by Olivia Collins
Using technology and social media has become a huge part of the college experience - even before you're on campus. Although I won't be attending college until the fall, I'm already extremely connected to my school through social media. However, for all its benefits, social media can also harm someone's college experience.
Around application time, it isn't uncommon for schools to look at an applicant's social media profiles while making their decision. My friends and I all believed this to be a legend until we saw it happen first hand.
A girl at my school lost a scholarship after posting photos of herself smoking pot. We were all shocked that the school checked and acted on it. And there was the case of Penn State coach Herb Hand dropping a recruit due to his social media presence:
To avoid this happening, it's best to make all social media accounts private and monitor who follows them. Or use common sense, and don't post about illegal behavior.
Thankfully, social media can also have an extremely positive effect on the college experience. Along with my soon-to-be-school, I know many others have Facebook pages created around the time decisions are announced. These pages make finding friends and potential roommates significantly easier.
Everyone usually posts a bit of information about themselves to find people with similar interests. This cuts out the need to fill out forms and get paired with someone random, and makes it so you'll be familiar with your roommate before moving day.
Administration is also able to reach out to students through these pages. It's usually an admin person who creates these pages, and at many schools they'll occasionally chime in. This has proven very helpful for freshman when they have questions about the school. The admin woman on my school's page has done things ranging from communicating new rules to answering questions about summer reading.
A lot of schools also use Twitter rather than Facebook to get a message across quickly. I still remember waking up early in the winter to check Twitter if there was a snow day rather than the school's website. Twitter makes it easy to get the word out quickly, while Facebook pages are used to make connections.
Whichever platform is used, social media can be extremely beneficial for schools and students. Just remember to be on your best behavior - same as you would be in class.