Lily Herman is obsessed with the internet and she’s not ashamed to admit it.
While some consider spending 10 to 15 hours a day on the internet an addiction, Lily considers it just an average day.
As a junior at Wesleyan University, she somehow balances classes with running The Prospect, a blog she co-founded that helps high schoolers understand the college admissions process and serving in editorial capacities with The Muse, Her Campus and USA Today College. Amongst all of that, Lily was also featured as one of Glamour Magazine’s Top 10 College Women of 2015.
Whether she’ll become a media giant in New York City post-graduation or a thought leader in the Twitter-verse, Lily is a student to keep your eye on. Read on to learn more about Lily, her work and her passions.
What’s unique about your story?
I’m unabashedly obsessed with the Internet. I feel like a lot of young people nowadays aren’t proud of the fact that they spend so much time surfing the web (or are told that they shouldn’t be), whereas I’m very okay with the fact that 10-15 hours of my day revolves around what’s happening online. I can talk serious think pieces, cat memes, world news, and I have the World Wide Web to thank for all of that.
What’s something that not many people know about you that has defined who you are today?
I biked across America during the summer before my senior year of high school! It was a six-week trip from Savannah, Georgia to Santa Monica, California that covered over 3,000 miles, and it was entirely self-supported (we carried all of our own equipment on our bikes with no transportation!).
To this day, the “American Challenge” (as it’s called) is my proudest accomplishment, because I never considered myself an “athletic” person, and I’ve never learned so much about myself in such a short period of time. The highs were high and the lows were low, and I give a lot of credit to that trip for how I am today. I got to take the journey with some amazing people who’ve gone on to do awe-inspiring things, and I could talk about that trip forever. It’s the hardest I’ve ever done but also the best thing I’ve ever done.
What led you to attend Wesleyan University?
The second I stepped on Wesleyan’s campus as a high school senior, I was pretty much sold. The student body is diverse, interesting, smart, and strong-willed. The campus is pretty and manageable, and the entire college just seemed really supportive. I love the fact that Wesleyan students are so incredibly passionate and dabble in so many things while also not being competitive whatsoever. I’ve seen professors go above and beyond over and over again to help students. These things make the community special, and they make me proud to be a part of it.
What will make college worth it for you?
I think college thus far has already been 100% worth it. I’ve met so many amazing and inspirational people, I’ve gotten to try a plethora of new things, and I’ve been exposed to so many new ideas and mantras and thought processes that have really forced me to expand my horizons and re-think how I see the world. How “worth it” college is really depends on your personal goals for higher education, but based on what I hoped to achieve, college has been worthwhile.
Define how you live in 5 words.
I’m passionate about being passionate.
You get to invite 5 influential people to a dinner party (currently living). Who are they and why?
Oh goodness, this is a tough one! I have a lot more than five people I want to meet, but here are some to start with:
- Arianna Huffington — I got to see her speak at an event last summer about her book “Thrive,” and she was so fascinating (and a really good conversationalist!). As a young woman in media, she’s one of my role models.
- Jeff Probst — I’m addicted to the TV show “Survivor,” so I’d just want him there so I could ask him for game secrets. Think of him as my fun, non-career-oriented guest.
- Mindy Kaling — Let’s be real here, who wouldn’t want to meet Mindy Kaling?
- Leandra Medine — I think she’s a genius writer and that her website Man Repeller is one of the best blogs out there (not to mention one of the most influential). She’s turned blogging, specifically fashion blogging, into an art form, and her writing style is hilarious. I’ve actually accidentally laugh out loud in a silent library while reading one of her posts.
- Pete Cashmore — Another media/Internet giant whom I think would just be fascinating to chat with.