It’s the most wonderful time of the year but it’s not Christmas, surprise. This is Little season! Little season in the time prior to, during, and immediately following recruitment where all eligible Bigs begin their search for their perfect Little. Sometimes this is an instant process and sometimes it takes a while to find the girl who best fits with you. The bottom line is that you’ll find her, don’t worry (like, it took me 3 years so seriously don’t worry). Being a Big sister is such an honor and a role that should be taken on with pride and integrity. You’re the person your Little looks up to most, not just for the duration of her new member process, but for the duration of her life.
So, you found your perfect Little, now what? Here are my tips and tricks for being an all-star Big.
- Take your Little on special dates. Go out to her favorite restaurant or plan a Pinterest craft night. Binge watch her favorite series on netflix or make a dessert together. Really anything can classify as a “special” date as long as you’re spending quality one-on-one time together. This is important because with all relationships, bonding takes time.
- Spoil her. This sounds cliché but it’s true. Make your Little feel like she is the most important Little in the world. This doesn’t mean you have to break your bank or shower her with presents. Of course, it’s always nice to receive and give gifts but something as simple as a shout out on Instagram can mean more than a pair of hard-to-find Kate Spade Glitter Earrings.
- Treat her how your Big treated you. You learn from observation so just like when you were an infant learning techniques from your parents, your Little learns how to be a Big sister through your actions. Remember that. If you had a good relationship with your Big, continue the trend and adapt to whatever best fits the relationship you share with your Little. If your Big wasn’t the best role model for you, think of how you would have liked her to treat you and be that person in your Little’s life.
- Never let an disagreement turn into an argument. Regardless of the situation, you took on the role of being this girl’s Big sister. You’re her mom away from home, like not just a regular mom, a cool mom. Just because you may not always agree on everything 100% does not mean it’s okay to argue about it. Be the bigger person and swallow your pride. Use the “24 hour” method. If the situation is still bothering you after you’ve had time to simmer down, talk it out.
- Keep a running list of her favorite things. If she mentions one day that she loves pizza with pepperoni and mushroom, write it down. If she mentions that her favorite color to wear is Tiffany Blue, write it down. If she mentions that her favorite animal is a giraffe, write it down. I recommend using the notes app on your iPhone (I’m sure there’s something similar for Android users). This allows you to have a list of your Little’s favorite things at your finger tips. You can whip this list out when she’s having a bad day or just needs a pick me up.
- Be a Big before a best friend. Hopefully being a best friend and being a Big all wrap into one but know that above all else you have to be a role model. You’re put in your Little’s life to make sure she stays on track in all aspects of college and, quite honestly, life. Don’t be afraid to take your Little aside and explain to her why you feel some of her actions might be risky or why they might get in the way of her success. You can’t tell her what to do but you can give her your best advice.
- Take your Little under your wing. Teach her the ins and outs of your sorority but also teach her the ins and outs about Greek Life as a whole. Make her meet members from every organization. Introduce her. Be proud of her. Give her all the important keys she needs for success her first couple of semesters in college. Encourage her to be involved. Invite her to do everything you do. After all, she learns best from watching you.
- Establish a schedule. If you’re like me, you’re really really really busy. Between work, class, involvement outside of campus, involvement on campus, squeezing in time for exercise, and your sorority’s requirements it’s difficult to have a moment of spare time. Plan out your week. I recommend using Google Sheets to label and color code the time slots when you’re busy and what you’re busy with. Then, get your Little’s schedule and do the same. You’ll have a side by side comparison of when you’re both busy and available which will make getting that one-on-one hang out time like I mentioned before a lot easier.
Obviously each relationship is different and these are just starting points. Take these tips and integrate them into the relationship you share with your Little. I’m not an expert but I’ve had the best Big sister, the best Grand-Big, and now the best Littles I could ever ask for. I hope you keep these tips in mind if you’re planning to take a Little this semester or if you’re working to grow the bond you currently share with your Little.