How Her Campus Changed My College Experience

It was January of 2015 when I started my second semester at UW-Madison. I had been struggling to type up my resume for a job application with UW Housing: all of my activities were outdated from high school, and I didn’t have much of anything to reflect on for the short answer questions that asked about teamwork, involvement and leadership. It was then that I remembered one of my friends from my dorm (who is now one of our Campus Correspondents!) had suggested I join Her Campus, and I decided to send in my application that same night to join HC. Little did I know that I’d be joining an organization that I’d be a part of for the rest of my college career.

I’ve met so many amazing, driven and inspiring women who have become some of my closest friends during my time with Her Campus. I’ve been a contributing writer, section editor and treasurer, and I was able to learn so much about leadership and teamwork in these roles. Here are just a few of the many ways Her Campus changed my time in college for the better:

 

1. Expressing myself through writing

One thing I’ve always loved about Her Campus is the freedom to write about almost anything that I wanted. As a journalism major, I’ve always loved writing and putting my ideas on paper. While other student publications required huge time commitments and often limited writers to specific topics, Her Campus almost always allowed us to write about any idea we had— Her Campus prides itself on offering up different writers’ opinions on controversial subjects and on talking about every issue that relates to college women. The idea of writing for a women’s magazine about topics that were interesting and applicable to me really caught my eye, and I’ve been able to share my thoughts and advice with other collegiate women around the country ever since I became part of the organization.

2. Involvement in the HC community

I’ve also experienced a level of community through HC Wisconsin that I haven’t necessarily felt in other student organizations. Our team, although big, feels ten times smaller because the members work so well together. Not only does HC always take new ideas for articles, events, socials, etc. into consideration, it also encourages proactive participation at  its meetings. Everyone’s friendly, helpful and understanding nature keeps team morale high. If you’re struggling to write an article or need advice, you will always find comfort in turning to another member for help.

Strategic Communications Team member Alexis (left) and Co-Campus Correspondent Maddy (right) at our 2016 Mifflin pregame.  So much fun!

The team also prides itself on its friendship outside of meetings—there are different socials every semester. Whether it be apple-picking or our annual Halloween party, socials are always great venues to familiarize yourself with other members! Additionally, HC Wisconsin holds at least one philanthropy event annually to raise money for a charity. In planning and working at these events, members strengthen their bond in their collective effort to support a great cause. Our PR events are also often meaningful; last year, we held an event with Plan B One-Step® and brought members of MTV’s Girl Code to campus to raise awareness about emergency contraception.

Members also have the option to attend Her Conference, an annual event held in New York City, to network with other chapters from across the country. Participants will also hear speeches from inspiring keynote speakers. Speakers in the past included Rebecca Minkoff and Nastia Liukin!

Carly and Nessa from Girl Code at East Campus Mall for our philanthropy event!

3. Gaining leadership skills

A craft-making event at Wheelhouse Studios!

At Her Campus, stepping up for more responsibilities is always met with encouragement and support. There is an endless number of leadership opportunities that HC provides for those who want it. During my three years with HC Wisconsin, I’ve served as a section editor, treasurer and writer. And through these roles I've had the privilege to not only witness Her Campus change for the better but to also play an active part in improving the HC community and structure. I’ve gained so many valuable leadership skills— I've learned to give writers constructive feedback  and make announcements at our biweekly meetings. HC has granted me leadership opportunities that have enhanced my professional and social skills, and I’m infinitely grateful for that.

4. Empowering myself and fellow HC Members

Having fun at one of our PR events.

Getting to know other women with similar interests has helped made my transition into life at UW much more comfortable. Over my years at HC, I’ve met other women who are driven and motivated to accomplish their personal, school and career goals; and they have truly inspired me to be my best self and to follow through with my endeavors. Being the supportive community it is, HC is characterized by members who always praise one another for awesome articles and check in on one another's well-being. There is a sense of sisterhood here that is unparalleled in any other student org. So if you’re looking for a place to call home, look no further than HC Wisconsin.  

 

Joining Her Campus Wisconsin is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in college. And trust me— I’ve been a part of a number of other student organizations at UW-Madison, and I’ve never felt as welcome or as encouraged as I have in Her Campus. We are a group of women who love to write about the college experience and learn from each other, and we have a unique love for our school—and most importantly, each other. To close, I'd like to give a special thank you to all of the women at Her Campus Wisconsin for making me the person I am today.  My college experience wouldn’t be the same without you!