Schwartz and the Freshman 15 appear on campus

The Freshman 15 is real, and it’s here at Grinnell College in the form of Samantha Schwartz ’14. No, she’s not an example of what not to eat in the Dining Hall—she’s just one of the 15 students chosen by Seventeen Magazine to give its readers the inside scoop on what really goes on in college. Through her blog, Vlog and Twitter page she keeps Seventeen readers updated on college life at Grinnell.

Schwartz Profile
- Chris Barbey

Schwartz, originally from Kansas, had already spent a year writing an advice column for a local newspaper when she found out about the “Freshman 15” from Seventeen’s website.

“I wrote a column back home for teenagers and their parents about relationships, and that’s what motivated me the most,” Schwartz said. “I thought the Freshman 15 would be a good extension of that. … In a way when you write about your college life you’re leading [readers] in a direction. … I really wanted the opportunity to mentor girls younger than me.”

She was one of about 8,000 college-bound girls who decided to apply for a chance to be a part of it.

“I filled out a paper application on a whim. … It was a boring day and I had nothing to do, I didn’t really think I would get it but then I found out that I’d made it to the second round and I had to put together a video,” Schwartz said. “By the time they called me in August asking if I wanted to be a part of it, I’d thought it was a lost cause.”

Schwartz decided that she could not reject Seventeen’s offer. However, once arriving at Grinnell she mentions being initially hesitant about her employment at Seventeen.

“Sometimes I’m worried that the whole Seventeen thing sounds shallow,” Schwartz said. “I was reluctant to mention it to people but people have been a lot more open to it than I expected. I’ve definitely gotten my friends involved and everyone’s been open to taking pictures which I have to post on the Seventeen website. … I guess it’s weird sometimes; since Grinnell is such a small school there’s some stuff that I wouldn’t want to write on the blog because I know everyone’s going to find out.”

Schwartz’s blogs range from discussing occurrences during the day to a video of a friend telling the story of the three little pigs in Georgian. She also updates her Twitter with rants such as “Grinnell motto on their brochure is No Limits. Why am I doing LIMITS in Calculus then?”

Schwartz speaks warmly of her experience at the college thus far.

“I actually love Grinnell. I’d say about a third of the Freshman 15 are thinking about transferring right now and I’m just really lucky I ended up at the right place,” Schwartz said. “There’s tons of people who are nerds in their own way, who’re passionate about their own thing, whatever it is.”

Check out Samantha’s blog.