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16 College Students On The Women Who Inspire Them

March is Women’s History Month, which is the perfect time to reflect on the many influential women that paved the way for gender equality today. There are so many women to learn about that fought for things like Civil Rights and reproductive justice, as well as women who were leaders in their own fields. This month is also an important time to appreciate the women in your life today, whether they are family members, friends, mentors, or even fictional characters. Almost everyone has at least one inspirational woman in their life, and it’s easy to forget to show her some love! Now is the perfect time to reach out to that woman in your life and express your appreciation. 

Her Campus reached out to college students across the country to learn about the women who inspire them. Students were excited to share about their incredible mothers, friends, mentors, celebrity inspirations, and more. Here were their responses.

Family Members

Unsurprisingly, female family members were a popular answer. For many women, their mothers are the first women they connect with.

“My mom is such a strong and independent woman, and has always been there for me each and every single day.” – James, 20, University of California Irvine

“My mom because she taught me to be tough and not afraid to break gender stereotypes.” – Lanaya, 21, University of Colorado Boulder

“My mother. She raised a kid on her own while having a full-time job, is incredibly thoughtful, and manages to be confident in a world that can work against her as an immigrant woman of color.” – Kane, 20, University of Colorado Colorado Springs

“My mom is my biggest inspiration. We have matching tattoos and matching nose piercings as a symbol of our connection. I can only hope that I’ll be to someone what my mom is to me.” – Kylie, 20, University of Colorado Boulder

“My mom because she raised me as a single mother during her experience with abuse and after.” – Chastity, 22, Colorado State University

Friends & significant Others

Several other college students shared appreciation for their friends and significant others, who they draw inspiration from.

“My friend Hannah. The weirdest feeling I’ve ever had is looking at a friend and knowing that they will be some sort of famous and change the world. I feel that way with her.” – Katie, 20, University of Alabama

“My friend inspires me because she is such a go-getter in every aspect of her life.” – Marita, 22, University of Colorado Boulder

“My girlfriend inspires me more than anyone else. She is a strong, brave, and caring person who puts other people before herself no matter what, and she makes me want to be a better person every day.” – Hunter, 20, University of Alabama

“I have known my roommate since we were in kindergarten together. She is one of the kindest, most compassionate, thoughtful, and clever individuals that I have crossed paths with.” – Abbey, 21, University of Colorado Boulder


Several college students shared that they feel inspired by their mentors, including teachers and friends. Mentors play such a critical role in improving skills and networking, making them a valuable connection to have.

“My professor Dr. Stiles. She encouraged me to believe in myself and my writing, and I am very grateful for everything she has taught me.” – Miquela, 20, University of Colorado Colorado Springs

“A woman who inspires me is Mrs. Carolyn Landis-Kunicki, current second horn of the Colorado Symphony. I feel so fortunate to have her as a teacher, mentor, and friend.” — Olivia, 22, University of Colorado Boulder

Celebrities & World Leaders

“Lili Reinhart because she is open, honest, and vulnerable about her mental health journey. Listening to her speak on podcasts or in interviews reminds me that even when I’m having a difficult time, I can practice radical compassion.” – Alicia, 22, California State University Long Beach

“Lucy Carlyle from the Lockwood & Co. series inspires me to be brave, stand up for myself, and trust my instincts and body.” – Lauren, 21, Missouri State University

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez because she is fighting for equality in the House of Representatives and she talks about, and brings awareness to, important topics.” – Ella, 19, University of Colorado Colorado Springs

“Ruth Bader-Ginsburg because she was a badass who fought for women’s equality and reproductive rights.” – Anna, 20, University of Colorado Boulder

“Meghan Markle. She is well-spoken and stays true to what she believes in no matter what.” – Bryanna, 21, Baldwin Wallace University

One thing is certain when looking at all of the amazing inspirational women on this list:Women are incredible! The impact that our friends, family members, mentors, and celebrities have on us is so important, and Women’s History Month is the perfect time to celebrate this.

Jordyn Stapleton has been a National Lifestyle Writer for Her Campus since February 2023. She covers a variety of topics in her articles, but is most passionate about writing about mental health and social justice issues. Jordyn graduated from CU Boulder in December 2022 with Bachelor’s degrees in music and psychology with a minor in gender studies and a certificate in public health. Jordyn was involved in Her Campus during college, serving as an Editorial Assistant and later Editor-in-Chief for the CU Boulder chapter. She has also worked as a freelance stringer for the Associated Press. Jordyn is currently taking a gap year and working at a local business in Boulder, with hopes of attending graduate school in fall 2024. Jordyn enjoys reading, bullet journalling, and listening to (preferably Taylor Swift) music in her free time. If she isn’t brainstorming her next article, you can usually find her exploring coffee shops or hiking trails around Boulder with her friends.