I am absolutely dreading this article. I never thought that one of the most beloved things in my life, writing, would be a cause for tears. I am sadly having to say farewell to Her Campus and a bit sooner than I anticipated to be very honest. I have been a part of this club and organization for 7 semesters – 3 and ½ years of my college career and of my life. Being a member of HC, a writer on this platform, a member of the executive board (more times than one), and a college female with a voice has been the most rewarding experience. I won’t lie, not to you guys and not to myself, I do not want to have to part ways. I love writing these articles. Through all the changes and some ups and downs and constant member fluctuation – I have loved it. I have loved every article because I poured myself into it, my mind, my thoughts, my feelings, my voice, my literal soul. My passions and interests are contained in these web pages. Maddie – all of Maddie can be found across the map of articles over the years. I think that is so magical.
I also think that seeing a chronology of growth from my first article ever, called “5 Ways to Destress During COVID-19” published in September 2020, to my last article [aside from this goodbye] called “My Meal Planning Routine” that hasn’t even been officially published as I am writing this. This club as given me a place to grow and discover and be me in so many different ways. It has given me somewhere to put my ideas that others can see. It has given me laughs, memories, opportunities to give back, fundraising skills, causes to research and explore, and most of all – it’s gifted me some of the most amazing friends I could have ever hoped to have met.
I first joined this club in the Fall semester of 2020. I was a sophomore and had only been on campus for a few months my freshman year before COVID hit. Her Campus really helped save me, it gave me an outlet while feeling pretty alone. Although it was online and I didn’t meet any of the girls at the time in person until Fall 2021, it was such a fun experience. I had been writing for a long time at that point, for myself but I was also writing for multiple other writing forums on campus but none of it was my own ideas or topics – it was all academic. I loved doing those as well, but HC gave me a chance to write things I wanted, how I wanted, and gave me the creative freedom I was missing. During this online Her Campus time we still made the most of it, we did virtual bonding events where we played games, talked, and watched movies. It was a really fun and allowed us to connect.
Once we came back onto campus in Fall of 2021 I finally got to meet and hang out with everyone in person!! There were so many fun things we did together and a wide range of events we were now able to do back in person. I loved being able to connect with the women in the club, make new friends, and share ideas about writing. No matter what time of year it was I felt like our HC club was always giving me something to do. To be very honest, I have been in the club so many semesters they sometime blend together and I foggy on the dates. All I know is I have positive core memories to spare!
Some of my absolute favorite things we I have ever done as a part of this club has been the walking in the Millersville Parade, picnic bonding events, our Secret Santa exchange, last spring’s Her Carnival, and the popcorn fundraiser we did (thanks Jackie, that was all you)! These events and many more have truly been one of the most positive things in my life and I have always gotten to look forward to something while being in this club.
Now to focus a bit on the part that I will genuinely miss the most, the whole point of this club in general – writing. I have loved writing for this platform (almost always). Sometimes writing doesn’t come easy, article ideas are scarce, the guidelines don’t always make sense to you, but you have to follow them, and you don’t even know if anyone is reading them. No matter what though, I have always cherished being able to write, especially in my own tone of voice.
That was the biggest thing now that I’m thinking about it, my articles sound like me.
I have been writing things for just myself as long as I can remember, mostly poetry. Then when I came to college I started writing for the Honors Report, I was editing submitted articles for the Engage for Change Journal [as part of a class], I became a Writing Center tutor, and I became the student writer/editor for the University Research Newsletter which was a big achievement for me. However, the only taste of my own true voice and style has been getting poems published in the George Street Press every so often. Now, that isn’t to say I haven’t loved and been so grateful for all of these things but overall, it wasn’t my true tone of voice or my topics, it was more academic and scripted professional writing. Joining Her Campus gave me an outlet tow write about what I wanted, how I wanted, (mostly) when I wanted. It was freeing. And for the first time I felt like my writing was important, not just to others but to me. So therefore, this is the most difficult aspect of leaving this club for me. Writing my last article (besides this goodbye) was the hardest thing even though I knew it was the right choice for me right now. I will miss having myself on these digital “pages”. I’m just glad my articles won’t go away forever; I can still look back on them.
To the Current HC Members –
Luke, Ryleigh, Mandi, Elise, Christine, Alexandria, Rylie, and Gracie:
You guys are wonderful people and writers. Although most of you are new and we haven’t gotten much time to get to know each other, the experience I do have has been very positive. It gives me a lot of hope for the club going forward. Just remember – you get out what you put into this club, and it can really change your life. Keep writing and exploring your potential as a writer. Participate as much as you can, I wish I had done even more than I did sometimes. Also, don’t be afraid to ask advice or for help to senior members or the board (they are really lovely humans) and are willing to help you with anything. Most importantly, write so that you hear your voice within the pixels of the font…you won’t regret it.
