We are now exactly one week away from graduation and I truly can’t believe it. Bittersweet is an understatement. While I am so excited for what the future for all of us holds, I can’t help but get sentimental about Bruin Belles. Coming from a small town where all of my closest friends were people I had known for 10+ years, I was naturally worried about building those kinds of lasting relationships in a school as huge as UCLA. But you know what they say, when you know, you know, and when I joined my sophomore year I immediately knew I had finally found my family at UCLA. Now, three years later, it is so hard for me to believe that I have only known these women for a few years when they truly feel like sisters.
It’s hard to comprehend that I survived most of my life without these women. These are the women with whom I can have a deep conversation about important social issues that we are passionate about one minute and be dancing around my living room and singing at the top of our lungs to throwbacks the next. They have been my support system, my sounding board, my road trip buddies, my people to go to when I just need to dance it out - ultimately they have been my best friends. These women have never ceased to inspire, empower, and challenge me in all of the best ways. I couldn’t be more grateful for this strong, diverse, and passionate family that I have found in Bruin Belles. Belles is always pushing me to be the best version of myself, whether it is pushing me to pursue my passions, helping me embrace my failures, or giving me the perspective I need to handle life’s challenges. Thank you Bruin Belles for making my college experience so wonderful, special, and bright! As we seniors all go our separate ways across the globe, I know that our friendships will not end with graduation. While on the one hand I don’t want to come to terms with the fact that I will no longer be only a minutes walk away from all of you, I can’t wait for this next chapter together to see all of the incredible things that these compassionate, driven, and wonderful women will accomplish!
Shivani Desai, President's Distinguished Belle