5 young adults standing against wall on phones with social media icons above

4 Helpful Social Media Tips for New University Students

Excited to meet people in your school's admitted students group online? Here are some etiquette tips to follow as you eagerly await your first semester.

Worried about connecting with your new university class as an international student? You don't have to be with social networking. Often established by the universities themselves, admitted student groups on websites such as Facebook are a staple for all new students during the summer before college. These groups allow students from all over the world to easily come together, discuss their interests, and pose questions about anything from pre-college requirements to university living, as they often include a few current undergraduate students as members as well. What I’ve come to notice, however, is that while such groups are likely to be beneficial to any and every incoming undergrad, the most active participants are usually international students.

Given the impending immersion into an unfamiliar culture, it only makes sense that we’re the most anxious about making the transition to university as easy as possible. But with all these social resources, where posting a question can get an immediate response, use can easily become abuse, and posting repeatedly with what may be genuine curiosity and enthusiasm risks you the possibility of developing into an annoyance. Here are a few pieces of advice I’ve drawn up to help you make the most out of admitted student social media groups without seeming like a pest.

1. Don’t feel the need to post every single day

In reality, this is advice I probably shouldn’t be giving, but I feel like I need to put it out there. In a perfect world, you should be able to post as much as you want and say everything that you want to say. But in a large group of students, at least one person will feel annoyed if you decide to leave a post on the group every single day. It may not even have to do with what you’re posting; the sheer fact that you’re using the group so frequently may seem, to them, completely unnecessary.

Regardless, I sincerely believe that learning to limit your posting actually has its benefits. For one, you don’t want to run out of conversation starters. Keep a few of the subjects you’d like to discuss in the group for when you meet your peers in reality. Face-to-face conversations are always more interesting than digital ones. And second, when people know enough about you, they assume they know everything about you. By posting on the admitted student group page so frequently, it’s possible to give off the impression that you’ve already revealed the most interesting things about your character come orientation week. Maintain a little mystery for those first meetings in college.

Related: 3 Important Resources for Making Friends on a Foreign Campus

2. Think before leaving a comment

Though this advice may actually be for general internet usage, always remember that there is no need to record every thought you have online. It’s natural to have a reaction to every stimulus (i.e., a post on the Facebook group), but that doesn’t equate to a necessity to leave a comment upon almost every post. Often, this kind of compulsion manifests in the form of jokes. For every post you read, some kind of pun or display of sarcasm that seems clever and funny enters your thoughts, but I find there’s no need to share it every single time. It’s nice to come across something like that once in a while, but it loses its appeal when it’s done constantly. Feel free to “like” as many posts as you want though. It leaves the same sentiment as an empty comment—it shows that you care but that you can’t really contribute anything of great importance.

3. Never hesitate to ask questions about culture

One area where I find you can never seem annoying or overly worried is in questions about culture. Nationals understand the world you’re entering is unfamiliar and, being proud of who they are and what made them into the individuals they are today, they tend to welcome any concerns you have about customs and norms. One post that became really interesting in my admitted students group was about the action of tipping, or leaving a small sum of money for someone who has been at your service (e.g., restaurant staff, cab driver, etc.). People from different nations had many different experiences with tipping, ranging from being incredibly familiar with the action to not understanding how it works at all. And, more surprisingly, people from across the United States also had different views upon tipping; some people were taught that 20% was customary, while others saw 10%–15% as quite decent. Hence, if there’s any aspect of the local area's culture that you’re confused about, don’t hesitate to bring it up in your student group.

4. Learn as much as you can

As surprising as it sounds, one of the best ways you can use the admitted students group as an international student is actually not through activity, but observation. As an international student, there's a huge cultural gap between what you’re familiar with and what your peers are familiar with. As much as being different makes you unique and incredibly valuable to the student community, being an international student may cause other individuals to perceive you as too “foreign,” for lack of a better word. If some of the discussions in your admitted students group show a prevalent common interest in a TV show or band unknown to you, take the time to look it up and see if maybe it’s something that interests you as well. There is truly no better way to learn about the culture you’re about to surround yourself in than from the very people who live it each day. Don’t hesitate to use them as fountains of information; you can never have too much in your arsenal of conversation topics for those first days of orientation.

Related: How International Students Can Culturally Prepare to Study in the United States

Preparing for university is an exciting time, and admitted students groups on social media are a great resource to learn more about your school's culture and future friends. By following these tips, you can make the most of your group without relying on it too much. If you have a lot of questions, feel free to get in touch with your admission officer or another university representative; they'll be happy to help and point you in the right direction without the risk of them blocking you for receiving too many notifications.

Prepare to make new friends and dive right in to your first semester with Campus Life Tips for International Students: Engage and Immerse!

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


About Bianca Eyales

Bianca Eyales is an international student attending Brown University.


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


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.

Nikole Dixon

Nikole Dixon

$500 Refer-a-Friend Scholarship Winner

Toward the beginning of last year, I was searching for scholarships to apply to through my school, town, websites online, and anything else I could find. I asked tons of questions [online] about scholarships and the best places to find them because I was desperate and needed as many as I could find. I came across a ton of bogus websites, but as soon as I found CollegeXpress, I knew I had to tell other people about it. It was definitely the most helpful site I came across, so I told my friends about it. CollegeXpress is definitely a website worth giving as a source.

Lorena Bacallao

Lorena Bacallao

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress was the foundation of my college search process. Because of CollegeXpress, I was able to make a more informed and confident decision as to where it was best to pursue my higher education. I have recommended this website to fellow peers and for first-generation students like me. It’s a website I will continue to promote because of how simple it was to use and how many opportunities were offered to me at my fingertips!



High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me greatly during my college search. I used their college search feature often and it helped in comparing schools I was looking at. Now that I’ve found a college the scholarship search feature is helping me find a way to find my college experience. CollegeXpress has many helpful features and resources for anyones college search, it truly is a wonderful tool for anyone entering college level!

Victoria Fuss

Victoria Fuss

March Madness Scholarship Winner, Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has helped me dramatically. Moving on to the next level has been a dream of my mine since I was just a young kid, and the support and help CollegeXpress has given me will help me further my education. I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone at CollegeXpress!

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK

Allegheny College

Meadville, PA

Bryant University

Smithfield, RI