Whether heading off to the college of your dreams or number 13 on your list of 12, chances are you’ve joined the pre-freshman group on Facebook. Making the effort to meet new classmates and get familiar with the school is awesome, but monitoring your behavior on these pages is VERY important! There is always that one student in the group who consistently posts every day, who asks far too personal questions and who simply makes a fool of themselves in seemingly every way possible. This is someone who everyone will recognize on the first day of classes for their over-active Facebook persona. You do not want to be that person, especially because their posts usually end up on “Accepted! 2017,” a blog created specifically to expose embarrassing posts from pre-freshman groups. You’ve been warned!
DO feel out the vibe of the school before posting: Every school is different and therefore, the students are going to be different. Chances are, this is why you chose this school or were interested in the first place! Be sure to feel out the vibe of the group especially if you are using it to help make your decision.
DON’T post anything too personal: If it seems like most of the questions are about the school itself, technical difficulties, or whether or not to attend, it may not be appropriate to post deep personal details on the page. Sometimes, there may not be many posts in the group already, so wait it out. See what happens before jumping in with your own posts.
This student scoped out the vibe of her group before posting (a DO!) but then posted too much personal information (a definite DON’T!).
DO watch how many people use the group: Stay quiet unless it seems that everyone is posting, not just a select few who feel the need to over-share. It can be potentially embarrassing for you to have posted personal information that now everyone knows, meaning it is no longer private!
DON’T post too often!: You do not want to become “that girl.” Not only will your classmates get annoyed by your incessant posting, but you WILL be recognized at orientation and in class (remember Facebook has pictures, too!).
DO be honest during the roommate search: Depending on the school, these groups are sometimes used for finding potential roommates. If this seems to be the trend, go for it! Make sure you are honest in your description and that you speak positively and enthusiastically about finding a great roommate. In a post like this, be sure to include your daily habits (such as when you go to bed, how you study best, and whether you plan on having guests stay overnight on a regular basis) and also mention your personal interests (such as your major, hometown, and hobbies) so your future roommate can get to know you.
DON’T portray yourself dishonestly: Do not lie when looking for a roommate (no exceptions)! Make sure you portray yourself as you actually are. For example, if you say you are really neat and clean on Facebook, your roommate will be upset when they find out you are in fact a total slob.
DO follow the grandparent test: Use your filters, ladies! You want to save some information to tell your classmates when you actually meet them, so aim to remain on neutral territory until you get to know them in person. Jake Duhaime, publicity specialist for Her Campus, advises “students not to post something on Facebook (or any social site) that they would feel uncomfortable sharing with their grandparents.” He explains, “If you don’t want Gramps and Granny to know about your escapades, nights out, and relationships, they don’t need to be on Facebook. The grandparent test is a good barometer of what should and shouldn’t live on social media. Ditto with your future classmates.”
DON’T say anything you wouldn’t say in real life: When or if posting, make sure that you are not making any individuals or groups of people feel uncomfortable. I’ve seen everything from “Compare your sex life to a movie title” to the screen shot below. Duhaime explains, “The greatest social media crime one can commit is to say something via keyboard that they wouldn’t say to that same individual face-to-face.” If you wouldn’t venture to offend a large group of people in person, don’t do it on Facebook!
There are some definite perks to staying silent when it comes to pre-freshmen groups, but here are a few great reasons to contribute (if you haven’t already been scared away by the thought of being on “Accepted! 2017.”
- You know the answer to a posted question.
- You have a question for the group pertaining to technology, the school, or college-related forms, etc.
- You found a great video, link or image that relates to your college or college in general.
- To find a roommate.
- To mention your excitement for going to your school (just once or twice!).
- To organize a local event to meet future classmates from your area.
Being an active member of your college group is not always a bad thing, but remember pre-collegiettes, post responsibly!