Here’s Why Your Daughter Needs The Her Campus Guide to College Life

When we first read 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! four years ago, we were instantly impressed and smitten with the book and its authors, Stephanie Kaplan Lewis, Annie Chandler Wang and Windsor Hanger Western, who are also the founders of the hugely successful platform, Her Campus Media.

We loved the book’s real-life and common sense (but no-nonsense) approach to how our girls can make the absolute most of their undergrad experience. With tips, tricks and trustworthy advice all delivered in a way that feels like your BFF is showing you the ropes, it is an essential resource that covers everything from safety, to coping with stress and student loans, to scoring a date and an awesome internship.

High school friends spending time before they leave for college. (@christysmith5 via Twenty20)

In fact, we thought the only thing that would make the book better is if the authors could somehow manage to have their wisdom keep up with our changing times and modern girls. Luckily, that’s exactly what they’ve done by releasing a revised version.

Her Campus Book: New Updated and Expanded Edition

Complete with new information on scholarships, social life and self-care, along with insider tips, checklists and templates, The Her Campus Guide to College Life, Updated and Expanded Edition is a must-have-companion for first-years and really for any girl looking to make the college years the best ones of her life. And, who wouldn’t want to?

Her Campus book
Expanded and updated Her Campus Guide to College Life


Here is hands-on advice coming from a network of 360+ chapters in 11 countries with 13,000 contributors. Her Campus wasn’t always that big, though. The guide grew from the experience that Stephanie, Annie and Windsor had successfully running a student publication for women during their time at Harvard. Their magazine was so popular that they had the idea to build something similar on a national level and in 2009 they won Harvard’s business plan competition with their vision of Her Campus Media.

And, for the past ten years, they have been building their platform into the #1 site for college women today. Did we mention that it is 100% women-owned and women run? What’s not to love? Which brings us back to their book and for me, to my daughters.

Personally, when I think of getting ready to send both of my daughters off to college in a few years, I know that just as I have the Grown & Flown community to support me through the empty nest phase, my girls will have the Her Campus community (and their book) to support them through their college phase.

And, I couldn’t be happier for either of us.

co-founder of Her campus

Before you pick up your copy of The Her Campus Guide to College Life, here’s a bit more about the book, straight from author and Her Campus Media co-founder, Stephanie Kaplan Lewis.

Q&A with Co-Founder of Her Campus

1) What are some of the biggest changes that you have seen take place on college campuses in the past five years (since the first edition was published)?

College women are taking a more feminist, more empowered approach to all aspects of their lives–their relationships, their career decisions, their health and mental health, and more. They’re prioritizing ambition, self-care, and independence in a big way.

2) Your book gives much-needed advice for girls to have the most successful all-around undergraduate experience as possible. Do you have any recommendations for us moms about how we can best support our girls during these exciting years?

Be there for your daughter through thick and thin, and encourage her to put herself first and go after what she wants. College can be a lot of fun and but it can also be stressful, and it’s nice to have your parents as the stable, supportive, bedrock who are there for you every step of the way during the good and the bad.

3) Any tips for girls for what they should do over the summer to help prepare for their first days on campus?

Don’t wait to pack until the last-minute!  Save yourself stress by getting ready gradually so it isn’t a mad rush that last week when what you’ll want to be doing is going out to your fave hometown spots with your friends, not staying up until 2am agonizing over what to bring to school with you.  

4) Her Campus is an amazing success story, what suggestions do you have for girls heading off to colleges who want to explore the entrepreneurial path?

Pursue something you are passionate about and look for the holes and pain points that’s where there is room for innovation. And don’t doubt yourself just because you don’t have money, or experience, or a business education–we had none of those things when we started Her Campus but we went for it anyway.

5) What are some of the biggest “first-year” mistakes that girls make on campus?

Don’t make yourself so busy that you burn out! It’s great to try different activities and courses and social scenes, but make sure you’re making time to sleep, and eat, and work out, and just relax so you don’t wind up completely run down by Thanksgiving break.

6) Any suggestions for how girls can go about picking a great roster of first semester classes?

Select a balance of classes in terms of department, size, and format, so you can start to see which types of classes you really thrive in and enjoy the most.  Don’t take all classes in one area just because you think it’s what you are going to major in, because you very well may change your mind.

7) Are there any subject or skill areas that the girls of today and tomorrow “must” fit into their undergraduate course selections?

I think economics and computer science are two really important ones.

8) For girls thinking of going into business with their friends or classmates, what would you say?

Find business partners you work well with, not just who you are friends with. My co-founders (Windsor and Annie) and I were business partners who became close friends, not the other way around. It’s key to find people who share your values and with whom you have complementary skill sets and strengths and weaknesses.

9) What’s next for Her Campus Media?

We’re turning 10 this fall!  Aside from our new book, we’re hosting two Her Conferences this year, in LA on June 1 and NYC on June 22.


1) What is something good that happened to you today?

It was finally warm and sunny in Boston so it was enjoyable to be outside!

2) Book you wish that you had written.

I’m not sure my perspective isn’t the same as anyone else’s!

3) Favorite college or high school subject.

I was a psychology major in college and loved it.

4) Most awkward middle school moment.

I had not yet mastered straightening my hair so my hair is a huge frizzy triangle in bar and bat mitzvah pictures.

5) Worst fashion mistake (high school or college years).

Can’t think of one off the top of my head, must have blocked it out 🙂

6) Movie that you have seen more than five times.

Legally Blonde

7) First job that you ever had: Love it or hate it? Tell us why.

Hostess at a Mexican restaurant the summer between high school and college.  I loved it! You got a free meal with every shift and I usually went for cheese quesadillas or avocado flautas.

8) Best piece of advice that you have ever been given.

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

9) Important words or phrase that you live by.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

10) Next vacation spot.

Maine for the weekend with my husband and 9-month-old daughter in a few weeks.

11) Dogs. Cats. Neither or both?

100% both!  I have two rescue dogs (Yeti and Bagheera) and a cat (Paisley).  They were our first babies before our human baby came along! I love them endlessly.

You Might Also Enjoy Reading:

9 Backpacks for College Kids and Teens

21 Perfect High School Grad Gifts for Girls 

About the Her Campus Co-Founders 

Stephanie Kaplan Lewis, Annie Chandler Wang, Windsor Hanger Western are the authors of The Her Campus Guide to College Life. Her Campus is the #1 global community for college women with chapters at more than 250 colleges worldwide. In addition to its flagship site,; Her Campus also puts on conferences, events, and College Fashion Week, and has its own blogger network, high school ambassador program, and more.

About Melissa Milsten

Melissa Milsten lives in Westchester, New York with her husband, their four teenagers and Ruby the dog (who is sometimes the best behaved member of the family). Her background is in publishing and marketing. When she isn’t working or parenting, you might spot her on a yoga mat or lacing up a pair of sneakers. You can read more about her here

Read more posts by Melissa

Don't miss out!
Want more like this? Get updates about parenting teens and young adults straight to your inbox.