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Finding Home

I remember going home most weekends when I started my first year at UCLA. I was overwhelmed and felt a little lost (as many freshmen do, even if nobody says so). On one of those weekends at home, I told my mom how I didn’t feel like I had a community that made UCLA feel like home. My parents are both UCLA alum, and she brought up her time in Bruin Belles. She was uncertain if the org was still around, but sure enough, we looked it up and found BBSA thriving. I immediately started going through the website and came across some Blog Posts, like the one you are reading now. After reading about the experiences of previous Belles, I decided to apply. It is crazy to think that I am now sitting here writing my testimony, hoping that it inspires you to join, too! 

Bruin Belles has lived up to everything I hoped it would and more. This group is full of the most wonderful women I have ever met, and everybody is so supportive of one another. Everyone is incredibly genuine and just wants the best for each other. Also, each Belle is highly motivated. Seeing everyone pursue their academics and passions wholeheartedly is so inspiring! Bruin Belles is the tight-knit community that I was looking for, and it has given me a safe space to be myself and grow. 

BBSA has also given me so many opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. Every week, I can choose to attend events coming from different offices like Community Outreach (service), Women’s Leadership (professional and personal development), Campus Culture (UCLA activities), and more! This has given me many chances to get involved in the greater LA community as well as at UCLA. We also have a newly established Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Office that provides spaces for conversation and learning opportunities. Especially in the past couple of years, BBSA has been very committed to improving its accessibility in every facet. I love how the organization is always trying to become better.   

Last year, I got involved as a Social Distinguished Belle which allowed me to meet so many amazing people. Because I loved it so much, I decided to run for Social Director this year! The Social Office works to facilitate connections between Belles and offers several events each week such as picnics, crafting, and game nights to name a few. We also host a trip for Belles to go to Disneyland, create Big/Little pairings, and even plan a formal! I truly feel like the BBSA socials are a perfect way to meet people, and I have made lifelong friends by attending them. 

All this goes to say that joining Bruin Belles was one of the best decisions I have made at UCLA so far! I am so thankful for everything and everyone Bruin Belles has given me so far <3 If you’re considering applying, DO IT! You won’t regret it! 

Lani Jacobson
Director of Socials 22-23
Socials Distinguished Belle 21-22

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