In high school, I was always a quiet and reserved person. I was the person who sat in the back and was often overlooked, but I had my core group of friends who were always there for me, they were like a safety blanket, so the thought of going to college without them was petrifying. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited about college and the freedom that came with it, but I had so many questions running through my mind: will I make friends, what if I don’t like my roommates, am I in the right major, etc. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to do a research internship over the summer before my first year and I was able to meet some amazing people through the program. It’s through this program that I got to meet Shelby, ASK’s president, and Sophie, ASK’s vice president. They reached out through the research program to tell us that they were starting a sorority for women in STEM and I figured why not. I wanted to explore all the extracurriculars college had to offer. I admit I went into the meeting very skeptical; everyone knew the sorority stereotype; bleach blonde, fake tan, partiers, and I went in with this idea in the back of my mind. I remember walking into the apartment and all my preconceptions of them dissipated instantly. After talking with them and learning more about what ASK was, I realized the true impact these girls were making in creating a place for women who were pursuing STEM majors which have always been male-dominated. I realized that they were making their marks here at UCSB and I wanted to be a part of it. Helping expand an organization that empowered women and helped them achieve their goals inspired me. It hasn’t always been easy and we had, and still, have a lot to learn but I’m so proud of us for getting this far. I am so glad I went that initial day because I have been able to watch this tiny interest group grow into a full chapter, and it brings me so much joy and pride. I cannot imagine my life without my sisters. These girls have taught me how to open up and be more outgoing, they have taught me how to be resilient, and most importantly they taught me what true friendship (sorry that was cheesy).
Thank you ASK, I couldn’t imagine my life without you.
Written by Claudia Do
Claudia is a second year pre-biology major, a member of our founding class, and our current secretary. She is also actively involved in our campus community as an undergraduate researcher in the Mazer lab, an associate director of UCSB's Health Profession's Association, and a member of the Vietnamese Student Association.