What Helenes Means to Me:
When I think about what Helenes means to me, I think of sunny afternoons on the bench and late nights with my E-Boards. I remember those who have graduated and remain sisters to me despite all distance. I think of my little and the way she has completely transformed my life to fill it with joy and love I’ve never felt before. I think of early mornings at Swim with Mike and late nights at Gatecall. Above all, I think of the family that has entirely defined my college experience.
Helenes is a kaleidoscope of colorful people and light. With each new hour I’ve invested, I’ve discovered something new and beautiful about the work we do and the bonds we share. For each minute I’ve spent with my fellow Helenes, the world has become a little less scary and a lot more hopeful. It’s remarkable to look around at events like Welcome Night and be reminded of just how many special souls spill their love into the Helenes cauldron to be shared amongst our entire membership.
Helenes has given me the courage to be the truest version of myself. There are not many people I feel comfortable being my true self around, but almost all of those people are Helenes. Helenes has taught me vulnerability. Without vulnerability, there is less risk, less fear, and less pain, but with it, there is more growth, more strength, and more love. By taking the step to open up to this family and devote time to the relationships within it, I’ve found that Helenes is not just an organization or an extracurricular. It is a family. It is a home. And it is the purest form of love. It’s the place that has allowed me to feel proud of my culture, my family, and my sexuality. I’ve discovered my own power by watching fellow members step into their own.
I’ve found that I can always trust in this family to pick me up when I'm down and provide support when I’m too scared to ask for it. This family will love you, cherish you, and fight on with you for life. When my cup is empty, Helenes fills it. When I don’t remember who I really am, Helenes helps me find myself once more. The moments when I’ve stopped believing in myself, Helenes has given me the courage and confidence to pursue my dreams and to accomplish things I never would’ve imagined for myself.
I am grateful that Helenes has given this incredible group of people a space to grow and blossom together. It’s encouraged me to think of others before myself, to serve with the purpose of making this community and world a better place. It’s opened me and many of my friends up to not just give love, but to also receive it from one another.
One of my favorite authors from Nebraska, Willa Cather, once wrote, “When people ask me if it has been a hard or easy road, I always answer with the same: The end is nothing. The road is all.”
My road has had its ups and downs. It’s brought me in directions I’ve never expected, but through every unsure turn I’ve felt a strong family surrounding me, inspiring me, giving me courage and grace to carry on. I am grateful to Helenes for teaching me to appreciate the journey, savor the road, and never forget how loved I am along the way.