What I didn't know
The morning after I got the highly anticipated call that I got into Bruin Belles, I found this bell (figure 1) on my dorm door: a door belle…get it? I can still very clearly remember the few weeks surrounding this moment. I wanted it SO BADLY! When I saw the Belles tri-fold at the enormous activities fair, I knew immediately that I needed to be a part of that community. On paper, it sounded like everything I wanted: a group of likeminded passionate women who did community service together and other social events. I worked tirelessly on my application and was so nervous for my interview that I signed up for the very first slot (Monday at 8am… yikes). I got the long-awaited call late on a Friday night. Yashvi, the public relations director at the time, told me that I had gotten in, and while still on the phone I screamed “I GOT IN!” to my roommate. My heart was beating so fast. However, I think if I had known what was to come, my heart would have beat so fast it would have jumped out of my chest and onto the dorm floor.
I want to tell you what I didn't know when I sent in my application, when I did my interview, when I got my acceptance call. I want to tell you what I didn't know when I saw the bell on my door.
First of all, I didn't know that Belles would very quickly become one of the biggest parts of my life; All of the sudden I was signing up for events left and right because I loved volunteering with all sorts of amazing new organizations and I also loved getting to know my fellow Belles at socials. Doing Belles activities and events has never been a chore. The abundance of time that I put into Belles is by choice.
Second of all, I didn't know that I would suddenly be surrounded by some of the most inspiring, kind women in the entire world. I can very distinctly remember attending Fall Retreat in Holby Hills Park the day after I got my acceptance call; Everyone I interacted with was new, I had no pre-existing relationships in Belles when I showed up. There were a handful of moments, in particular, that day where I would meet a Belle for the first time and be struck by how kind and genuine they were. I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to be like those girls when I became a sophomore, junior, or senior. From that day forward, I haven't stopped finding role models within Belles.
One thing I certainly didn't know when starting my time in Belles, is that I would go on to become a Distinguished Belle (DB) for the Women’s Leadership Office during my second year, and then ultimately the Women’s Leadership Director for my third. I had no idea that I would become so committed to BBSA that I would pursue these leadership positions to shape the Women’s Leadership experience within Belles. Being a DB was a tremendously rewarding experience, and I highly recommend all Belles be a DB at least once. I learned and strengthened many valuable skills and techniques that I continue to use during my time thus far as the Women’s Leadership Director. There is so much we can learn from our peers, and practicing crucial leadership skills has been an invaluable experience. If I could go back and tell my freshman self that I would become the Women’s Leadership Director in two years, I don't know exactly how I would react, but I know that I would be proud of myself.
Finally, the most important thing that I didn't know, and that I WISH I could go back and tell myself, is that I would meet some of my best friends and favorite people in the entire world that would completely change my life for the better. I promise you that I am not exaggerating when I say that the love I have in my heart for Belles is like something I have never felt before. To be in community with such a supportive, intelligent, powerful group of women is priceless and there isn't a day where I take it for granted. Truthfully, I struggle to find the words to describe my gratitude for these women and their friendship. All I can say is that if any of you reading this blog post and are considering applying for Belles, I guarantee that some of your best memories, laughs, and shared triumphs could be waiting for you, so you owe it yourself to go for it! I thank myself every day for applying to Belles. I didn't know what was to come after finding that bell on my door, and even my wildest dreams couldn't have guessed what would come next. I have no idea what is coming in the next year of Belles, but if I have learned anything, it is that you will never know what kinds of beautiful things are just about to happen!
Women's Leadership Director