Published: Oct 22, 2012
Rowland, who was hired for the Freshman 15 year-long gig, is responsible for writing a blog or vlog (video blog) once a week, posting to Twitter throughout the week and, later in the semester, hosting live Q-and-A chats.
It doesn’t matter to Lesley Rowland ’16 that she is 19. She
still loves reading Seventeen magazine.
She likes the articles and the feature, Freshman 15, a
series of blogs, videos and tips from 15 college freshmen on what it’s like
during their first year in college. Rowland is now one of those 15.
“I actually came across the application on Seventeen's Facebook
page and remembered reading about the previous Freshman 15ers from years ago,”
said Rowland, who applied with more than 6,000 other girls, all vying for one
of 15 spots on the Freshman 15 panel.
The application included short answers, giving answers in
140-character Twitter format and writing a sample blog. When she found out she
made it to round two, she had to make a 60-second video.
“When I submitted my application, I didn’t think I’d hear
back about it,” said Rowland, who is from Dallas, TX.
But she did, and in round three was asked about her goals
for her freshman year and a plan for the content about which she would blog.
“They actually asked for a lot, but I was thrilled by that,”
Rowland, who was hired for the Freshman 15 year-long gig, is
responsible for writing a blog or vlog (video blog) once a week, posting to
Twitter throughout the week and, later in the semester, hosting live Q-and-A
chats. She also submits photos of UT campus life for use in the magazine as
well as stories based on the issue’s theme.
She said the task has been a challenge as she writes
honestly about her first-year experiences. While she might submit a page worth
of commentary, only snippets are used.
She has posted a video on the Busch Gardens trip offered to UT freshmen
in August, and written about the pros and cons of living in a single room on
campus, a necessity for Rowland who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when she
was 10 years old.
The Freshman 15, who hail from universities like Harvard University,
Savannah College of Art and Design and Bucknell University, were introduced in
the October issue and will be published through June.
“Before I had one person following my blog and they never
commented,” said Rowland. “Now, it feels like there is a better likelihood that
I’m being heard. I’m developing a love of writing as well, and am trying not to
sound too cliché in my posts. It’s definitely a challenge.”
Writing for a major magazine will look great on Rowland’s
resume, but it also is giving her lots of practice writing in this style.
“I think it has helped me get a boost on my studies here at
UT,” said Rowland, a communication major who is now considering a minor in
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