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What Her Campus at George Mason University Has Taught Me

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at George Mason University chapter.

If someone were to tell my teenage self that I would be a published writer by the time I got to college, I would have told them they were lying. I simply couldn’t imagine that one of the many things I wanted to accomplish could come so soon. Yet, Her Campus made the future my reality. 

The truth is, I knew of George Mason’s Her Campus chapter my sophomore year of college. However, I was afraid of overloading myself with school and extracurriculars that I had cast it aside. I told myself that I would write again. I was set on creating a writing schedule and being this self-published writer. Needless to say, none of that came to fruition and looking back at it now, I’m quite elated that it didn’t work out. 

By the time I was a junior in college, I felt like I was one step away from perpetual word vomit. I felt that I had so many opinions that needed to be shared — more like I felt that my thoughts deserved to take up space. I tried joining the train of Instagram infographics and entirely too long Twitter threads and yet none of it satisfied the insatiable desire I had to write. So I returned to Her Campus hoping I hadn’t missed the deadline but was willing to risk it even if I did. I came into this chapter with no expectations, just the anxious need to write and for someone to let me do it. To say the past two years of writing have been easy would be a complete and total falsehood. Like any journey, there are triumphs and tribulations.

In the beginning, the ideas seemed to flow like an endless river, and it appeared as though writing couldn’t be any easier for me. However, over the course of these two years, I’ve struggled to come up with article pitches, despite the options being limitless. I hit writer’s block like never before and even needed breaks away from the craft I longed to do regularly. I’ve written things and then immediately thought of 50 million ways my work could have been better right after it was published. Yet, at the end of the day, I stand by all of it, every single article. Sometimes that is harder than writing them itself. Writing for Her Campus has taught me the discipline needed to write at such an elite level. It allowed me to look for inspiration in what my peers were writing. 

More importantly, Her Campus validated the talent that I knew I possessed. The experience has taught me as much about myself as it has about writing. Writing in this manner is not only about producing quality articles but continuously committing to the craft — the art — of writing even when it seems tough. 

Audre Lorde once said, “I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.” 

As selfish as it might sound, my writing was never designed for you, the consumer. My intention was never to change minds or convince people otherwise, but to free my mind of the words that so desperately wanted to touch print. Everything that I have written has been about what is most important to me, my values, and my independent belief systems. To not share these parts of myself with the world was crushing me with the weight of the silence. And the risk of being bruised always felt like a worthy pursuit. 

I don’t know where writing will fit into the next chapter of my life, but writers rarely stay quiet for too long — it’s just not in our nature. However, I will be forever thankful that the start of my career began with Her Campus. 

Lina Tate

George Mason University '22

Lina is majoring in Government and International Politics with a concentration in Political Behavior & Identity Politics, with a minor in Social Justice and Human Rights. Around campus, you can often find her giving tours to prospective students. She has a knack for music and television. In her free time, she tries to catch-up on the neglected books on her bookshelf!