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The Art of Self-Expression: Exploring Creative Outlets

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hampton U chapter.

As college students, self-expression is an outlet we all utilize to grow into the best versions of ourselves and find out who we are. The ability to express ourselves comes in many different forms and is a crucial element when trying to dsociver who we are and what makes us unique. Whether in the form of interior design, clothing, or hobbies, there are many outlets for those of us trying to master the art of self-expression. 

For most of us, our wardrobe choices are a reflection of who we are and how we want the world to see us, which makes it one of the pillars of self-expression. Experimenting with clothing and accessories helps us to convey to not only ourselves but people around us who we are as an individual. And expression through clothes can be done on a budget—whether you’re searching for a Boho vibe or a streetwear look, there is no shortage of ways to shop for clothes to fit your aesthetic and your wallet; clothes can be purchased at local thrift stores, Black-owned businesses, or DIY, just to name a few. When it comes to expressing yourself through fashion, the world is truly your oyster.

One of the best creative outlets one can use to express themselves is expression through music. Music is perhaps the most universal and comprehensive way to understand oneself better as it can be easily accessed and one does not have to be a musician to reap the many psychological and emotional benefits music possesses. Our music taste can convey messages about our inner selves and give us insight into what makes us happy and fufilled. Music goes far beyond lyrics and rhythms, it feeds our souls in ways many other art forms don’t. Whether you are producing music or simply listening to music in the car, it can provide a window into our psyche and give us clarity who we are as individuals

Writing is one of the most versatile outlets for creativity as it does not require expertise and it is something one can do strictly for themselves. Putting our thoughts onto paper, whether in the form of storytelling, poetry, or journaling, writing allows us to bring our inner worlds outside of our minds and in turn help us better understand our feelings and make sense of dimensions of ourselves we may have not been able to express verbally or physically. 

Lastly, one of the most underrated creative outlets is cooking. Indulging in the world of culinary arts can create a sense of pride in one’s work and abilities and uncover ways that food can make us happy. There are countless ways one can explore cooking, including trying new recipes and trying food from different cultures.

While these are only four outlets that one can use to express themselves, there are an infinite number of ways one can be creative and get you in touch with your true self. These outlets do not require money to partake in, but rather curiosity, which makes them accessible to all, regardless of income, interest, or background. Happy creating!

Zoë Westlund

Hampton U '25

Zoë Westlund (she/her) is a third-year education major at Hampton U from Manhattan, New York. When she's not writing or studying, she enjoys traveling, hiking, and going to the beach.