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When you start college, you’re focused on attending all classes and studying as much as possible. That goal imposes another one: reducing your use on social media. Is that really necessary? Let’s be honest: it’s almost impossible for a college student to stay away from Twitter and Facebook. That’s how you’re getting most of your information and you stay in touch with friends back home.

Here’s the good news: you don’t need to refrain yourself from social media if you want to be a successful student. However, there’s something you can do: turn them to your advantage. I’ll suggest 9 useful tips that help freshmen use social media the right way.

1. Connect with Students

Through social media, you can start building your support system. Your freshman year at college will be exciting, but challenging as well. You’ll have to make new connections and be the best friend you could possibly be.

Social media can only support that process. Join Facebook groups for students from your university. Connect with other freshmen and build the support system you need. You’ll get notifications about different events and parties, so make sure to become part of them in real life, too.

2. Join Social Media Groups for Clubs and Sports

Most clubs have their own social media pages you can explore. If you intend to become part of some of these clubs, make sure to connect with the other members via social media. Of course you’ll meet these people in person, but staying connected with them online will add another dimension to your communication. You can always get the latest news through these groups, but you’ll also join important discussions.

3. Stay in Touch with Family and Friends

Do call your friends and family! Your voice expresses emotions you can’t convey through messages. However, Facebook is still a useful tool that connects you with your old life. Think about it: you can’t call every single friend from high school when you think of them. Thanks to social media, you can comment on their activity and send a message in seconds.

4. Use Pinterest for Projects

In high school, Pinterest was all about fashion and motivation for exercise. Now, you have a chance to reveal its full potential. Whenever you have an academic project to work for, pin authoritative online resources in a special board. Don’t forget to write notes in the description.

You can keep these boards private, so other students won’t steal your ideas. When you come to the actual writing stage, you’ll have enough material to work with. Plus, you’ll always know where the ideas came from, so referencing the sources won’t be a problem.

5. Use Social Media for Your Personal Interests

As a freshman, you’ll get a chance to pick courses according to your interests. However, the academic program won’t cover all your interests. For example, you might want to talk about politics with someone. Maybe you’re a social activist and you can’t expect the curriculum to comply with your special cause. You can use social media to keep your personal interests growing.

6. Take Part in Study Groups

Whenever you’re working on a team project, create a private Facebook group and invite the members of the team to join. You can post links to useful resources, discuss the development of the project, and work on it without the need to get together in one room.

7. Don’t Share Everything

This don’t tip is very important for proper usage of social media. Do not share every single moment of your life. You know those guys who post a new tweet on every two minutes and seem like they are spending their lives glued down to the phones? People don’t have good impressions of them.

Use every chance to immerse into the real college environment. You can always post updates on social media, but you need to recognize the moment when it’s turning to a bad habit.

So glad I came early to #sociology class. Sitting next to a beauty. #freshman

If you get an urge to post something like that, stop yourself.

8. Don’t Post Photos that Might Get You in Trouble

Even if your parents don’t have Facebook profiles, your photos of crazy parties can still get to them. Maybe you think it’s cool to take photos of you being completely wasted at a party, but your parents won’t think it’s cool. You’re all grown up and independent now, so you have to show some responsibility.

Still not convinced? You don’t care what your parents think about the way you’re spending time at college? How about recruiters? Do you know they research potential candidates online? Once you post inappropriate content, you’re risking your chances to get a good job during college or after graduation.

9. Have Some Limits

Social media is useful when you’re a freshman. You can use it for study groups, getting informed, and connecting with friends. However, sometimes the fun aspect of social media may interfere with your studies. Instead of staying focused on the lecture, you’ll be checking tweets. Instead of writing an essay, you’ll be pinning motivational quotes.

If you catch yourself spending too much time on social media, make sure to put yourself back together. At this point, the studies are more important. Remind yourself of that. If necessary, pin a quote that motivates you to study, and go follow that advice.

 

Do you have other useful tips for freshmen? This is an important period in everyone’s live, so the right advice can mean a lot. Share your wisdom in the comments below.


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