About 12 months ago almost down to the day, I decided to send in an application to write for Fresh U. I was pretty iffy about it at first, somewhat doubting that anyone would want to read my articles, or that I had anything interesting enough to say. It was actually my best friend Sarah who gave me the final push and said I had nothing to lose. So, I sent in my application and some writing samples, and on June 28th, I found out I was accepted to write for their platform.
The journey that I embarked on after beginning to write for Fresh U is one I never saw coming. Having a few articles published entirely under my name by the time the start of my freshman year in August rolled around meant I had some experience when I applied for the “writer/editor” position at the USC Thornton School of Music which eventually grew into a “Communications Assistant” position.
Then in December, I checked the weekly email sent out to all the members of Fresh U to find out that one of my articles had been published in Teen Vogue. I’d never considered my writing to be worthy of such recognition, but it made me realize the only person stopping me from realizing I have something to say is me. Everybody has something to say. Some people are just better at assembling words into sentences.
Working at the music school and Fresh U at the same time then made me want to join Daily Trojan, and work as a copy editor and a staff writer for them, which added a few more articles to my portfolio. Yes, I guess you can say I was a bit busy with writing second semester.
It was because of those experiences that I also felt confident enough in my resume to apply to internships this summer– I now intern remotely for a Berlin-based software company called Coworkies, after they discovered my writing through my mom (who oh-so-kindly shares my articles on her Facebook page) and also as a Public Relations Intern for a relatively well-known backpack and accessory company in Midtown Manhattan.
What I am trying to say is, had I not applied to write for Fresh U, the rest of my opportunities would not have fallen into place. A large part of it was also realizing I liked writing, and that in whatever way, shape or form, I want it to have some part in what I do with my career after college. I am far from knowing exactly where I want to be or what I want to do, but I am also far closer than I was one year ago.
I strongly urge anyone who is even slightly interested in writing (or feels that they have something to say) to write for Fresh U or another online platform. If something so public frightens you, at least don’t keep your stories or thoughts confined to the notes app on your phone – which is where mine existed before I decided to take a leap of faith.
For me, Fresh U was a gateway to other opportunities and to understanding myself a little bit better. I want to thank the founder Kate Beckman, anyone on the platform who has ever edited an article of mine, any one of my friends who has ever shared an article of mine and anyone who has read my articles. As my time with the platform comes to a close, I can’t help but think of the people who have reached out and told me my writing has struck a chord with them or that it helped them with a situation they were dealing with.
It is those moments that are the fuel for me to keep writing. These are the moments that make me realize that although many people go through similar experiences and that avoiding cliché can sometimes be difficult, your best story is the one you mustered up the courage to write even when you were worried no one would read it. However, your worst story will only ever be the one that was never told.
Take the leap of faith. If it scares you, even better. Complacency is a passive state that works in your favor only if you get lucky. My proudest achievements and best memories were ones made when I didn’t entirely believe in myself.
Thank you, Fresh U.
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