Digital image with social logos and word social in blues and greens

Using Social Media to Connect at College

Social media has the power to connect people. Here's how you can get connected to other freshmen at your new college before setting foot on campus.

Graduation ceremonies have come and gone and your high school days are officially over. You applied to college, got accepted, and have the rest of the summer to relax before move-in day. Right? Not quite. Did you know that there are ways to get connected to other incoming freshmen and stay informed about what your school has to offer before you even set foot on campus? Katherine Cohen, PhD, is a college admission expert, founder of IvyWise and ApplyWise, as well as the author of two books, The Truth About Getting In and Rock Hard Apps: How to Write a Killer College Application. She has great advice on how to jump-start your college social life over the summer.

General social media advice

Social media is a great tool for helping you to stay connected with other incoming freshmen and staying up-to-date on activities and events that your school is planning for you. Dr. Cohen stresses the importance of your appearance online in your social media profiles. While Facebook and other outlets are fun ways to find friends and post pictures, you have to keep in mind that some things cannot be erased (and if they can, you never know who saw them first!). Dr. Cohen suggested using a “grandparent test”: don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your grandparents to see! Social media is used by future employers to scope out who's applying; a questionable photo can lead to negative results when on the job hunt in four years or even when it's time to apply to grad school.

Related: The Balancing Act of Social Media

Connecting with other freshmen Q&A

Q: What tools or resources are available for incoming college freshmen to prepare themselves for campus life over the summer?

A: Don’t wait until the day you unload the car to start building a new support system and making new friends. You can use social media now to get a sense of what’s happening on campus and which activities you may want to take advantage of: follow the college’s Twitter feeds, read the campus newspaper online, and look at the schedule for upcoming athletic competitions and other events on and off campus.

Q: What are the best ways to stay connected with a college and find other incoming freshmen?

A: Social media is a great way to start building a new support system and making new friends. Colleges have Facebook pages for their entire school communities, as well as designated “Class of [insert grad year here]” pages for incoming freshmen. Students can share info, start discussions, and get to know other students before they even get to campus.

Q: What’s the best way for incoming students to find out about freshman welcome events?

A: Many students think that once their admission decisions have been received, there's no need to keep track of mail from their college or further research the school. However, that’s not the case. In addition to important information regarding new student weekends, housing contracts, college meal plans, and class registration, schools will also send you information regarding activities and programs in which you may want to participate. These can include special freshman seminars and new student deals that may have limited space/quantities, so pay attention! Be sure to check your mailbox and your email inbox regularly. Students should receive an email or packet about orientation but should also proactively check the college’s admitted student website, which will offer everything from orientation schedules to housing and dining options.

Related: 5 Tips for Freshmen Orientation

Q: What is the best way to find, contact, and start getting to know a future roommate?

A: Students should receive their housing assignment by early August, so take the initiative and reach out to your roommate. Get all of the small talk out of the way via phone, email, or even Skype, so when you show up on moving day, there’s already a familiar face. Together, you can begin to coordinate which items each of you will bring to school, from tools for the classroom to dorm room staples. You can also use social media tools like Pinterest to start sharing ideas and planning how to decorate your dorm room.

Q: How do students stay connected to a college campus when they are commuters?

A: Commuting students have access to many of the same social and academic opportunities as residential students; it just takes a bit of research. When on campus, commuter students should check bulletin boards to learn about upcoming events and see what is on students’ minds. Make an effort to stay on campus in between and after classes by joining a study group or using the school’s library or labs. 

Related: Is Commuting to College Right for You? 3 Things to Consider

Social media can be a blessing and a curse. It can be a wonderful tool to connect with others at your college even before you attend but be cautious. Don’t put anything online you might regret, and utilize it to make friends and find unforgettable experiences to truly make college the best four years of your life.

Check out our Student Life section for advice on getting adapted to college life as you set out on your new adventure!

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:
college admission college freshman college roommates going to college social media student social media

About Meaghan Heffernan

Meaghan Heffernan

Meaghan is an Assistant Editor at Wintergreen Orchard House, a sub-division of Carnegie Communications, where she manages data for colleges and universities in the western United States. She graduated in January 2011 from Fitchburg State University with a degree in professional writing and course concentrations in political science. Meaghan wrote for student-run newspaper The Point at Fitchburg, was an active member of the English Club, and was involved in creative writing groups. During Meaghan’s free time, she can be found working at her part-time job, reading, or spending time with her family. Her college application and admission process was a breeze, and she is hoping to make the experience just as easy and organized for future college applicants.

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo

$10,000

Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Bri'Yana Brown-Dunn

Bri'Yana Brown-Dunn

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress helped me gain interest in many colleges/universities and many scholarships. I would say the most helpful thing CollegeXpress has done for me is sending me emails that tell me certain types of colleges are interested in me as well as emails about scholarships that I can look at and possibly apply for.

Katie

Katie

High School Class of 2019

My favorite feature of CollegeXpress is the scholarship search. As someone going out of state for college, I needed all the financial help I could get, and CollegeXpress helped me easily find scholarships I could apply for to help fund my education.

Ariyane

Ariyane

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress really helped me by letting me know the colleges ratings and placements. They gave me accurate information on my colleges tuition rates and acceptance. They even let me know the ration between students and faculty and the diversity of the college. Overall they told me everything I needed and things I didnt even think I needed to know about my college and other colleges I applied for.

Kelly Nogueiro

Kelly Nogueiro

Counselor

For me, CollegeXpress has given me a valuable tool to use with my students to explore colleges easily beyond objective data. It helps me find colleges for students that fit their needs and wants that aren’t quite so black and white. It's a wealth of knowledge, and the Type-A side of me loves all the lists and the fact that I know they're coming from folks who know what they're talking about. I share it with colleagues and students alike, and it's always well received.

Rana Slosberg

Rana Slosberg

Slosberg College Solutions LLC

My favorite part of CollegeXpress is the 800+ lists which have all kinds of hard-to-find information. These lists are helpful when I’m creating college lists, and I also use them to give students a feel for a particular college or university.

College Matches