What USY Means to Sydney Suss

Hello Swusy,

This is Sydney Avielle Suss. For this article, I am not here to sit around and type about what it’s like to be me, or a Mem/Kad, or anything to that importance. I hope to write every month for the Swizzle, maybe letting the reader know that will make my promise to Bayle and Eden more viable.

I had been meaning to write something for the Swizzle, as I honestly haven’t ever written anything for it and Bayle had been begging me to write something. I guess you could say I was having a bit of writer’s block. Convention has been over now for about three weeks, and it is definitely hard to come back to real life when you escape for that small amount of time.


You’re probably wondering what I mean by that last sentence.


Well to speak on short terms, USY is my life. It is the one thing that I can wake up to every morning and know that I have. What most people don’t realize is that USY isn’t an organization. It isn’t a “religious youth group.” It’s (how do I not say this cheesily)….so much more than that.


7th grade Sydney said it perfectly:

“USY is being able to walk into a room and have all of these strangers want to know you like it is the most important thing in the world. It is feeling like you matter.”

Yes, I had written that in my diary on the way home from my first convention. Fall Kallah 2011 Lion’s Roar. While the other 12 conventions I have been to seem to blur all together in my mind as if it was one whole month of USY, my first convention I remember clearly. While almost every single person in my bunk never returned, there was one girl. Jacquie Mitzner. The slightly injured, slightly weird girl that seemed to be best friends with the friend that had invited me to come along with her to my first convention. You heard it here folks, I was SOOOO jealous of Jacquie. She was this beautiful girl that had so much love and I never saw that in myself. Needless to say, I don’t think I could go a day without her in my life now. The best part about this story, is this didn’t happen just once. Almost every person in USY ended up becoming my best friend. Maia Goldfarb; I remember crying with in a bathroom that following spring kadima convention because we had just undergone our first experience of boundary breakers and weren’t sure how to compose our emotions. I still remember the first time I looked at Bayle Goldman. Fall Kallah 2012 she was sitting next to Sam Shane and I left that convention having yet to introduce myself because of intimidation.

Rachel Shapiro I have known for forever, I honestly do not remember how we had met. All I remember is thinking she was this amazing person and how embarrassed I was of myself to try and make an effort to be friends with her. Yeah, I am just as surprised at myself too. This constant mindset of being judged seemed to interfere with a lot of my first experiences in USY. I didn’t understand that I could mean something. I could go on and on about my adolescent mind, but I want to get to my point.

No, at the age of 12 I did not know where USY would take me. And I still don’t know where my journey here continues. But USY made me learn to love myself. It taught me that this was it. That this is what it means to feel. This is what it means to matter. USY ridded me of my biggest fear, not being enough. And now I have a message for you:

Staff, fellow USYer, Kadimanick, Parent, whoever you are LISTEN I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY,

Life is composed of many things. It will teach you pain and sacrifice, it will unearth your patience. It will throw you on the ground and stomp on you and demand that you listen. Life will tell you to be one way when you really want to be another. It will play the game of risk, and attack you with an army of soldiers the second your continent seems to finally be intact again. Life will also show you love, and compassion. It will teach you to climb to the top of a mountain and spend hours watching the clouds fade above the earth and around the sun. You will have those moments when the only time you feel alive is when you sprint so hard that you have to stop to breath and hear the pounding of your heart bursting in your eardrums. Your heart will beat. And then you will sneeze and for a split second it will stop. And then you will open your eyes as lackadaisical as when you shut them, and smile. You will have those nights where you can’t go to sleep because something absolutely beautiful is on your mind. Or maybe someone. You will be given opportunity.


You will be asked to go to a USY convention or go to an event, and you will go. Because you will know that it is another part of life that requests your attention. And you will gladly give it all the time in the world because it is something that makes you live. It helps you learn who you are, and it teaches you what love really is. No, I don’t know everything. But I do know that USY can give you what it gave me: happiness.