My freshman year at UCLA was anything but normal. We were in the middle of a global pandemic, and the entirety of my first year was online. Although classes were fully virtual, I was privileged to have the opportunity to move to Westwood. Being away from my family for the first time was tough, and all I wanted was to have a community of friends I could lean on. Coming from Arizona, I believed the best way I could do this was through joining a sorority. I started the process of rush, but found myself questioning whether the process was right for me after being dropped from several houses. I felt defeated that it did not work out for me as the community I so greatly desired was not found.
Amongst feeling disappointed about the rush process, my mom, a UCLA alum, told me to look into Bruin Belles. Bruin Belles was an organization that existed while she was a student, but she had never joined it. I looked into it and applied, and the rest was history. I had finally found the community that I wanted so bad, and it was the best decision I had ever made! Everyone was so warm and welcoming to me, and made UCLA feel so much smaller. Prior to joining Belles, I had never had any female role models close to my age. This shortly changed after I joined, when the seniors were so kind to me and led me through my first year at UCLA. One of them guided me through what it was like being premed at UCLA, and convinced me that it is something I was capable of. I will be forever grateful for all of the friendships Belles had given me. Belles consists of like minded and an empowering group of women who inspire each other every day. Everyone is so warm, kind, and so much fun to be around.
In addition to the most amazing friendships Belles has given me, it has also given me out of this world experiences. Community service was a big part of my high school experience, but I engaged in it more to check off boxes for my college app, and I didn’t particularly enjoy it. Belles has given me a genuine love for service and has changed the way I view helping others. I have been able to foster so many connections and volunteer with organizations throughout LA. One of my favorites is Dress for Success, an organization that provides business casual attire to low-income women looking to enter the workforce. When volunteering with Dress for Success, the other Belles attending and I would go to their beautiful boutique and style women coming in for appointments. Dress for Success events allow me to use my love for fashion to help other women which is super cool! I also love the social aspect of Belles. We have had so many fun events such as going to Disneyland, painting on Tongva steps, and our annual fall, winter, and spring retreats! Some Belles and I will even be attending a Bachelor group date later this week! All of these events have fostered my ability to meet and befriend other like minded people.
Belles has truly allowed me to grow so much as a person. After an amazing freshman year as a general member, I wanted to simultaneously challenge myself and give back to Belles, so I took on the board position as one of the community outreach co-directors. Doing this really allowed me to step in as a leader and grow so much. It greatly helped my communication skills, problem solving skills, and public speaking skills, which is something that has always been a struggle for me. I also built so many personal connections with the organizations I planned community service events with. After a great year as the community outreach coordinator, I wanted to challenge myself even further so I ran for president. Even though I have only been president for a short time, it has been such an amazing experience and has caused me to grow tremendously. Belles is such an amazing organization that has provided me with so much, so if you are considering applying, please please do!
Belle Love Always,
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