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I didn’t expect this internship experience to help me break barriers in my writing. 

As my time as an intern comes to an end, I reflect on how this experience helped my personal growth. When I first started to write articles, I felt pressured to write “Pinterest” pieces because the majority of the site consisted of them. However, deep down I never gravitated to those “5 ways to do this” or “how to do that” types of articles. 

For me, writing is special because it provides opportunities for storytelling and creating connections. This is why I allowed myself to be vulnerable and transparent when I write about my personal experiences. For example, the first article I wrote for Her Campus was “Me, Myself, and I”. This article was one of the most vulnerable pieces I’ve ever written, especially since I talked about how my ex-boyfriend hurt me. 

When I initially pitched this piece, I hesitated to write it because I was afraid of being labeled as the victim. I also didn’t want others perceiving the article as a “diss” towards a specific person. I only write about my personal experiences to help others who also may be going through a similar situation. I would never use my writing to intentionally hurt anyone. 

In the past, I always felt the need to fit into a certain mold and conformity made me miserable. There were days where I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror because I knew I wasn’t honoring my authenticity. However, once I chose myself over the expectations and criticisms of others, I felt a sense of freedom. I also felt a sense of purpose because I’m not only breaking barriers in my writing but also in what’s considered “appropriate” to discuss. 

Throughout my childhood, society depicted vulnerability as a weakness. This depiction involved how it was inappropriate to discuss domestic abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault, depression, anxiety, etc. I was taught to keep my mouth shut because it was seen as shameful and an embarrassment. However, when I began reading other women’s stories, I realized the power of being vulnerable. It’s purely a strength because it allows others to realize there are people silently struggling as well. 

I’m not saying people need to disclose everything online since I personally value privacy. I’m saying every person has the right to tell their story at their discretion. When a person chooses to be vulnerable, it creates not only opportunities for connection, but for awareness and education too. I love reading a stranger’s story and immediately feeling that connection with them.

Being an intern for Her Campus Media has given me an overall confidence boost in writing with transparency and my personal life. I’ve written vulnerable pieces before, but I never shared them on a public online platform like Her Campus. This experience has also made me realize how much I want to start my own blog. It’s been a work in progress over the past year but I never had the courage to publish it. Again, I focused too much on conforming to others’ views of me instead of following through with my own vision. 

I’m incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to intern for Her Campus. Thank you to all of you who have read my articles and supported me on my writing journey! 

If you would like to read my past articles, click here.

Dori was born and raised here in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is currently a senior majoring in Communications with a minor in writing. Besides writing, she loves blogging/journaling, photography, and boba!
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