Great Content Idea: Incoming Class Highlights

Not to get all cheesy on ya'll, but my favorite time of the school year is always freshman orientation. Yes, graduation is pretty nifty, but there's just something special about the fresh new faces and their proud parents - all with a swirling mixture of excitement and nervousness so easily diagnosed as "I'm a freshman/freshman parent, and my life is about to change forever." So many smiles. So many hugs. So much school spirit. The air is quite literally - ok, ok... figuratively - electric with ebullient enthusiasm. (By the way... did you know that we English majors are the hot new hires? Hell yes we are!) It's such a fun and joyous time of the year, and will always be remembered as a special moment for new students and their parents.

And I'm not alone in that sentiment. There's just something about freshmen, isn't there? New possibilities. Limitless potential. Futures wide open. (Thanks, Tom Petty!) Any time I post something on UP's social media pages about new freshman, people respond in droves - I think partly out of nostalgia and partly because they are happy to know that their extended college family has once more grown by several hundred shyly smiling, nervous, excited, baby-faced, gawky, brilliant 18-year-olds. If you don't believe me, try it some day. Just post a quick request on Facebook, asking for some crowd-sourced advice for the new froshies - best class to take, best restaurant in town, best teacher on campus, etc. The people will come, friends. Because it reminds them of all that once was good and could be again. People will most definitely come.

With that in mind, take a gander at this pitch-perfect post from USC, which links to a delightful blog post that tells several quick, wonderful stories about the incoming class. 

Officially nominated for the "Best Use of 'Smorgasborg' in a Headline" Oscar. Think you can top it?

Officially nominated for the "Best Use of 'Smorgasborg' in a Headline" Oscar. Think you can top it?

I love them. I love them and I haven't even met them yet. I love them and I didn't even go to USC. See? Thus is the power of people having Pacific Gyre-sized soft spots for new freshman!

The best part about something like this is that all it takes to make happen is a few emails to admissions counselors, asking them to share some of their favorite stories from application essays and the names of a few students that they think are particularly interesting. Then a quick follow-up with the students themselves, and you're golden. Yeah, it's a bit of effort to get it from A to Z, but that's easy work for a student intern or a lowly PR person (hey wait... that's me!) .

Best of all, something like this builds... yep, you guessed it... emotional connections between your community and its soon-to-be newest members. No matter when people graduated, they will feel a twinge of pride while learning about some of the inspiring, incredible stories of their new brethren. 

This is good stuff, folks. Really good stuff. Thanks, USC! 

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