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English Major and USF Shine in Seventeen Magazine Blog Series


Perla '15 at Baker Beach in San Francisco.

When the University of San Francisco’s Melyssa (Mele) Perla ’15 posts about a stressful final exams week or gives a dorm room tour on her blog, more people than her family and friends read about it. About five million more.

Perla is part of Seventeen Magazine’s “Freshman 15,” a multimedia blog written by 15 young women from coast to coast who share with readers the highs and lows of their first year in college. 

Her texts, posts, photos, and videos cover a spectrum of topics, from roommate bonding advice to her favorite San Francisco bookstores. Perla’s goal is simple; she wants readers to know that college is about more than finding a hot date and weekend parties. 

“I think that the media portrays the college experience as a nonstop party full of alcohol and random hook ups,” said Perla, an English major who is also pursuing a teaching credential in USF’s dual-degree teaching program. “That inaccurate stereotype is rooted in popular movies like ‘Project X’ and ‘Superbad.’”

The San Jose native has been documenting her USF experience since September 2011, chronicling her move to San Francisco, the turmoil of changing her college major, and the challenges of getting used to living away from home. 

In one post, she discusses job interview etiquette ­— encouraging students to be themselves, forego gum chewing, and avoid wearing jeans. Another of Perla’s posts touches on the highlights of a hiking trip she took to Mission Peak Regional Preserve in Fremont with friends, reminding readers that the Bay Area is full of fun ways to stay in shape.

Though Perla has gained fame among fellow students and residents of her hometown, her priority is to help prospective USFers who want to know more about the university. 

“I want to make sure that the idea they have of USF is as accurate as possible.” Perla said. “I love it here! My professors truly care about my education.”

Written by Kathleen de Lara »email usfnews@usfca.edu | Twitter @usfcanews