Kayla White, friends, girls, women, night out

The Most Important Thing We Have Are Female Friendships

I didn’t know how I wanted to wrap up my time as a college journalist. Up until writing this, I had no clue what I wanted to say. What would be my parting message to people I’ve come to know and college women everywhere? Then I watched Her Campus’s I’m Still Graduating ceremony, and watched the good-bye messages my sorority sisters made for me, and it clicked. 

At the core of my and many other women’s lives, especially the most successful, are female friendships. We talk about feminism and female empowerment a lot, which plays a large role in our relationships, but we should take time to examine what our friendships mean to us. The biggest blessing of my college life was being surrounded by so many incredible women. We worked, partied, celebrated, and studied alongside each other - and it’s something that should not be taken for granted. I’ve led an active life in college, through my jobs and internships, my clubs and campus activities, and just being the adventurous city girl many have come to know me as. But in those incredible experiences, the thing I cherish the most through it all are the amazing women and girls I’ve met. I’ve mentored some, many have mentored me, and we have learned and grown with each other. It’s incredible to say that in all of my internships, I was led by badass women at the helm of each and every one of them. Even with Her Campus, which I’ve been a part of since I was 17, I’ve been so inspired by many of those on the nationals team -  especially my many supervisors. I’m forever grateful to Stephanie, Annie and Windsor for starting it all and continuing to invest and be so involved with us undergrads. Those are the connections I will keep with me through the rest of my life and career. I’ll also keep the relationships I’ve made within the gates of St. John’s University with me for years to come. My circle is comprised of bright, funny, smart, kind, and successful women, who are going on to become teachers, lawyers, psychologists, journalists, publishers, and more. We’ve been with each other in each and every step of it and I’m so excited to see the new ways we’ll evolve and grow as we get older. I think that’s the most beautiful part about the relationships we have.Kayla White, friends, girls, women, night out

Coming of age in the 2010s on social media meant being exposed to a world far beyond our own communities. I’ve learned more about women, our history, our roles and our path than any textbook could have taught - and I know many of you may feel the same. The most important thing that was instilled in me through all of this is just how fucking *incredible* we are. The bond between women is the most powerful thing on this Earth. We think like no other, love like no other, care like no other, are resilient like no other. We uplift each other and give unconditional love to those closest to us. And when we’re together, we can conquer all. In the I’m Still Graduating ceremony, CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin spent most of her speech emphasizing the importance of female friendships and the power of women. “When women get together and harness the power of each other,” she says, “you can change the world”. And we can, we have, and we will. Women have started some of the biggest social movements in modern day history (Times Up, Black Lives Matter). We are far from finished. This is especially to the Class of 2020. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking “why me? Why us?” that this pandemic hit us. But I heard someone say the mantra I’ve always believed in - everything happens for a reason. I’ve always said my class was a special one. I thought it was funny how so many world events happened to line up with milestones in our lives - this one takes the cake. Maybe these circumstances have forced us to change the course of the world in the future. The Class of 2020 is now a historic one, and it’ll be up to us to lead the charge to make our country and beyond into something past generations never could. We’re more resilient than ever before. To my fellow female 2020 grads, let us celebrate and reflect on the amazing friendships and memories we’ve created along the way. We’ve made it to where we are because of each other. You can be the most confident, smart, ambitious go-getter in the world, but you still need people in your corner to support you and cheer you on. I’m so glad I found that over these last four years. 

Kayla White, Chanelle Norman, girls, womenFemale relationships are the greatest bond of all. If you’re not in the Class of 2020 and aren’t yet stepping out into the real world, I’ll tell you this - the connections you make in college will be the biggest asset you will leave with. Be intentional with who you befriend, who you work with and who you learn from. They will be the ones still with you even in times when it feels like all is falling down. To quote Brooke Baldwin once again, “don’t overlook the greatest resource in your life - the connection to your friends.”

To the Class of 2020 and young women everywhere, I love us - and I can’t wait to see us change the world.