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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

What does it mean to be a woman? The answer is different for everyone. For me, it means that I embrace and cherish my gender while continuing to seek progress and equality. I was extremely fortunate growing up with a multitude of strong women surrounding me, who have taught me invaluable life lessons. Below are some of the most important lessons I have learned from such iconic women. 

1. You have innate value

You do not have to prove your worth to anyone. By simply existing on this earth, you are valuable. Many experts say the odds of you being born with your specific characteristics are one in 400 trillion; you are quite literally a miracle. You have overcome the hardest obstacle possible, simply by being born. If others (or yourself) ever question your worth for even a minute, remember that you have already beaten the odds. 

2. Speak your mind

My best friend Sophia has taught me numerous life lessons on confidence and advocating for myself. She emphasized that life is too short to leave anything unsaid or play games. Speak your mind in all situations, even if it means that your voice trembles. It can be intimidating to have uncomfortable situations or be confrontational when something is bothering you. Nonetheless, it is in these situations in which we decide the type of person we want to embody. While people tend to attribute speaking your mind to negative situations, the same holds true for positive ones. If you love or value someone, make it clear to them. Tell the people in your life how much they mean to you. At the end of our lives, we do not want to regret what could have been said. 

3. Choose your people wisely

The group of people that you choose to surround yourself with speaks volumes about you. Elect to spend your time with people who uplift and support you through all of life’s ups and downs. Involve yourself with those that have similar life goals and values; nevertheless, it is imperative to find companions from different walks of life with varying perspectives and philosophies. 

4. You can’t (and won’t) please everyone

This was perhaps the most significant lesson I have learned and am still trying to master. I remember being visibly upset in middle school and high school when I had even a hunch that someone did not care for me. When teachers and bosses gave criticism, I often burst into tears. I would manipulate my words and actions so that others would feel comfortable around me. As my mom observed this behavior, she immediately snapped me out of it. She explained that I would lose myself trying to please others, and that was a sad existence. She always reminds me of my favorite theme: that we only have one life. Life for yourself, never for others or their opinions of you. 

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it is crucial to honor the females in our lives. I am grateful each day for the women in my life who have shaped the person I am today. During March and every month, we must remember and celebrate the contributions of women to society. 

Katie is a social media executive for Her Campus at St. Bonaventure University. Her experience with social media, advertising, and writing allow her to combine her passions and advance her university's chapter of HC. She has been a part of Her Campus since freshman year. It has been her favorite on-campus extracurricular to become involved with. Katie is a second-year student studying Strategic Communication and Marketing. She finds joy in being involved on campus through various organizations including Her Campus, Jandoli Women in Communication, and College Democrats. She is Vice President of SBU's Freshman Leadership Program. She is also a full-time student ambassador who enthusiastically leads tours for prospective students. (Request her as your tour guide!) In her free time, you can find Katie reading, hiking, and laughing with her friends. She loves spending time outdoors, especially in the fall. Her guilty pleasures are copious amounts of (iced) coffee and country music. Some of her favorite artists include Chris Stapleton, Fleetwood Mac, and Luke Combs. Katie will eagerly engage in any conversation about her beloved hometown, Buffalo, New York. She will likely attempt to convert you to become a Buffalo Bills fan, and could talk about Josh Allen for hours. Post-grad, Katie hopes to be using her creative talents towards a fulfilling career in the world of advertising.