As painful as it is to step away from Helenes and into the “real world,” it’s comforting to know that Helenes will always be there, traveling with you.
One of the hardest aspects of graduating is the idea that soon we’ll all disperse. Ultimately, that may be the worst part of attending USC—the fact that this incredible school brings us all together, allows us to grow dependent on one another, and then pulls apart after four short years. To be honest, this reality hasn’t quite set in yet. I don’t think it will until the last day of classes… or maybe even graduation day itself. While it’s exciting to be venturing into the future—with great jobs and journeys and travels and relationships ahead, it’s hard to think about that transition away from the supportive network we’ve all spent four years building here. Now that I’ve been a part of Helenes for three years, I can’t imagine myself without it. Even in semesters when I cannot attend meeting, it’s still ever-present, ever-loving, and ever-supportive.
It is in this very sentiment that I find hope. Even in semesters when I have not dedicated nearly enough time to seek out Helenes events or spend time with other Helenes, they are always there and I consistently feel their supportive network. Ultimately, I don’t believe this is going to change after I graduate. Yes, geographically, there will be more land and sea between us, but, ultimately, Helenes is not a static organization, which only physically exists at USC. Instead, it’s dynamic and fluid, sending love and support to Helenes in need all over the world. It’s with this mentality that I feel ready to tentatively step into the real world.
For all you new Rosebuds out there, I have a few pieces of (unsolicited!) advice:
Do not be scared of embracing this sisterhood with fear that you will have to leave it in four years. Helenes is not something that you leave behind when you graduate, but is, instead, something to take with you and be a part of forever.
Do not forget to enjoy this sisterhood for every moment that you can. While you will be a Helene for life, you will not be able to engage with this sisterhood to the same degree after you graduate. So, celebrate all that this organization offers today by attending events, calling up your sisters for spontaneous rendezvous, and being present in the Helenes community.
Reach out to Helenes alumni and make sure to maintain that connection across Helenes generations. As a soon-to-be graduate, I can say that I would appreciate it immensely, if current Helenes reached out and kept communication beyond USC’s gates.
Try new things and embrace the unknown. By this, I mean attend new events with organizations you’ve never worked with (or never heard of!). This not only lets you temporarily step outside of your comfort zone, but it also pushes you to think about new ways to engage with the community and give back. Sometimes, it may even give you a new sense of direction—whether that’s academic or professional!
Be sure to constantly thank your sisters for all that they do for you and for the organization at large. It can be easy to forget how much everyone puts in to make this organization a great one. However, as a senior looking back, I see—very clearly—and appreciate that everyone gives a tremendous amount to this organization. I wish that I had been more outwardly appreciative. Knowing that the organization will continue to exceed expectations and give back to the USC community in more ways than I can name, based on the continued hard work of current Helenes, makes it (just a little) easier to graduate.