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Sitting down to write this piece is a very bittersweet experience. On one hand, we’re very happy to be graduating. On the other, we cannot believe we’re nearing the end of our Her Campus experience. Her Campus Utah has given us so many things from tangible work experience to the most incredible support system we could ask for.

As a senior, I’ve now held three different positions within my chapter and two for the national organization. Experience from these positions alone has completely filled out my resume and given me immeasurable experience to pull from in interviews. And to top it all off, I have a massive portfolio of articles at my fingertips that I’ve been able to send to current and potential employers.


Even as an engineer, writing for Her Campus and having a portfolio of my writing is quite helpful in applying for jobs. Also, my involvement in this organization opened my eyes to many jobs I’d be good at that previously weren’t even on my radar.


It was just about four years ago that I applied to write for the Utah chapter of Her Campus. I’d loved writing since elementary school and figured it would be a great way to make more friends in college. Boy, did I have absolutely no idea what was in store for me. I never thought this organization could do so much for me in such a short amount of time. Her Campus has truly made me a better writer, student, and person. My various editors over the years have helped me fine-tune my writing, and I am now more confident in my voice than I’ve ever been before.


I’ve often been told that my writing was good, but I was never sure if I could trust that that was true, and I was always quick to belittle my achievements (a habit I’m still working on breaking). In Her Campus, I found honest, real feedback. Most importantly, I trusted my editor, and I’ve never valued feedback like I value hers. It’s so important to have someone who isn’t afraid to tell you what needs changing and what you’re doing wrong. Writing for Her Campus truly helped me find my voice in a way that five years of college never did.


I can very confidently say that the group of people I’ve been lucky enough to know during my years at Her Campus Utah has been the greatest part of my college experience. Ever since I was a scared freshman, I’ve been surrounded by a group of strong, barrier-breaking writers and photographers. Her Campus has been the safest and most comfortable place I could ever be while also constantly pushing me to grow and be more confident.

I have made some of my very best friends through Her Campus and I truly couldn’t ask for better role models. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for years and this organization has unwittingly given me the strongest and closest-knit support system ever. My last team meeting was one of the hardest nights of my college career, but I will be forever thankful for what Her Campus Utah has given me.


I’ve only felt like an important part of a team a few times in my life. Usually, I felt like a ghost. I was always on the edge. I listened but never spoke,  Sure, I was there, I ran on my cross country team, I had friends in my engineering classes, I joined other groups, and made friends, but I rarely feel like any group, in any context, was better because of my contributions. My Her Campus chapter made it quite clear that they loved me and loved my writing, and that was rewarding in a way that makes even graduating feel lackluster.

When I first joined Her Campus, I was wary that I’d disrupt things, or make people uncomfortable. After all, I was the only “man” in the chapter when I joined, and there is great value in having a space for women, by women. I was worried I was intruding. However, it became clear that wasn’t the case, and that they were happy to have me.

Groups of people are hit and miss, some are awful, some are great, and some are neutral. A part of what makes Her Campus one of the great ones is that it isn’t dominated by men. Sure, everyone can be competitive and cruel, but every man-exclusive group I’ve been forced to interact with is a special brand of spiralling evil. However, where I am under no illusions that that’s the only good thing, it plays a small part. My chapter was fantastic, and a great deal of that is solely due to the leadership. Some people could lead a group of people who hated each other into battle under a single banner, and our president makes it look easy. Our council was wholesome and clearly liked both their jobs and each other, and, when conflict arose, it was kept away from meetings and handled with incredible efficiency. At times, I forgot that unhealthy group dynamics were even possible.

I’ve been experimenting with my expression and identity, because I realized a while ago that I only identified as a man because it was the path of least resistance. Her Campus meetings have been the place I always tried out new outfits that were out of my comfort zone, because I knew that at least someone would like them. I’ve never been complimented so sincerely, even on little things. I felt safe and comfortable expressing myself, a feeling that college had lacked for me until I joined.


At the end of the day, Her Campus Utah has easily been the most fulfilling and rewarding organization we have ever been a part of and we will be forever grateful to the leadership that made it possible. Thank you, Her Campus.


All images are from the @hercampusutah Instagram and Twitter.

Jacob Westwood is a senior at the University of Utah, who loves animals, the outdoors, and hands-on work.
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