This was the moment that I learned Helenes Love was real.
The week of the retreat was awful for me. Minimal sleep, bad grades, the stomach bug, and stressful events wore me out, and by Friday I just wanted to sleep in order to forget my terrible week. Honestly, Rosebud Retreat was not a priority and especially given the week I had, I saw it more as an event to attend rather than a retreat to enjoy.
Upon arriving at Studio City (shoutout to Amanat’s beautiful cousin, a Helenes alumna, for opening up her super cool home to us), the Rosebuds were welcomed with warm smiles and plenty of food. Seriously, there was so much pizza, Portos, and pastries— such an ideal girls-night-in. At this point, I was just having a great time with new friends and food, but still wasn’t feeling the whole sisterhood vibe.
Have you ever noticed that a lot of Helenes like to end emails with “Helenes Love and all mine?” Since joining Helenes, I couldn’t help but wonder when that Helenes Love can be called my own. It was so clear that through the actions, thoughts, and words of the Helenes that Helenes Love was real and genuine; however, I wondered when exactly I could feel this same sense of sisterhood. I know it doesn’t happen overnight, but should it happen in a month? Two months? Should I have connected with everyone the first week? I had no idea.
In retrospect, I realized that there is no exact, universal time in which Rosebuds are struck with the realization of what Helenes Love is. However, I believe, on behalf of my Rosebud class, that I can say Rosebud Retreat was when I got to learn more about each individual Rosebud rather than just where each person was from or their fun fact. I got a glimpse of everyone’s story and where they stand at the moment, and Retreat was the perfect opportunity to encourage one another in ways beyond the surface. That is what Helenes Love is: we share our stories, listen to one another, and learn to love our 19-membered family even though it’s only been about a month. At Welcome Night, I remember how our Helenes President Kylie Sedgwick said, “Helenes is not what defines you, you are what defines Helenes.”
Relationships were rooted at Rosebud Retreat, and I have a good feeling about the Spring ’17 Rosebud Class and my Helenes family.