Updated: Dec 7, 2018
Written during my college days as part of an organization called Helenes, the Official Hostesses of USC.
Helenes as an organization has long understood that there is no ‘I’ in We, and We are Stronger Together than We Ever Could Be Apart. It is a melting pot of women from all over the globe, who care deeply for others and go above and beyond. These women continually sacrifice themselves time and time again to achieve greater good, whilst toting the widest smile and without complaint. Helenes is a space where one can be raw and real, or subdued and observant, or whatever you need it to be in your life at that moment; and for that I say thank you.
Helenes has impacted what it means to be in community. My community is fluid. Malleable. Dependable. Yet we throw out this word with nonchalance in Helenes as we’ve experienced the utmost compassion and realness of community, but this is not the norm for most. USC can be a minefield to navigate, with so many plastic smiles and hollow “how’s it going,” it can be difficult to know if there’s anyone out there who is not only listening, but truly cares about YOU. This is not the case for me. When I walk into Wednesday meeting, see a Helene on campus, or attend an event, I know that the women to my left and to my right cherish all the subtle complexities that make me, me. Moreover, they have shaped the way I approach people within the USC community. There is an immeasurable number of students who need that one person to ask, “how are you?” and truly mean those words, to stop, take a beat from the busyness and breathe with them.
As I sit here and write there’s so much that has collided for this blog post to come to fruition. It feels somewhat coincidental that I would be sitting here on International Women’s Day, a senior on the precipice of graduation reflecting on (a) the last 4 years of college and (b) my Helenes experience. I am reflecting on the strong women that I have the great fortune of interacting with every day. For without Helenes I may not have met some of the women I call dear friends and close confidantes. Without Helenes I may not have been pushed to become better, do more, be more. It is in the simple day-to-day, the way Helenes treat one another that have most impacted how I view USC. They have helped me to see individuals in a sea of people.
Here's to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.