Dear Her Campus, Thank You.

I’ve been trying to type this since October and every time I tried, I ended up crying a mix of happy and sad tears.

Dear Her Campus,

Thank you.  

Thank you for giving me the best two and a half years of college I could’ve ever imagined.

It’s always been a running joke that if you meet me for the first time, I will somehow end up asking, “Have you heard of Her Campus?” I am so grateful to have surrounded myself with the idea of empowering women during my college career, especially when I needed it most. It’s given me a top-notch work ethic and the ability to multi-task on so many different projects. More importantly, it’s given me access to other perspectives and cultures. (Shout out to Shabrina for teaching me so much about Bollywood.)

Courtesy of Glorianna Picini Photography 

When my parents separated this year, this team stood by me and surrounded me with love. This team continues to do so and challenges me to be the best version of myself every single day.

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Thank you Her Campus for teaching me how to market just about anything. Thank you for the endless mascara (I will miss survival kits) and Krazy Glue… so much Krazy Glue. I am a #MarketingQueen. Put anything in front of me and I can advertise it. Try me. I could probably market a toaster as a beauty product at this point.

Now prepare yourself, it's going to get sentimental. 

Juliane, thank you for taking a chance on me almost three years ago and hiring a terrified transfer student who had no idea what she was doing. You’re the reason I had this amazing experience and I will be forever grateful. Katie, thank you for always inspiring me. Holly, I want to be you when I grow up. You three are incredible women who will change the world one day.

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To the chapters across the country that dealt with me as their chapter advisor, thank you for showing me that HC is limitless and every chapter is special. HC Duke, HC GCSU, HC Illinois, HC Illinois State, HC Penn State, HC Kenyon and HC Wash U -- I am so glad you let me into your #GirlGang and remained opened to new ideas. I can’t wait to watch you all succeed and read everything you publish in the future. I am forever grateful for our virtual friendships.

Thank you to the veteran staff. You’ve been there since the beginning of my time with Her Campus. Maybe even longer. Thank you for coming back time and time again to keep this chapter going. You are the foundation of what I know HC to be. Always carry this experience with you, just like I will.

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Thank you to the new writers of Her Campus George Mason for bringing so much life and love to the team. When Nancy and I began the application and hiring process last May, we had no idea what the team would become by the end of the summer. I still remember how proud I felt as we sent out your acceptance emails and writer contracts, just knowing that we were bringing a new group of women into something that’s a major part of my life. Thank you for being the guinea pigs as we tested what would work for our largest staff yet. (I can’t believe there’s over 30 of us now.)  You all are incredibly talented. Please, never doubt that. Every single one of you is an amazing writer and you’ll continue to grow. You made my last semester of this so special and will always have a piece of my heart.

Photo courtesy of Dev the Shooter Photography 

Thank you to Jenny, Sarah and Salma. You all are a force to be reckoned with. I have seen you three grow so much in the last year and, frankly, it was a privilege to do so. Salma, you will forever be my #SocialMediaQueen. Your meme’s keep me going. Sarah, you have the kindest heart and endless amounts of talent. Jenny, I just love you in general. Thank you for always being my therapist and personal cheerleader.  Thank you all for letting me be a part of your lives. Thank you for always supporting me and more importantly, helping Nancy and I pull this off.

Amanda, thank you for teaching me to never be afraid to speak your mind. If you get people talking and reading, you’re doing something right. That’s what a real journalist is. You are going to be a great Editor-in-Chief and I am so proud to pass the torch to you. My only *word* of wisdom-- spreadsheets.

This was by far the hardest part to write. Nancy, I doubt I would have survived or kept my sanity over the last six months without you, let alone the last two and a half years since we started all of this. I am so lucky to have you in my life. You are one of the most dedicated and inspiring women I have ever met. Thank you for being my fearless president and tolerating my constant text messages. Thank you for going along with my insane ideas and themed content weeks. Thank you for holding my hand as I read my graduate school decision letter (and not mocking me as I cried). I wouldn’t have wanted to do this with anyone else.

Photo courtesy of Dev the Shooter Photography 

To the future staff of Her Campus George Mason, I ask that you challenge yourself and never stop asking questions. I ask that you never be afraid to speak your mind and share your ideas. I ask that you seek out all the love the team has to offer and empower yourself with it. And, for the love of all that is holy, hyperlink your GIF's. Please.

HCXO always,

Courtney

(Just kidding, you can’t get rid of me. I’m starting a HC George Mason grad school column in the spring!)