To the Helenes
Our Director of Membership, Elina, always tells us that the Helenes find us when we need it the most. It kind of made sense to me, but it wasn’t until I was sitting at Alumni Park, sweating until there were literal pools of sweat around me, and painting my tote bag during family week that I understood completely why Helenes found me at this point in my life.
I’m sure like many others, I was questioning everything about my decision to come to USC. During my college application process, USC was so far off my radar and I just applied because I had an extra spot on my Common Application. I had given up my dream college for USC, and I spent the majority of my first semester questioning if I had made the right decision. Although I chose USC for the Marshall School of Business, it was intimidating being around all these guys who seemed to be light years ahead of me in terms of their knowledge in the business world. I was intimidated by Los Angeles because there was so much of it that I hadn’t seen yet because I don’t have a car.
Additionally, I had come from a small, quiet city in nowheresville in the Middle East. USC was overwhelming. There were too many people and not enough familiar faces. I felt no connection to the University because I knew absolutely nothing about it. I had zero knowledge of USC besides the fact that Olivia Jade used to “row” here. I began to long for my dream school again: Barnard College of Columbia University. It was much smaller in a city that I loved, and it had a sense of female empowerment because it was a women's college.
In all honesty, I wanted to transfer out to somewhere I had originally wanted to go, but didn’t want yet another major change. So I thought I’d just stick it out. My friend, Tali, had told me she was going to apply for the Helenes. I remember meeting a couple Helenes at a volleyball game last semester and how much I enjoyed their vibe. Tali and I began the application process and luckily for us, we both made it!
And now, I get it. Just studying for the test made me feel so connected because I knew so much more about where I was living. And now, I have a smaller community and see more familiar faces around campus. This community makes USC so much less overwhelming. I have a family that always makes me feel like I belong. I feel connected to other Helenes through all the family events, and I feel more involved because of service and spirit events. I have made so many amazing friends in the Helenes and have an amazing big who loves Harry Styles even more than I do. It is crazy to think that just one organization has totally changed my perspective of USC. I have found a community that makes me feel at home in a place that couldn’t have felt farther from it. And I owe it all to the Helenes.