One year ago today, I was working on my application for Bruin Belles. As I think back to that time of my life, I remember the immense sense of uncertainty I felt. Would Belles like me as much as I liked them? I look back at this time of my life, a mere 365 days ago, and hardly recognize the person I was. Belles has been a large part of this personal journey.
When I applied to BBSA, I was just beginning my junior year at UCLA. My first year had been cut short because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and my second year of college was entirely online. Determined to make the most out of the later half of my undergraduate career, I applied to Belles. I was resolute on finding a community that made UCLA feel like home (as cliche as it sounds) while supporting my personal and academic growth. After attending my first Belles event, I knew I had found what I was looking for (and more).
As an organization, BBSA has given me invaluable opportunities to serve the Los Angeles community, allowed me to learn how to be an ally to communities I am not a part of, and focus on my personal growth. I have been able to practice mindfulness, attend a dance marathon, and volunteer at a book festival, among other incredible events.
It’s the people that make up BBSA, though, that are truly something special. Because of Belles, I have had the chance to meet some of the most interesting people and make some of the greatest friends I have ever had. Because of my fellow Belles, I have realized that I really enjoy making bracelets and rock climbing. They have given me the confidence to get out of my comfort zone and try activities that intimidate me. I know that, even if I do not succeed at something, I will always have a community to rely on that will pick me up again and support me fully.
One year ago today, I could not have imagined the community that welcomed me with open arms, and I am forever grateful.