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Original photo by Sofia Tempestoso
Life

How HC Completed My Untraditional College Experience

As I start to reflect on my time in college before graduation, I have begun to think about how Her Campus has been there for me every step of the way. Little did I know where it would end up leading me in my college experience. Curious to hear about my Her Campus journey and how it brought value to my untraditional college experience? Keep on reading!

Joining Campus Trendsetters

I went home one night and immediately started to do some Google research. Through that, I found so much information: HC's mission, the various chapters located worldwide, the different articles girls would write, and even internships at the national office right in Boston! I was shocked that I hadn't learned about it sooner (given the headquarters are in my home state), but I was thrilled that I finally knew. 

The only bummer was I didn't know if I could get involved. I had always loved to write, but I knew my community college didn't have a chapter, and starting one on top of classes and working would be way too much on my plate. Once I transfered to a four-year school after getting my associates degree I could probably join a chapter, but that was too long of a wait. Luckily, after some more researching, I found a way that I could branch into the community.

I stumbled along Campus Trendsetters, a part of Her Campus Media that allows college women like myself to work with the HC team and brand partners to give input on products and services. Normally, this is done in one of two ways: through surveys or by signing up for campaigns to recieve free products to try and post on social media.

Since I was a marketing major, this sounded like just the right fit for me. I could gain social media marketing experience while trying out new products for free! Sign me up (and frankly, you should too)! So I did just that, immediately filling out the application, and a few days later got accepted!

Since then, I have done campaigns with a variety of brands like Bumble, Batiste, Steve Madden, Popsockets, and Hallmark (just to name a few)! I loved being able to try out new products and have found many new favorites through the campaigns as well. Plus, I got to create some fun content for my Instagram and see what others posted as well! 

Even though I wasn't writing articles just yet, Campus Trendsetters allowed me to take my first steps into the HC community to see what it was all about. Without it, my college experience surely would not have been the same! 

Attending Primark x Her Campus Shopping Events

Now how exactly did I learn about Her Campus in the first place? Well, it was probably different than how most people did because I didn't learn about it at a club fair or through a classmate (mostly because at the time I was in community college which didn't have a HC chapter presence). So instead, I learned about it through Facebook. I just happened to be scrolling through one night and saw a college student shopping event at Primark in Boston sponsored by HC.

Now if you haven't been to Primark, it's magical, and I had already been multiple times before. However, with the promise of giving away free gift cards and having fun activities, I figured it would be worth it to take a trip into the city to attend. I texted a friend to come along with me, and soon enough we were at the event the following week.

It was certainly worth the trip in because the two of us had so much fun! We shopped, ate cotton candy, got these cool sketches of ourselves done by professional artists, and took some cute photos! I was absolutely blown away by the atmosphere and how friendly all of the HC staff that were there was. I knew that whatever HC was, I would have to do some research on it to see if I could get involved.

Attending and Modeling at College Fashion Week

I wrote a whole article on this (which you should check out if you want more details, it was actually the first one I ever wrote), so I'll keep this brief. But College Fashion week was incredible and really allowed me to see the HC Community in full force.

As both an attendee and a model, I was able to see and meet amazing college women from different backgrounds and educational paths come together to watch and show off their personalities on the runway. The event was filled with food, drinks, fun activities, and an absolutely incredible show. Although I'm not sure when it will happen again (given the ongoing pandemic), once it makes it's return you need to go. This event only confirmed that I wanted to be a part of the chapter network when my time came.

Joining the UMass Amherst Chapter

Once I knew I was transfering to UMass, I immediately applied to be a part of the HC chapter over the summer. I was accepted shortly before I moved onto campus and the chapter was a huge part of my adjustment to campus life.

Not only was I writing articles about things I loved — like pop culture, music, and product reviews — but I got to meet a bunch of amazing people through events. From study sessions and our Halloween party to the chapter photoshoot, I began to see what kinds of incredible people made up our group and how supportive everyone was of one another. Many members also gave me lots of advice that was super helpful as a transfer student which was great too!

Soon enough, HC became the club I was most involved in on campus, and I felt so grateful to be a part of such an amazing community of likeminded women!  

Transitioning to Online Learning 

Like most college students, however, the pandemic uprooted me from campus and sent me back home to my family. While many of my classes and other clubs were also affected, HC was able to bounce back and thrive even more in the virtual environment! 

All our meetings moved to Zoom and our events did as well, though as time passed, they actually grew in variety. I went to ones like the Check-in Chats, Trivia Nights, an Alum Career Panel, and Mocktail Hour, all which allowed me to network and get to know more of our members virtually. We even added a mentorship program, which allowed me to mentor two freshmen as well!

These events weren't all that kept me busy, for I also became an E-board member as the chapter treasurer, and continued to write articles bi-weekly. Esspecially in such an odd time, writing was an amazing outlet, whether I was writing about the pandemic directly to let out my feelings, or discussing another topic entirely as a way to escape reality for a bit.

All this, along with my continued envolvement in Campus Trendsetters, truly made my last three unconventional semesters online much more enjoyable. Without HC, I certainly would have lost my overall sense of the campus community while being at home.

Overall, I can confidently say that without HC, my college experience would not have been the same. From community college, transferring to UMass, to moving home again, HC was a constant presence that made all the ups and downs much easier. Although I am super sad to be leaving this amazing UMass chapter behind, I hope I can still remain involved in the future as much as I possibly can. I'm so excited for what is ahead of them! 

HCXO,

Julia ♡

Julia graduated from UMass with a degree in Marketing from the Isenberg School of Management and loves writing articles about lifestyle, entertainment, beauty, and fashion!
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