If you’re a high school senior, whether anticipating or dreading your impending (I hope) graduation, I hope you’ve found your pre-frosh ‘[Insert name of school here] Class of 2018’ Facebook page. If not, I highly advise you to find it as soon as possible, lest you miss out on the DOs and DON’Ts of pre-frosh class pages I’m about to school you on below.
DO use it as a source of information. I probably learned more about entering my school through Facebook than I did from mail/email from the actual school. The key is the fact that a lot of upperclassmen join freshman pages, whether with the intention to help out or with the intention to scope out the incoming crowd. Regardless, they usually do answer questions and clarify common confusions. If you’re really lucky, the school’s Records and Registration Facebook page will join in and then you know you’re getting accurate information.
DON’T be THE overly excited and way too friendly guy/girl. Nothing wrong with being amped for college, but when I see a post along the lines of “Hey guys, I’m ___! I’m so excited to meet you all! I can’t wait to make you all my family and form loving bonds and memories that will last a lifetime!”, I cringe and can’t help but turn away and shake my head. At the most, it can be annoying. At the least, it’s definitely cheesy.
DO share impressive school pride posts, and DON’T share basic ones. To be blunt, it’s nice that you bought a school t-shirt and all, but it’s by no means revolutionary. If a dozen of your fellow high school seniors are all wearing the shirts together for a picture, then it’s cool. It gets boring to see people post the same t-shirt saying “Repping [insert school name here]!” Decorate your graduation cap or make custom Sperrys like my boyfriend did. Be unique.
DO friend request people with whom you share strong interests. Congratulations, you are one step closer to your first friend in college. You can now talk more intimately about your interests, worries about college, and other topics without clogging up the class page or blowing up other students’ notifications.
DON’T friend request that one junior who answered your question about where to find Mr. __’s email address. He/she probably spent about 7 seconds looking up a tidbit of information and another 4 to type it out on your post. This does not establish a deep bond between you and the older student, leading to an obligatory Facebook friendship. It’s great that they helped you out and if you have more questions, maybe you can message them privately. But it’s a little much to friend request them as your cool upperclassman connection.
Following each other on social media, to DO or DON’T? I am on the fence about this. On one hand, you get a true look into your future classmates’ lives. You find out more about each others’ interests and lifestyles. On the other hand, you’re looking deep into their lives. You learn about their past, family, private feelings. It might be too much and unnecessary.
I feel Twitter, while revealing about locations and thoughts, is okay to share. Tweets are usually public and made with the knowledge that others will see them.
The same goes for Instagram. All those hashtags ensure that friends, family, and strangers alike will see a person’s posts.
Tumblr is a different story. Blogs can be more private, with no obligation to provide accurate public information. To find someone, you must know their URL or they must provide searchable means of identification (name, school, location). With the luxury of privacy on Tumblr, it’s safer to make more personal posts: confessions, secrets, diary entries. A classmate may share their Tumblr URL and forget they have personal posts on there, exposing parts of their life they didn’t mean to expose.
I can only advise to use discretion. If you’re internet-safe and savvy, feel free to post links to your social media. If you post beautiful pictures of food or cute animal gifs, then DEFINITELY feel free to post your links.
Class Facebook groups are meant to be fun and helpful. Meet people, learn how to enroll in classes, and make sure to take full advantage of the socializing and information that comes right to you. But of course, be careful of the personal information you put out, as with any other online forum. Good luck!