In the next two weeks I will complete my junior year and will officially be a senior in college. (WHAT?!). While the feeling of entering my senior year is daunting, it has also forced me to reflect upon my USC career thus far. More importantly, it has forced me to consider what graduating a year from now as a USC Trojan would really mean. It is almost an understatement to say that I take great pride in being a USC student because of how much this school means to me. There are few things that compare to a “Fight On!” or how comfy my USC crewneck is. However, when I think of who I am in college, the previously stated slogan and article of clothing are not the first things that come to my mind. Instead, I think of “Helenes Love and All of Mine” and my maroon Helenes spirit jersey (which basically sums up 80% of what I wear.) When I graduate, I think of leaving college not so much as USC Trojan, but rather a USC Helene.
Back in August 2015 when I started my college career, I was already studying for my Helenes test. Overeager and almost desperate, I somehow managed to wiggle my way into the Fall ‘15 rosebud class. I had the honor and privilege of beginning my Helenes career right alongside my time as a freshman. Most of the friends I made my freshman year were Helenes. Most of the meals I shared were over one-on-one meetings or rosebud rendezvous. Moving towards my sophomore year, most of the decisions I made regarding my major were inspired by the one-time enormous group of PPD Helenes. My first leadership roles, my first internship opportunities, my first highs and lows (aka roses and thorns) in college were all shared around a group of Helenes. While USC provided me with the Helenes, it is the Helenes that provided me with who I have grown to become at USC.
Going into my senior year, I am fortunate to say I feel confident and comfortable in my own identity. In a time and age where labels and titles carry so much weight, I could not be more proud to call myself a USC Helene. It has defined my time in college socially, academically, and professionally. As this final year approaches, I look forward to more memories with this wonderful group of women. I look forward to the ways it will continue to shape who I grow to be. While USC is undeniably my physical home, USC Helenes is my family.