It all started in 2013.It was a very messy year for me. Yet, I remember when an old friend, a former Her Campus at UPR contributor named Karen, told me about this digital magazine that had just started in the UPR. Turns out, we were the first chapter in Puerto Rico. Hesitantly, I wrote an email to the then campus correspondent, Suzzette (a gal who embodies the definition of a badass). She had created the chapter from scratch, and man, she did an amazing job at it.
(Above: Her Campus at UPR Valentine’s Day, 2014)
The first meeting had been insane; there were so many gorgeous women discussing ideas in the cafeteria section at Derecho. At first, I had felt out of place, but then I realized that we all had a common goal: to make Her Campus be known. Without realizing, I had become one of the first batches of members that had started writing for the chapter. I was different and that was okay.
Originally, we had a section called Campus Cuties, which was kind of fun to know that everyone (low-key) wanted to be interviewed for that. We usually interviewed very attractive people, and we often would dismiss others that were not exactly “starstruck gorgeous”, but you still thought there was just something about them that intrigued you. However, I went with my gut and interviewed two infamous people (who graduated already), and they were my Campus Cutie bromance. I remember receiving comments from them telling me that the fact that this was published gathered the attention from the people at COPU so that lead to thinking that maybe they should give the newspaper a chance. So, people did.
We had an amazing group of writers, and we were all from different faculties. Even though I hate to admit it, I got sad when our founder had graduated. I wish she could’ve seen what we achieved, but, most of all I miss how the meetings would turn to Lunes de Lechoneo. I had time with a couple of different Campus Correspondents that each gave their spunk to each article and to the organization. However, if there’s one I can recall to be completely thankful for to this day is Gabriela Taboas.
(Above Former Campus Correspondent from Her Campus at UPR, Gabriela Taboas at Her Campus 3rd Year Anniversary)
You see, she defied odds in article choosing; she was extremely kind to all members, and she saw the good in you. She saw potential in all of us. I will always owe it to her for talking to me whenever something was wrong and how she would handle things with gracefulness. Through the years I’ve been on Her Campus, we’ve had all sorts of different activities. We had our third year party anniversary, in which many people showed, even former cuties and celebrities (they’re now called profiles). We had pizza sales—which have consisted of us satisfying our customers with our charm (I’m kidding)—and we had a “Nail Bar.” We even had a soiree kind of meeting in which we met the two other chapters that reside on the Island of Enchantment. I got to hang out with them, be part of their hilarious antics, and of course, they got the opportunity to record me dancing with a Grey Goose bottle as my pseudo-boyfriend. Of course, let’s not forget that even though it was called Her Campus, we had amazing male contributors to stepped up to the game.
(Above: Her Campus at UPR initiation, 2016-2017)
After she left, a new era of writers came up, and they left a mark as well. Still, I was getting older and felt like I was being left behind. At this very moment, everyone has treated me with respect and appreciation—that I honestly think I don’t even deserve. None of the amazing current writers that are in this organization have made me feel left behind. I think it’s amazing that, even though I haven’t even formally met all of them, whenever one of them has a situation, they got your back without getting anything in return. I live for the day that women don’t put other women down. I live to be a part of this organization.
Finally, I always said that I would leave after my 100th article, putting an excuse for myself to not resign as a contributor, but the truth is that while I’m writing this piece, I’m hurting; I don’t want to go. Part of me wishes to delete this article and just forget about that promise I made to myself a year ago. In fact, it’s a mockery because this would be article 102nd. So, I have technically broken my promise but for a good reason. It’s time for a new generation to bring in their insights to this organization, and I couldn’t be happier with the amazing roster we currently have.
(Above: Some of the amazing new contributors)
I am beyond grateful for all the opportunities this chapter has given me. From making me grow out of my shell, to meeting unlikely individuals that just match together perfectly—like oil and vinegar in a salad.
To all of the people that have stuck with me, dealing with my antics, reading my articles, having a good laugh… It is because of you that I kept writing to this day. To the people I’ve interviewed: thank you for letting me share your stories. To the professor that told me that there was just more to me than science: thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone. To all the people that tell me with excitement when they meet me at a Hangout “Tu eres Nahir, la de Her Campus”: thank you for making me feel like a celebrity, even though I’m absolutely not.
I write to you this final piece of appreciation, for all your efforts, for keeping me sane. I write to you because even though I leave, all the articles will still live on.