by Maggie B.
So here you are, you have gotten through your first round of Formal Recruitment-Yay! You’re feeling confident, you are loving the connections you are making and you are starting to truly see yourself becoming a Panhellenic woman.
You arrive at your spot to see your Recruitment Counselor for the day and she says it is the day that the Chapter Women will be speaking to you about Chapter Finances.
*Cue the anxious feeling in your gut*
This was me two years ago, when I sat in multiple houses, dreading the thought of how I would be able to make ends meet to pay for it on my own.
You may be feeling this way too, and that’s alright, but do not worry! There are many ways to navigate Chapter Dues.
Save, Save, Save
I began to try and save up some extra money before I came to Florida State and went through Recruitment, and it really helped ease my mind! I also saved without pinching my pennies, for example grabbing a coffee at my Chapter House rather than spending money on Starbucks for the third time that week. You do not have to be ballin’ on a budget and cut out all of your favorite things, but use what is available to you at your Chapter because you are paying for it.
Part Time Jobs
You’re probably sitting there thinking “Is she serious? How will I ever have time for a job?”, and you may not have 20 extra hours a week to go to work. However, many part time jobs in Tallahassee go to us college kids, and managers understand that we have crazy school schedules and other commitments. Many managers understand that you may need some days off for study sessions or Philanthropy events, and that is okay. I can tell you from personal experience, I was nervous about taking a job and not being able to fulfill my responsibility between my Chapter commitments and my school work, but I have done it for two years and I love it. Getting a part time job will help to alleviate some of the stress of finances, because you will be making money to replace what you have spent.
Yay free money! Just kidding, you do need to apply, but take opportunities to look for scholarships! Many Chapters offer scholarships to help cover dues, and you can get private scholarships that will help as well. Also, check out your Chapter’s National website, many of them offer hundreds of scholarships each year to women in financial need.
Many chapters offer different payment plans to help out their members. Whether it is a lump sum payment at the beginning of the semester or payments divided monthly, make sure to ask the chapter women you speak to what their Chapter does. They are happy to answer your questions, I promise!
My last piece of advice is to not let your concerns about finances define your entire experience, or to let it change your opinion on a chapter. Take the money part out and really view the chapter itself- if you love it enough, then the financial side will work itself out, I promise you. All of the Panhellenic women you meet really want to get to know you and what you are all about, so let them see you without the nerves. Ask them all the questions that you want, they are willing to help you understand everything. Oh, and one last thing, do not be afraid to talk to your recruitment counselor about this. I know I did, and she was in my same situation and was able to help me walk through the idea of paying for it on my own. We are here for you!
Let yourself shine through in this process, and do not let the fear of dues drag you down. It is absolutely possible to pay your own dues!