Skip to main content

Expanding My Horizons

One of best things about attending UCLA is the sheer amount of diversity on our campus. From our student body to the number of majors offered, there are so many unique aspects to being a Bruin. And yet, as a second year pre-medical student, I found myself missing out on all of this. Day in and day out, I would be attending the same science classes, with the same classmates and participating in extracurricular activities with other students that had the same career goals as I did. As much as I loved being a STEM student, I knew I didn’t want to graduate from UCLA without meeting people with different interests, hobbies, career goals, perspectives, and experiences. Bruin Belles was the organization that made that dream a reality.

I remember walking into fall retreat (my first event ever!) for the first time and feeling nervous. I was outside my pre-med, science, healthcare-focused comfort box, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to fit in with all the other Belles. It only took a few minutes to dispel any of those worries. I was so excited to see how genuine and compassionate every single Belle was – about service, about women’s leadership, and about each of their unique passions. It was so refreshing to celebrate our unique backgrounds and interests, while sharing a common love for service and empowerment. The best part? This amazing environment didn’t stop at fall retreat. Without fail, I’ve been surrounded by inspiring, intelligent, and inclusive women at every Belle event I’ve been to. Seeing these women dedicate themselves to a variety of philanthropic causes around Los Angeles has only served to make me appreciate the power of community service even more.

Perhaps one of my favorite memories from Belles was being a part of the Women’s Leadership Conference committee last year. BBSA is so unique in its emphasis on empowering women and I wanted to take the initiative to be a part of that mission. Watching the leadership conference go from a fledgling idea to a full-blown, successful, rousing event was incredible and humbling. Not only did I play a role in inspiring other women on our campus, but I was also inspired myself. The Women’s Leadership Conference reminded me of the work that was yet to be done in the realm of women’s empowerment and the necessity for young women to lead that movement forward. I am committed to furthering this cause as I begin my professional career.   

As a senior reflecting on four years of college, I can honestly say that being a part of Bruin Belles has been so crucial to my undergraduate journey. In addition to participating in service events and fun socials, just being in the presence of friendly and compassionate women helped me develop self-confidence and pride in my abilities. While I’m sad to see my journey as a Belle come to an end, I will always be grateful for everything it has given me.

With Belle love,
Runi Tanna


Popular posts from this blog

Enacting Greater Change in Healthcare

From my first day in Belles, I was in awe of the interdisciplinary outlook Belles had in their fields of interests. One Belle was passionate about combining their love for engineering and Disney, prompting them to become a Disney Imagineer. Another Belle advocated to protect the environment while also using her designing skills to create sustainable products, like bamboo utensils, for members to use. These unique interests and diverse ideas challenged me to find what I was truly passionate about and understand how I can incorporate it into my larger goal of being a respected and compassionate health care professional.  Belles has always presented a wide array of events catering to every individual’s interests. I found joy in attending our scrapbooking socials and virtual Zumba events where I felt comforted and supported in a space to explore my artistic side. By finding creative mediums to express myself with those around me, I found that I was able to connect with my fellow Belles,

Belle Family

Winter quarter is one of my favorite times in Belles because it means Winter Retreat - my favorite Belles event - and, thus, getting or adding to your Belles family. Coming to UCLA from Houston, Texas, I knew absolutely no one when I moved here. At such a big school, it was a truly intimidating and I constantly wondered how I would find my home here. At yet, within a few weeks at UCLA during my first year, Bruin Belles gave me that home. I immediately felt accepted, and all of the Belles events fulfilled my search to participate in meaningful and exciting activities.  However, when I got my Belles family winter quarter of my first year, that changed everything for me. Not only did I have this amazing organization to help me find my place at UCLA, I now had a three awesome women who were invested in me and who were there to specifically support me. And, it wasn’t just one way - I was there to support them as we chose to go through the ups and downs of college together. My Belles fa

Belles Through a Different Lense

     This year has been rough! When we're living in a world where it can be scary to go outside and to interact with other humans, it's hard to make and maintain relationships. On top of that fear, it feels like almost every aspect of our lives have changed. Yet the warmth and the love of Belles has remained a constant in my life. I can still feel the impact of Belles through the sweet messages, check-ins, weekly zoom meetings, and coffee chats because Belles has created such an i ncredible network of individuals! It’s almost as good as watching the sunset after Monday Meetings outside of Royce.      I’ve found myself spending a lot of time thinking of the things I will be able to do once the pandemic is over once life returns to “normal”: when I can give my friends hugs, when I can see my grandparents, when I can travel to a new city, when I can study in a library (never thought I’d miss doing that!). But Belles has managed to find a way to continue offering such incredible ev