Her Campus publishes “The Her Campus Guide to College Life”

For those looking how to navigate college life, Her Campus has always been an irrefutable resource. Now co-founders Stephanie Kaplan Lewis, Windsor Hanger Western, and Annie Wang are taking their efforts a step further. They have written a book titled “The Her Campus Guide to College Life: How to Manage Relationships, Stay Safe and Healthy, Handle Stress, and Have the Best Years of Your Life.”

While the title says a lot, it does not say enough. Written in the Her Campus tone of a trusty friend or a wise big sister, the book will be any college student’s new best friend. With 19 chapters to peruse, the book can aid a helpless freshman or even an experienced upperclasswoman.

When asked where they got the idea for the book, the co-founders answered, “As much as we love everything about the internet, we still appreciate the value of curling up with a good book, too. And while our site provides a ton of fabulous articles individually, we thought it would be nice to put together a comprehensive ‘guide’ of sorts to college life, that would be the collegiette’s bible, and we always imagined this to be in book form. It was just a matter of the timing being right to finally make it happen and publish a book.”

The chapters cover dorm safety; safety around campus; sexual assault; studying abroad; nutrition, fitness, and eating disorders; physical health; drinking, smoking, and drugs; mental health; sexual health; roommates; professors, RAs, and TAs; dating, relationships, and hooking up; unhealthy relationships; extracurriculars; Greek life; juggling social life and academics; social media dos and don’ts; managing your money; and landing jobs and internships. Within each chapter are multiple sections to break down the finite details of each chapter’s theme. Put simply, this book is the godsend that women college students—or collegiettes, as Her Campus calls them—have been waiting for.

When asked about the most helpful chapter, the co-founders stated, “It’s impossible to pick just one chapter since the book is really about how all these areas of your life—health, relationships, academics, etc.—come together in college. But [we] would say the chapter on mental health is one of the more critically important ones. In college it’s key to manage stress and make sure you’re in a positive state of mind in order to be able to get the most out of everything college has to offer.”

And no doubt this is a book the world has needed desperately. While there are dozens upon dozens of college self-help books, the advice in Her Campus’ compilation is incomparable. Especially for young women, the book conveys Her Campus’ commitment to giving sisterly advice in the friendliest form possible.

The co-founders shared collectively that the best advice they got in college was, “Pursue what you’re passionate about and success will follow,” “Don’t go chasing a career path just because it seems like it will make you a lot of money, if it’s something you aren’t truly interested in,” and, “If you immerse yourself in things you love, you’ll be best positioned to see where there is opportunity and to capitalize on that.”

They also said the best advice they could give a college student was, “Don’t feel like you can’t achieve something just because you’re young, or inexperienced, or don’t have enough money,” “If you set your mind to something and work your hardest, you can achieve anything,” and “Just be sure to be smart about it and to find mentors and advisors who can help you along the way.”

“The Her Campus Guide to College Life: How to Manage Relationships, Stay Safe and Healthy, Handle Stress, and Have the Best Years of Your Life” is now available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target, and more—including a digital version available in the iTunes iBookstore.

Check out “The Her Campus Guide to College Life” here.

Chatham publications host “Write Away” Q&A event

On Tuesday, March 24, the three publications at Chatham–Minor Bird, Communique, and Her Campus–hosted an event intended to help student writers learn how to navigate the literary world that exists outside of the campus community. The event, cleverly named Write Away, featured Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editor, columnist, and Chatham professor Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Clarece Polke, and non-fiction editor of “Lime Hawk Journal” and professor Lorena Williams. It was led by Communique Editor-in-Chief Indigo Baloch.

This event was the second of its kind held this semester. Writer’s Bootcamp, a panel featuring the editors from the three campus publications, was held in February to inform students of the publishing opportunities that they could take advantage of while being a student. Write Away differed in that it allowed students to ask professional Pittsburgh writers questions about how to get published in “the real world.”

True to Chatham tradition, the event was moderately attended. Those students who did attend found themselves in a position to hear what was said and ask questions ranging from how got the panelists started in their own careers to how to handle feelings of anxiety and rejection. The panelists also made a point to touch on the importance of a process that many students find to be difficult to get used to: networking.

All three panelists helped to create a road map for students to follow. Williams discussed how important it is to get out in the world and attend literary events. Small bookstores, like Amazing Books in Squirrel Hill, often host readings for local writers.

“These events are great places to meet local authors,” said Williams.

Norman followed up with, “Hand out your [business] card. If you don’t have one, get one.”

The panelists also emphasized the importance of getting involved in on campus publications.

“This is where you build the foundation,” Williams said when a student asked how to get started.

“Here is where you have the support,” Polke stated, with Baloch explaining that, “Here at Chatham, we want to help you to become a better writer. We work with you so you can grow, and we show you what you can change. That doesn’t happen in the real world.”

Also discussed were potential job opportunities out there for students. Minor Bird editor Kaitlyn Lacey asked panelists what job opportunities existed in the fields of magazines, newspapers, and literary journal publications for editors. To which everyone noted that such positions started right here on campus, but networking at literary events was equally important.

“When editor positions come up,” Williams responded, “We look first at people we know.”

The highlight of the event came at the end with an uplifting speech from Norman, encouraging all students who want to have a career in writing to take advantage of the opportunities provided at Chatham.

“Make your anxiety work for you,” he suggested. “Use it to provide the fuel for your passion.”