Don’t worry, we’re not going to tell you how to use social media here! It might be a sweeping assumption, but we’re pretty sure you have at some point logged into Facebook, or Instagram or the many other platforms that are out there.
What we will do, though, is give you a few pointers on where to look on social for ways to connect with people on your course or in your halls before you even set foot on campus. None of this is rocket science, but there might be something here you hadn’t even thought about!
The most obvious thing to do is like or follow the social accounts of your uni on any of the platforms you use.
But don’t forget, as well as the main accounts, there may also be official ones for other parts of the uni. For example, at Solent, as well as the main University accounts, we have social accounts across most platforms for things like the Student Hub, Solent Sport, Solent Creatives, etc. So, if there’s something you’re interested in, or you think might be useful to keep up-to-date on, have a search and see if there’s an account you can follow.
Meet other freshers
Some universities may have Facebook groups especially for freshers. Here, as well as being a great way to say hello to other freshers, you can also share any anxieties you may have about moving to a new city, or just get an idea of what other people are bringing to have in their room, even. Also, there may be advance information on what’s planned for freshers’ week, and maybe even some helpful reminders of any important documentation you need to bring with you to enrol.
If you’re moving into halls, you may be wondering who on earth you might be sharing a flat or a floor with. Most universities will have Facebook groups set up for each of their residences, and often they’re moderated by the university itself. Joining the group is a great way to meet other first years, as well as second and third years who might be living in the same halls (useful for getting tips on the nearest supermarket or convenience store for supplies!)
Meet your classmates and tutors
You might find that your course or the course area you’re studying has a social account, or even more than one. Not only is it a good way to potentially meet your classmates or lecturers, you can also see what the students and academic team have been up to over the previous year. Like if there were any field trips, or any work produced by students, or guest speakers. It’ll help give you a real feel for what you might be able to do while you’re studying on the course.
Get to know the city
If you’re moving to a new town or city, why not have a look to see if there are any social accounts to help you get to grips with where things are or what’s going on? They may be slightly tourist-y, but they’ll help you get a feel for your new surroundings, and what nightlife, sport or cultural things there are to do.
A word to the wise
As with everything online: be careful! Be careful of who you share your personal information with. Always make sure that any groups you join or pages you follow are official ones for your chosen university, or that are clearly affiliated with or endorsed by the university. Check with your chosen uni first as to what groups and pages they have for the residences or courses. And if you’re still not sure, just don’t do it!
Tasks for this week:
- Have a look for social media accounts for your uni - for your halls, for freshers, for your course or subject area, and for any sports or other activities you might be interested in.
- Look at the main accounts for the university as well - there will always be useful info on there for when you start.
- See if there are any social accounts for places in the town or city you'll be studying in to help you get your bearings and also find out where the best places to go are.