Having graduated and currently working a full-time job out in the “real” world, one thing I’d like to say to ASK is thank you.
Thank you for giving me a family. Littles that I can spill my guts to and that honestly help me get through my life (sometimes they act more like a big to me than I do to them)... A Big that has the purest heart I have ever seen. Grand Littles that are finding their way through college and experiencing the difficulties but the laughs that come with it. And even the sweetest Great Grand Little (wow that makes me feel old). Sisters that I stayed up late working on stat projects with (you know who you are haha). Sisters that put in hard work but also know how to have a good time. :)
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be our first philanthropy chair. From getting our shoes (or flip flops...) covered in mud planting trees to walking along the beach picking up trash, I watched as we woke up early morning on the weekend – which is extremely difficult to do as a college student – and came together to give back to our community. I am so proud and excited to see the new ways you find to give back.
Thank you for giving me experiences I will never forget. There are so many, but it’s the little things that stick out in my head. I will never forget sitting in the car on our way to retreat, trying so hard to not spoil the surprise when my soon to be G Little was trying to guess who her Big is as she was driving me. I will never forget picking up a stick with my Little at a barbecue and pretending the ENTIRE TIME that they were wands. I will never forget the moment the Alpha Class looked at each other at retreat and just bonded realizing that we have been together from the beginning.
Thank you for giving me a home. I look forward to supporting my sisters as they transition out of college following their own paths. I can say without a doubt that the sisters in ASK will do great things; they have a resilience about them that I cannot explain.
Lastly, I am thankful that even though we came from different backgrounds and are headed down different paths, our paths crossed. Some of us may end up working in research, while others are coding for a big tech company. At the end of the day, one thing that we all have in common is that we are women in STEM, and nothing can stop us, especially since we have each other.
Written by Ananya Haravu
Ananya recently graduated from UCSB last Spring with a B.S. in Financial Mathematics and Statistics, and she is a member of the Alpha Class.
Looking back at the years I’ve been at UCSB, the memories I’ve made with my friends in ASK— from our family reveals and first retreat in LA to home-cooked meals, late night karaoke on the beach, and Zoom calls— are some of the most cherished ones that I hold dear to my heart.
Like many of our sisters in ASK, I never imagined that I would be in a sorority—let alone rush for one. I remember during the spring quarter of my sophomore year, I had poked my head into a bustling room of girls during speed dating and felt frantic butterflies in my stomach because of how nervous I was. As soon as I sat down, the girls in ASK made me feel welcome and before long, I quickly saw how kind and encouraging the members were, realized that I truly could see myself as a part of this org, and continued to go to the events.
Safe to say, almost a year later, I would not have done anything different.
ASK has continued to play a very large part of my life at UCSB and has given so much to me; I’ve gotten more confident and I’m much more driven because of how much my sisters inspire me – whether it was many of the older ASK members who I was in awe of when I first joined or many of the newer members who continue to do amazing things!
But more importantly, it taught me how to better prioritize the things most important in life like hanging out with my loved ones and being kind to myself, which I struggled with for the longest time.I’ve met so many incredible and supportive girls from a wide range of STEM fields through ASK, who I undoubtedly would not have had the luck or chance to meet them if I didn’t join, and I know I’ve made life-long, dependable friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin and continue to challenge me to be a better person.
Regardless of what happens for next quarter, I know that our girls in ASK will continue to keep in touch; I'm just excited to spend my last year at UCSB with the people that I love and a community through ASK that I’ve really come to call my home away from home.
Written by Kat Wu
Kat Wu is a third year Psychological and Brain Sciences major, with a double minor in History and Applied Psychology, and hopes to become a child or school psychologist! She will be the 2020-21 Philanthropy Chair next year, and is currently an officer in Psi Chi UCSB (an honors psych organization), is involved in labs on campus, and works for Health and Wellness.
I came into college not the most confident with myself and definitely not the best at making connections prior to that. I tried and joined different organizations, but it still just felt like something was missing. Fast forward to spring quarter my sophomore year when ASK was founded at UCSB, I made the tough decision to give another organization a shot. And looking back as a fresh graduate now, I have to say that joining ASK was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my undergrad career at UCSB, because I have found a sense of community with the fun sisters who are just as genuinely passionate about STEM and sisterhood as I am. I have also made friends who I know have my back and that I will be able to do things with post-graduation. As my undergrad has come to a close here at UCSB, I can safely say that I would not have had a nearly as fulfilling of a time at UCSB if I didn’t end up joining this sisterhood. ♥️
Written by Claire Qian
Claire recently graduated from UCSB this past March with a B.S. in Statistics and Data Science. She is a member of the Alpha Class and served as PFC chair last year. Claire will be working at a startup post- graduation!
If you came up to me and asked about my favorite memory from ASK, I could tell you about the spontaneous boba run we did after that one event, how competitive we got at the sisters scavenger hunt, or our retreat to LA where we tried to make cookies without a recipe. I could tell you about the seven straight hours we spent together during our installation or go into length about how my sisters planned a surprise party for my 21st birthday. I could talk about that moment when I installed a girl from my floor my first year who quickly grew into my best friend and became my current roommate and confidant. I could show you the video of the moment when I got my little and couldn’t stop smiling. I could even tell you about the time me and the former president freaked out about whether or not our interest group could ever be as a big as we hoped.
I could tell you all those memories and more, but to me those are just memories. To me, ASK is so much more than a bunch of highlights strung together throughout my years at UCSB. It isn’t about the events we hold, the fundraisers we run, or academic enrichment events where we teach each other what being a woman in STEM means to us.
To me, ASK is made up of all the little things, the daily reminders of what it means to be a part of this sisterhood. It’s the fact that although we are in different majors from distinct backgrounds with different career goals, we’re always there to support each other. It’s when my sisters brought me snacks and caffeine when I had to miss Bid day to spend 20 straight hours writing a pharm lab report. It’s waiting an extra ten minutes before we can start a meeting because even though we saw each other last week, we can’t help ourselves from catching up. It’s the pride I’ve felt as the Big Little coordinator making those first Big Little parings with Emi and seeing those pairings grow into families, each with their own distinct personalities. It’s seeing family lines posting Instagram stories about them cooking dinner together, going on a hike, or just studying together after I spent the last five weeks and a couple of mental breakdowns to find the perfect fit for each new candidate.
That’s what ASK is to me. It’s the community new sisters join and immediately find a home in. It’s the constant empathy and understanding from fellow sisters who know that sometimes academics come first and sometimes you just need to hang out with your sisters. It’s knowing that although this was something I spent the last three years of my life building, this is something I’ll always have with me to support me as I graduate from UCSB. That’s my favorite part of ASK.
Written by Sophie Mulligan
Sophie is a fourth year Pharmacology major on the pre-PA route and is the current Vice President. She’s also the head course assistant for SOC 152A, a scribe for a local nephrologist, and is working in the Montell Lab at UCSB to publish her research on drosophila melanogaster.