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Depth over Distance


It’s your resident VP and fellow stay-at-home friend. For this post, I wanted to write a few open letters. In truth, they’re bits and pieces of how I’ve felt and coped in the past year, being away from physical Helenes love. This year apart from each other has been more than difficult, but it has assured me that even though we are alone, our hearts are not. Depth over distance, my friends— it has proven itself time and time again. I invite you to take what you need, and find a little solace here in this safe space.

If you’re missing your friends…

My bet is that they dearly miss you too. If you’re home, regardless of how much love you have for your family members, it can be hard to see your friends having fun on campus or together in general. On the flip side, if you’re on campus and missing the familiarity of home and loved ones, that feeling of loneliness, even though you’re not alone, is so real and so valid. Loneliness is rampant in our lives at the moment, and the levels and conditions of how you feel undoubtedly varies from your neighbor. But one thing rings true through it all — Helenes love is real. From welcoming our newest Rosebesties in our lives (oh, the joys you all have given us!), to planning and hosting events to virtually bond, to just calling a fellow Helene after an event to say how great it was to see everyone’s faces, I’ve learned that the love we Helenes have for each other and for our communities doesn’t die. The fire in our hearts and the hope we have for the world is what keeps us holding on together, and that will always hold true.

If you’re missing USC campus…

Campus is missing you too! Before we know it, we will be back on campus together in the fall. Dearest seniors, campus will miss you dearly. But, to cure that Traveler-shaped hole in our hearts, I have a few remedies! For one, turn on Tusk and do the rocking-back-and-forth Tusk dance (you know exactly what I’m talking about). It’s like we’re in the Coliseum beating UCLA once again. You can also go to the Helenes discord right now and hang out in Cafe 84 virtually with your Helenes besties! In place of the Dulce matcha drink, you can easily make one at home (with a quick Google search, you’d be surprised with the mean matcha you’ll have in your hand in a jiffy!). Most of all, you can call your Helenes friends at any time. Go on a walk and catch up with your fav while calling them! It’s like walking to class together, except you get to dodge the skateboarders that will undoubtedly be back in the fall to run us over on Trousdale. Relish the moment while you can.

If you feel restless with the repetitiveness of each day…

You are not alone. After having been away from our Helenes friends and our loved ones for a year now, you deserve the rest that is so hard to come by in our world. Remember that you can find comfort in checking in with your breath at any point in your day. Inhale for four, hold for four, exhale for four. Even taking 12 seconds out of your day to take a deep breath can make you feel a bit more grounded. You are a light in this world; and all candles need to be relit from time to time. Give yourself the care and compassion you would give to your dearest friend — you deserve the love you give to others.

If you feel like you’re not enough...

You are enough. You are here on this earth, in this moment, breathing life into your lungs and out into the world for a reason. Every ounce of your body exudes light, promise, and the possibility to give love and receive love. You deserve every good thing, not because of what you can prove to the world, but because of who you are. Because you are on this earth, growing despite it all. Remember: one bad grade does not undermine the years you have spent learning and feeding your curiosity. One day of rest does not undermine your ambition to enact change and bring hope to our communities. One rejection does not mean you are not wanted; it means you are meant for more. When all else fails, Helenes are always there to catch you. We are here for you, we support you, and we love you. Stay steady in your path; we believe in you. We’ll always be dancing with you at the end of the day.

Helenes love and all mine,

Grace Sumitro


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