My very first year in college before I joined Belles, I distinctly remember the overwhelming feeling of homesickness during the holiday season. From every direction I heard students lamenting that “Christmas just isn’t the same anymore”. Being 1,000 miles away from my family who normally makes this time of year feel so special definitely did not help. Our holiday traditions leading up to Christmas like setting up the Christmas tree, baking holiday cookies, and listening to Christmas music together was exchanged for the dimly-lit bookstacks in Powell, the occasional *real* dessert at Bplate, and searching up “one hour of soothing piano music” to study to. Every fiber of my being just wanted to return home to the joyful festivities my family had in store.
Fast forward to two years later, I am sitting at home during Thanksgiving dreaming about coming back to school. What changed? I found a home away from home — Bruin Belles! I was so excited to come back for Belle’s annual Holiday festivities. Events like our annual secret sleigh-belle (secret santa) made me feel loved and appreciated. While we each shared our favorite holiday traditions, it allowed me to reminisce about my traditions at home while appreciating the unique traditions of other Belle’s families, and it made me feel closer to everyone. At another event, I got the chance to decorate Christmas cookies while listening to cheesy Christmas music, just like I do at home! An event right in the middle of a stressful week of tests and presentations, I felt so blessed to be able to take some time off and enjoy the little things with my fellow Belles.
Belles is not only an organization on campus, it is truly a family. Belles provides me with a safe space when I need a break from the high stress of school. I am so lucky to have found a group of women that bring me joy and happiness during times of darkness. I am blessed to experience the holidays with a family I never expected to have. With Belles by my side, Christmas feels the same again.
Women’s Leadership Distinguished Belle