The Roller Coaster of my BBYO Sophomore Year

June 9, 2023
Heather Feuerstein

Potomac, Maryland, United States

Class of 2025

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My sophomore year in BBYO can be summed up using two simple words: a rollercoaster. The journey began last summer, on CLTC. When I attended, I kindled more of a love for BBYO, one that was undying and would continue to thrive and grow. I made many new friends from all across the order, and expanded my social circle on the global level in BBYO. I felt like CLTC took my BBYO experience to the next level, and taught me leadership skills I would apply to my chapter. After CLTC, I decided to apply for ILN, the international leadership network. I was rejected from LGLA, but was accepted to Press Corps!

Sophomore year kicked off with incredible chapter events from kickoff to MIT Rush. I laughed more than I had in a long time, and felt like I was truly thriving in the chapter. I began bonding with my new Press Corps friends around the order while releasing my first article, and everything seemed to be going quite well! Preference night, Saturdays at the diner, and interesting Press Corps memes were staples of the beginning of the year! NRE’s Regional Convention went incredibly well, reconnecting with old friends and getting closer with others! Although there were inevitably some flaws, I had an amazing time overall! A trip to Puerto Rico during the winter gave me a much needed break, and after that the attention shifted to International Convention. I steered International Convention on the J-Lab committee, and was shocked to find out that I was one of the Instagram leads for IC Press Corps! I will forever be grateful for these opportunities, as they gave me something to look forward to and gave me so many invaluable skills.

Though BBYO seemed to be going well, I lost the Spring Term elections while running for MIT Mom. I was not only struggling in the chapter, I was struggling outside as well. My personal social situation was somewhat resemblant of a mess. I was stuck in the middle of an incredibly toxic friend group, resorting to them simply because I did not have anyone else in my life. At that point, my only friend really was my boyfriend at the time, who I broke up with in January. I was desperate after, but things began to get better when I began sitting with a new group of people at lunch, a group of guys who took me in as one of their own. I began to feel included and my social situation continued to improve. This helped my mood and my dedication toward BBYO become even stronger.

Finally, it was February, and IC had arrived after a long wait. IC was an incredible mood boost, as I was able to show off my steering skills and go live on Instagram including takeovers! I was able to connect with people from around the globe, and finally get Press Corps out of the group chat! I reconnected with friends from CLTC, got first row at the concert (which made me feel on top of the world), and relished the new memories I was creating despite hitting my shoulder on the window from running to get that first row at the concert, then needing to purchase BioFreeze from the CVS vending machine… It was a long story. Not to mention I met someone that I have now been dating since! IC changed my life in so many ways, and all for the better.

The spring term after that for my chapter was mostly a blur. It was a mix of getting sick, injured, and being busy with activities such as Mock Trial and Model Congress amongst others. I could not be incredibly active but tried to be as active as I could. I signed up for BBYO Israel Journey for the summer, acknowledging that this year would be the year I went to Israel. Because I have felt such a close connection to BBYO and Israel this year, I truly wanted to go to Israel so I could feel a deeper connection to Judaism and hopefully gain more friends and a deeper Jewish experience. Here I am now, nearing the end of sophomore year and applying to Press Corps. This seems like a fitting way to cap off the year the way it started. I cannot wait for junior year ahead and what is to come!

Heather Feuerstein is a BBG from Ahavah BBG #2289 of NRE: DC Council and she loves leadership and advocacy!

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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