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You’re Not Messing With My Clique

Yelena Bivian

I dedicate this article to my best friend whom without her love and support I wouldn’t be where I am now. I love you broskii!

“You can’t sit with us”

“Ese hombre será mío o de nadie   mas” That man will be mine or no one’s at all

Movies and telenovelas, alongside other forms of media have created an image of women; this idea that women can’t have meaningful relationships with other women without jealousy or a man getting in the way. Solely based on media representation, women are taught that the biggest competitors are women and for all the wrong reasons like Queen B and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie say in Flawless***.

Women friendships never last is the critique that many give; women can’t see other women being successful without wanting to sabotage their success. This is especially applied to Latinas. The oversexualized image of the Latina women means that Latinas can’t be successful and friends, right?

Wrong.

Not everything is the way that media representation paints it to be. Friendships especially the friendship between women is a staple in our culture. We have comadres and vecinas, women who can relate to the things you are going through but at the same time lend a helping hand. This idea has been verified not only by my 7+ years of friendship with my best friend Ana but also by the friendships I have made in college with other women.

Coming to college, I had no idea what to expect when it came to the social aspect of it. I was alone. My best friend was miles away in Merced while I was in Redlands, nowhere near walking distance. If I’m honest, I was hesitant in making friends. No other woman understood my sense of humor or was able to relate to me the way that my best friend did. I honestly thought I was screwed. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I slowly started making friends unsure of what to expect. My core group of friends here at the University of Redlands consist of badass women all working their butts off to achieve their goals.

My friends in the language lab: Samantha Acuna, Jazmine Contreras, Sonia Casillas, and Jocelyn Garrido just to name a few, demonstrate with their perseverance that minorities can make it on a campus that doesn’t have much diversity. These intelligent women have made me feel at home during a time where I felt more like an outsider than a student. They have taught me to proudly demonstrate my intelligence and to share my opinions without fear of judgement based on my skin color. Like we say El Pueblo Unido  Jamás Será  Vencido, when we are all kicking butt not only academically but personally as well.

I am a proud sista of WRW, Wadada Wa Rangi Wengi, a non-Greek sistahood whose focus is diversity, community service, and sisterhood. In this organization, I have met incredible women who are united by similar passions but individuals nevertheless. They have taught me the importance of sisterhood and the importance of finding a place where you are welcomed to be yourself.

Lastly, I would like to mention the woman who have shaped my perspective on what friendship means to me. It is no other than my best friend Ana. I met Ana during a time period in my life where I didn’t get along with many other girls. My sense of humor and other little quirks were not the norm. We became friends in 7th grade and we have maintained that friendship over the years to present day.

My friendship with Ana has taught me what it means to be an ally, a secret keeper, but most importantly a friend. Together, we have gone through thick and thin to put it lightly. She has helped me, and I have helped her, together we have overcome things that people our age probably shouldn’t have to go through, but we have.

My friendship with Ana has had its ups and downs, distance and busy schedules being the main contributors to our limited time together. Yet, no matter what we have going on we are quick to jump to help the other out. The same is applicable to my friends and sistas, no matter the situation we are there for each other. These women are pursuing their own individual goals, pushing through adversities, spending sleepless nights but getting down to business nevertheless.

Are there women like the women portrayed in telenovelas? Yes, there are women like that. However, when you find yourself surrounded by ambitious women you yourself are empowered by their determination and encouraged to not take no as an answer.

Like Jay-Z said “You can’t mess with my clique”. Especially when that clique is made up of chingonas/ badass women, we won’t be stopped.

Let’s give it up for our ride or dies and let me know what friendships have left a lasting impact on your life!

Author: Yelena Bivian

Yelena, most commonly known as Yeli is a proud first-generation Mexican-American student currently enrolled at the University of Redlands as a junior. Her bilingual upbringing motivated her to pursue a double major in English Literature and Spanish as well as a minor in Philosophy. Influenced by her community, Yelena aspires to go into publishing and pursue writing.

When she isn’t drowning in essays or partaking in philosophical debates, she enjoys reading, listening to music too loud for her ears, running and working out.

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