above but I also learned to look past stereotypes because Greek Life is SO much more than just the surface.  Being able to look past surface reputations and actually judge the sororities by the wonderful women in them and the amazing things they accomplish truly taught me more than I could have ever asked for.

I think this is officially the longest blog post I have ever written.  If you have read this far I owe you a huge thank you! Haha- but for real, thank you for reading all the things I learned from going through Recruitment!

I want to have one “Go Greek” moment before say goodbye.  Girls- if you have ANY inclination that you MIGHT want to rush I would HIGHLY recommend it.  Even if you only go through the week and don’t end up joining a sorority the amount of life lessons you will learn in one week is insurmountable.  If you have ANY questions, PLEASE, email me and ask! It was such a rewarding experience for me and I would love to talk about it! (Can you tell how much I love talking about it from the amount of capitals I used in this paragraph?)






I hope everyone has such a wonderful weekend and a great week!

Much Love,

Hadley Carter {happy hc}

To: The Seniors

Hey, everyone!

So, I am specifically writing this post for the seniors in high school but it can be applicable to anyone who wishes they appreciated a wonderful time in their life more! That may sound confusing, but stick with me- I promise by the end of this post it may make a little more sense.  Hopefully 🙂

This past Sunday everyone in my family was going to bed a little earlier than they had been in the last two weeks.  For about .2 seconds I was confused but then I remembered that it was officially a school night for my brothers.  At first I unashamedly gloated a little in my head about not having a school night until the 19th (#ilovecollege) but then that familiar “back to school” feeling hit me on behalf of my siblings.

You know that feeling of dread in your stomach similar to sensation of walking into the Math Empo on quiz day at VT or getting a shot at the doctors office… Not a fun feeling.  No matter how much you love school I seriously believe that everyone gets that feeling every once in awhile.

I started remembering what I was doing exactly a year ago on Sunday after I hopped on my Timehop app (that was a sad attempt at a joke).  I was dreading going back because I had a HUGE calculus packet that was about to be due. Thankfully, the large amount of snow days canceled the packet altogether (NO EXAMS!!) but that’s not the point I am trying to make.

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/gradpartypics

I was absolutely horrified about going back to school and being a second semester senior because of this stupid AP Calc packet that was due.

Looking back I am sad about how much time I wasted worrying about this one grade because I wasn’t appreciating, or realizing, that I was currently living in such a great time in life!  Being a second semester senior means that you have already turned in your college applications and the grades that colleges really care about have already been sent in.

Now- I am not encouraging anyone to totally let your grades slip but I PROMISE that you will treasure the memories you have of spending time with your family and friends WAY more then getting the best possible grade on your extra credit calc packet.

Continue to work hard but have perspective while working hard.  You will most likely not remember your exact grade on your government paper a year from now.

You will remember laughing after school with your friends in the parking lot instead of immediately starting homework, you will remember having fun with your last high school assignments not too worried about the grades, you will remember having a midterm study session but spending a good majority of the time laughing with classmates.

I absolutely, positively LOVE college but there are parts of high school that I miss and wish I had valued more while I was living it!  Please remember to finish out high school strong but also take a step back and appreciate the fabulous last few months with your best friends.  I promise that you will not regret it!

So, Seniors- GOOD LUCK in your LAST semester of high school! Don’t forget to have perseverance and perspective in everything you do. I hope you finish out strong with a lot of beloved memories as well! Thank you for reading all my ramblings this Tuesday night! 🙂

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/gradpartypics

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/gradpartypics

Thank you to Katelyn James for these graduation photos! We love them!

Much Love,

Hadley Carter {happy hc}