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Zot Thoughts: The Last Article

Wow, this is it.

This is my final contribution to the organization that captured my heart over three years ago. I can still remember making my way up the ASUCI office with my application in hand, another girl stood beside me in the elevator and we looked at each other awkwardly before placing our papers into the same club mailbox.

Coming into college, I never really thought of myself as a writer much less a blogger. I was a quintessential yearbook nerd as early as middle school and my writing experience went so far as short stories and essays strewn throughout my academic career.

But I loved to write. I still love to write.

I wrote when I was sad, I wrote when I was happy, I wrote when I was confused and I wrote even when time and responsibility told me not to. It was an outlet and it manifested into one of the most enriching experiences I’ve had at UCI these past four years.

After turning in my application, I submitted a writing sample, just a small article I whipped up at the end of my freshman year. That following week I received an e-mail from the previous president, Resham Parikh, expressing her interest in my writing, an e-mail I still keep to this day. It was the first time I had ever been told I was “talented” (to my knowledge at least). The inspiration and motivation I found in learning that maybe, just maybe, someone out there was interested in what I had to share with the world was enough for me to pursue HerCampus with fervor. From that day forward, with each position I undertook, I hoped to share that same support with the staff I had come to know and love. I promised to myself that I would let our writers believe in their work just as someone believed in mine.

In the three years I’ve shared with HerCampus, to say I’ve learned “a lot” would be a disservice and an understatement. There is beauty in sharing space with wonderful women, students of this campus who partake in such amazing things. But if I really had to choose, and if I were to leave our wonderful staff with some final words they would be the following:

1. Believe your own hype. Motivational support and a personal cheerleader can only take you so far, you have to push yourself to take that extra step. Be your own hype man, be your own right hand man. How do you expect others to believe in your work and passion if you don’t believe in it yourself? Take pride in the things you do on campus, the articles you write, the friends you make and the jobs you pursue because they are all just small testimonies to the amazing ability I know you all have inside. As an observer and editor for the past two years, I’ve watched you all grow from new writers to experienced staff and prominent leaders on campus. Believe in your work and see yourselves the way I have.

2. Just say yes. Just do it. This can apply to anything. If you see an opportunity, an open door, the chance to do something amazing, just say yes—and the rest always falls into place. No risk, no reward right? Life is one huge experiment, constant trial and error, second chances, third chances, do-overs, take-backs…whatever you want to call it. It’s about making mistakes and learning, figuring out what works and what doesn’t…it’s about growing and never stopping. So what do you have to lose? Whether it’s studying abroad, moving away from home, going on that date, running for that board position, applying for that job…try, and don’t stop trying. If it doesn’t stick, at least you’ll have one hell of a story to tell your friends afterwards.

3. Be honest and open—with yourself, with others. If you think something’s not working, trust your gut and take yourself out. Your time at this university is short, there’s only so much energy you can spend and share doing the things you deem important. If you wake up one morning not feeling like yourself, admit that you may need help and reach out. Admitting you need help isn’t weakness, it’s strength and you can only go up from there. If you’re unhappy at your job, step back and realize that there are bigger brighter opportunities out there when you look for them. Open yourself up, wear your heart on your sleeve, tell that boy you like him, tell that “friend” you think he or she is toxic. You intuition is usually right. In light of her passing, Maya Angelou once said “I’ve learned that whenever I make a decision with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.” Live honestly, only good can come out of it.

I could go on and on about the lessons I’ve picked up by being in HerCampus, and the University of California Irvine, but then this article would be way too long.

So here’s to the staff that has brightened my day every Wednesday at 6 PM. You all became my first family (alumni and new staff) here at UCI and for that I am forever grateful. In a world where people are constantly struggling to find their place, I found my home with you all and I hope you continue to find that safe space amongst each other for years to come. In the words of one of my favorite television shows of all time…

“Whatever you do in this life, it’s not legendary unless your friends are there to see it.”

*Shameless side note: It’s “How I Met Your Mother”

Stick together, remember what brought us all here in the first place, put your heart and soul into our publication and continue supporting each other in everything you do—inside Hercampus and out in the larger UCI community. There is greatness in all of you and I cannot wait to see what you all have to contribute to this campus in years to come.

Thank you for everything ladies of HerCampus UC Irvine, I hope I have positively influenced your lives the way you have with mine.



Nicole Borja

Editor in Chief 2013 – 2014

Editor 2012 – 2013

Assistant Editor 2012 – 2013

Nicole is currently a fourth year Public Health Policy major with a minor in Psychology and Social Behavior. She has been writing for HerCampus UC Irvine for over two years, editing for almost two. When she's not busy working closely with her co-editor and managing the writing staff of HC UCI, she spends a lot of time at Corona del Mar...or baking cookies. She is also an expert baby wrangler and works part time at the UCI Infant Toddler Center. Her true loves include the color pink and copious cups of coffee.
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