To the Executive Board –
Madi, Jackie, Sarah, and Alyssa:
I have loved getting to know each of you through this club. Being a part of the board with you girls has been such an amazing experience. No matter what my position has been in the club, member, or exec, you have been so amazing. I love reading all your articles and experiencing the world through your words. It has been so rewarding. Each of you has brought something so special to this club and have gone above and beyond. Madi, thank you for being on top of the newsletter and always taking interest in whatever other events we have going on! Jackie, you have been such dedicated member of this club. You have gone so far above and really put so much effort into every position you have had, the popcorn fundraiser was by far one of the best and coolest things we have done! Sarah, you are such a kind person and I love seeing you at meetings…sorry for staring at you while you eat French Fries. I always laugh when you are around and feel like you are such a responsible treasurer (better than I ever was that is for sure). Last, but definitely not least, Alyssa. Alyssa, I have absolutely loved getting to know you and becoming friends with you. When you first came into a HC meeting, I instantly felt familiar and calm with you around. You are an amazing writer, person, and I feel like the Her Campus Millersville socials have been on FIRE because of your new ideas, the motivation Monday and thank you Thursday ideas were so amazing. I feel like each and every one of you have brought so much to this club and I’m so grateful to have known you, bonded with you, and written along with you all.
To our Commander in Chief –
Ah Katie. Our valiant leader and president, you are truly amazing. In my personal opinion you have saved this club so many times. Your unwavering kindness is such a special thing and I know you are going to do huge things. Even though I’m leaving the club and soon you will be too – I will be friends with you for so long. The amount of work that you put in to keep everything going is remarkable. You have been one of the most amazing people I have gotten to be friends within this club. Thank you for everything you do for this club and for its members – you are going to go so far, and I am so excited for you to start your next journey with Disney after the winter. I 100% want to stay in touch and grab dinner with you sometime, you are a truly rare human being and I am lucky to be friends with you!!
To our Amazing Advisor –
Dr. Pfannenstiel aka Dr. P aka the best advisor ever:
Thank you for being such a supporter of this club and our writing. However, I am mostly using this space to thank you for being my minor advisor and thesis committee member (and past major advisor). I have had a relationship with you since my freshman year in 2019, we have been through SO MUCH together and more to come as my thesis is wrapping up soon! You got my through my first major change…and my 2nd one…and all the different minors…and the life changes…and the emotional roller coaster that just is me. I appreciate you so deeply because you were the first professor on campus I really trusted and felt like I could go to no matter what. But I wanted to sincerely thank you for your never-ending support, kindness, and the empowerment you have brought. Thank you – for everything!
Last but most definitely not least: thank you to those who read my articles.
This may sound odd, but I only really thought that one or two of my close family members read them. I would send the article once it published, and they would read it or skim it and that was okay with me. But then, during a meeting with Dr. P, she mentioned something about my personal life that I didn’t recall telling her. She shared that she had read it in one of my articles. I was taken aback by that. I had no idea anyone read them, especially on their own without me sending a link. My eyes watered and it was the first time I felt like my writing actually meant something important. Then my stepbrother Ronnie’s partner, Carly, started sending me such sweet messages about my articles and I was again taken aback. That someone was taking time from their day to read the words I produced. That all the way in Ohio, she was caring enough about me to read my writing. And I cried again. Then here and there a friend would occasionally say something to me or request a certain topic and this really boosted my confidence. Then the cherry on top – last year, when my boyfriend’s dad, Jim, passed away suddenly my article for him got 56 unique reads and was named article of the week in our club. This melted my heart and soul. I felt like for once maybe people I knew were seeing me up close and not just from afar or just my sarcastic, loud, expressive persona. I felt worth something. It’s funny, I have always had confidence in my writing, in my physical ability to write – but not in myself or confidence in my importance or meaning making. So, to anyone who’s ever read anything I have ever written on this website – you will never understand what you gave me in doing so.
Thank you <3
I could keep going on and on and on but I think I better wrap this up. I love this club and this outlet for writing. Of all the ups and downs that have happened throughout my college career, this writing platform has been the only extracurricular activity that has grounded me. I will miss so many things and so many of the women in this organization. Thank you for all you have given me. I will miss this. I am so used to signing my articles “until next time” but now I’m making room for a new voice on this site and giving myself the time, I need for my changing life chapter. Cheers to the most wonderful 3 ½ years & until sometime.
(just for old times’ sake)