Helenes is the reason I did not transfer out of USC—and for that, I am grateful.
My first few years at USC was rough—moving from east to west coast, not knowing anyone, and coming from a high school of 74 kids, I felt completely lost. I felt alone, I felt confused, and I was also having some health issues, so it felt like everything was crashing and burning around me, and there I was, in the center of it all, alone.
I went on a Global Brigades trip the spring of my sophomore year and met two Helenes — Ally Bajet and Evelyn Lee. Building a relationship with Ally and Evelyn over the course of the trip began to shift my perspective of USC. I had spent so long feeling like I couldn’t connect to anyone, that the culture felt superficial—but their warmth and kindness made me feel like perhaps that’s only part of the equation. I applied to be in the Helenes, hoping that Evelyn and Ally were just a microcosm for the organization as a whole. Perhaps the Helenes is the space I was looking for within USC, the space that fosters genuine, introspective and meaningful connections. And it was (and is!)
Helenes is my anchor. Where would I be without Helenes? Who would I be without Helenes? I can’t imagine. Helenes has shaped who I am and continues to shape who I want to be. I easily become unmoored, whether it be by stress, anxiety or anything really, and Helenes never fails to bring me back to my center. The relationships I have made with people in the Helenes has been the most impactful part of my college experience.
In psychology, it is essential that during infancy an infant feels secure and cared for; for an infant to feel this security, all it takes is for an infant to look into its mother’s eyes and see the love the mother feels for the infant reflected back. During a rather turbulent, confusing point in my life, the Helenes provided (and continue to provide) that foundational reflection— one that makes me feel secure, cared for, and loved.