Your Guide to That “Class of 2022” Facebook Group

Congrats: you got into college! Right after you open that acceptance letter and make the announcement in your high school’s college decisions group, one more exciting thing happens: you get added to your new school’s Class of 2022 Facebook group, and suddenly you’re face-to-face (well, face-to-screen) with all your new classmates.

We know it’s overwhelming to be thrown into that environment, but it can also be the way you meet your new best friend or find out about the club that will become your passion project for the next four years. However, don’t start inundating the group with posts just yet—we’ve spoken to a few collegiettes to find out how to navigate your class group, and some unspoken etiquette rules you may not have been aware of.

1. Don’t post too often

You know how you get annoyed when that one person in your group chat sends 50 texts in a row about something that isn’t even important? Imagine being that person, except instead of five or six people constantly getting the notifications, it’s your entire freshman class.

Makena Gera, a sophomore at Marist College, experienced this firsthand in her class group. “I never really posted a lot in my freshman class Facebook group, but one tip I would have (as someone who was reading a lot of the posts) is to stay away from posting too much,” she says. “It's great to post to introduce yourself, comment on a few other people's posts and then be done with it. The people who used the group too much came off as friendly at first, but eventually it got a little annoying to see the same people over and over again.”

So say hey to everyone, and don’t be afraid to make a post asking those pressing questions about tuition deadlines and how to set up your student email. But maybe think twice before updating everyone about how excited you are every five minutes.

“It's a tough line to toe, but I would say overall interact in the group enough to get your name out there, but not too much that you become the person everyone comes to know as ‘that girl in the Facebook group,’” Makena advises. We couldn’t agree more.

Related: The 9 People You'll Meet In Your Prefrosh Facebook Group

2. Read before you write

As much as you might wish we could give you a precisely accurate list of rules, every school’s Facebook group is going to be a little different: some of them might encourage people to post all the time, while others might save that for a class GroupMe and leave the Facebook group for asking questions about move-in day and orientation. Take a look at what other people are posting before you go to write something yourself, because you may be putting forth an image of yourself that you don’t want.

Gabriela Alesia Vascimini, a sophomore at Columbia University, says, “The unspoken rule in ours was not to introduce yourself because it came across as desperate!” Instead, her school’s group “participate[d] in posts like social media threads.”

If your incoming freshman class is smaller and the school is known for having tight-knit students, then there’s probably a good chance that introductory posts are standard—sometimes, people even post pictures of themselves along with their fun facts and social media handles. But if your Facebook group has several thousand members, and you know yourself that you’re not going to want to read through everyone’s intro post, why would you write your own?

3. Know how to find a roommate, if you want one

If you’re going to be living on campus with a roommate, you’re probably going to have the struggle of choosing between random selection and trying to find someone yourself. If you go for option two, the Facebook group is a great way to do it—you just have to do a little scouting.

If finding roommates through the group is common at your school (and it probably is), you’ll likely see a lot of posts with people basically advertising themselves: their tidiness, their room décor skills, or even a funny story to show off their personality. If you see someone you think might be a good fit, feel free to privately message them about it! Don’t comment directly on the post, because if they’re getting multiple offers, it would be awkward to be rejected in a place where everyone can see.

“I met my roommate and best friend on my class Facebook group!” says Hannah Harshe, a junior at the University of Michigan. “She posted some goofy post about wanting a roommate—I think she said something about how she was chill because she fell out of a tree once, and that was pretty much it. I followed her on Instagram and then she messaged me. The rest is history and we're on our third year of sharing a room!”

It’s way easier than you think to have a happy ending story like Hannah’s, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t. People tend to present themselves differently (often better) online than they really are, so sometimes random selection really is a safer bet—the decision is totally up to you.

4. Don’t be afraid to reach out

If you see someone in the Facebook group that you admire, or that you think has a personality you’d mesh well with, go ahead and privately message them, or follow them on social media. It might feel scary to reach out to a total stranger at first, but you can bond over being excited to start at your new school, and work from there.

You don’t have to feel like a burden for saying hi, either—the reason people make introductory posts is because they hope somebody will start a conversation with them about it. You can rely on that for things to talk about, too: if they mention that they once met Barack Obama, you can ask about it. If they’re really into sci fi books, you can bring up your personal fave and ask if they’ve read it.

“I think I would be flattered if someone reached out to me from the group,” Makena says. “Since I went to the trouble of making an intro post and putting myself out there, it’s cool if someone notices that and wants to talk to me more.”

You should go into the group knowing that everyone there wants to meet people; that’s one of the best things about being an incoming freshman. Soon enough, you’ll have a whole new group of friends, and the Facebook group can be the way to get there.

Related: 7 Things to Do After Accepting a College

5. Only ask a question if it’s not already answered

Probably the most helpful part of class Facebook groups is that if you have a question, you can bet that somebody out of the hundreds or thousands of people reading your post has an answer. But just like with anything else, do your research first.

Search the group to make sure your question hasn’t already been asked and answered by someone else before you post, or you’ll risk spamming the group and possibly annoying people who have to answer the same question or read the same post multiple times.

If someone hasn’t already asked the question, don’t be afraid to ask it! You may feel weird asking if the dorm rooms have wastebaskets or if the dining hall offers gluten-free options, but your question probably applies to other students too, so putting it out there will be helpful to more than one person. After all, it’s what the group is for.

Your class’s Facebook group is the gateway to the college experience: it’s the perfect way to make sure you have familiar faces on campus before you get there. You should use the group to its full advantage, and with these tips, you won’t have to worry about rubbing any of your future classmates the wrong way.