Meet the Team: Editor Olivia Land!

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School & class: Barnard College, Class of 2021

Major: Undeclared (and proud)! 

Hometown: Summit, New Jersey.                                      

1. Tell me a little about yourself. Are you involved with anything on or off campus? 

Aside from Her Campus, I’m on the Seven Sisters Committee, a group on SGA in charge of managing and promoting Barnard’s connection with the other Seven Sisters colleges. I am also a tour guide with Meet Me at the Museum, a group that gives tours of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to elementary school students, as well as a member of the Canterbury Club. Off-campus, you can normally find me getting lost in a museum or a bookstore, or else indulging in something delicious and usually chocolate-y.

2. What do you think Her Campus Media stands for? 

I actually joined the HC team in high school, when my personal blog was recognized as part of the Influence Her Collective. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of seeing the community in action both long-distance via social media and in real time at Her Conference, and I come away floored every time. The women who participate in Her Campus are truly some of the most motivated, down-to-earth people I’ve come across, and I’m honored to share this experience with them!

3. What would your patronus be? 

I have no idea, but someone once told me it was a deer, so I’ll go with that.

4. Why did you choose Barnard/Columbia? 

Unlike many people I know, I was aware of Barnard from a young age because my grandmother, whom I never met, was a graduate of the Class of 1955. When I started looking at colleges, I found myself at a bit of a crossroads because while I was determined to study at an urban campus, yet I was also drawn to an intimate, liberal arts environment. I came uptown to tour Barnard in December of my junior year, and it checked all my boxes. it sounds cliché, but from the moment I saw the front gates, I knew I’d found “the one”! Two years later, here I am.  

5. What inspires you to write? 

That’s a tough question! I would say I write because I love it, but that would be kind of a lie. I’m sure I don’t need to explain to anyone that the writing process— whether it’s for a term paper or an HC article— can be very frustrating and exhausting. But while I’m not always loving it in the moment, I relish in the feeling I get after completing a piece of writing. Normally, I know I’ve done a good job when I feel like a weight is lifted, as if I’d finally told someone something very important.    

6. What are you passionate about? 

“Passion” is one of my favorite and most over-used words. Everyone who knows me will tell you that I have a lot of different (read: random) interests. From writing to reading to cooking to yoga, I’m all over the place. Especially now that I’m at Barnard, I feel like I’m discovering a new passion every day. Right now, I’m really into museums— what purpose do the serve, how do they fulfill that purpose, what makes an exhibit effective…you could say I’ve gone down a bit of a rabbit hole! 

7. As a first-year, what positive changes do you want to see in the college/university? 

One of my close friends and I are talking about this literally all the time. As a first-year, one of the most challenging realizations of my first semester is that no institution— including Barnard and Columbia— is perfect. While my time on campus has only increased my love for the school, I’ve also seen where we can do better. Communication, I think, is a big thing. A lot of the issues I’ve experienced or seen friends through this semester were the result of poor communication between students, faculty, and administration. Given the size of our community here at Barnard, specifically, I’d really like to see a greater effort from all corners of campus to really smooth out the way news travels and decisions are made. 

8. Who is your role model? 

I’ve been reflecting recently on how perfect it is that I ended up at a women’s college, given that I went through major obsessions with different female role models throughout my childhood. Elizabeth I was one, so was Helen Keller, Hermione Granger…I could keep going. Being away at school, however, makes me really appreciate my parents more than anything. I’m an only child, so we’re pretty close, and they’re just the best. Totally different people, but amazing in their own ways. I aspire to be half the person both of them are.  

9. If you could make one change in the world, what would it be and why? 

Is it too simple to say that I’d love it if people were just nicer to each other? Going through the very vulnerable process of moving away from home and living at college showed just how little point there is in being anything less than friendly to people. I mean, don’t be a pushover, but smile, say hi, reach out to people…I wish there was more of that! That, I would want every person on earth to have good health, the opportunity to read, and to experience art.

10. What are you most looking forward to during winter break? 

I’m honestly just so ready for a genuine break, with no exams, essays, or projects looming around the corner. I’m looking forword to spending time with my family, reading to my heart’s content, and maybe going on a few adventures in between. Easy and restful, that’s my motto for those three weeks! 

About The Author

A self-proclaimed dark chocolate hoarder living and learning in Manhattan. A book-lover at heart, Olivia can most often be found reading, doing yoga, or destressing on the swings in Riverside Park.