Freshman year at college is a time for excitement and anxiety. From coursework to chilling out, not to mention texts from helicopter parents, students quickly discover what high school never prepared them for. On campus, the rigid hierarchy of class year reigns. A freshman student must wait his or her turn to make the team – whether on a field or in the campus newsroom.
As a freshman at Syracuse University in the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Kate Beckman saw a market opportunity for first-year journalism students impatient to contribute their reporting and analysis of student life. In 2013, during her own freshman year at Syracuse University, she created a freshman-only publication and in 2015, she launched Fresh U nationally.
Now in her senior year as a magazine major at Syracuse, Kate Beckman has led Fresh U to a media partnership with Teen Vogue, even as she manages contributions from over 300 freshman-year writers across the country.
“Fresh U really covers that time in your life that isn’t just college life in general – because there are so many unique aspects about college, obviously – but it focuses on that time when, for the first time, you’re on your own,” she explains.
“We have articles that range from how to deal with homesickness, how to do laundry, how to study effectively,” Beckman tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “There’s the service aspect that’s telling people how to deal with these things, and then there’s the relatability aspect — it’s freshmen writing about their emotions moving away from home