For me, social media isn’t just a way to keep in touch with my childhood friends or share pictures of what I ate for dinner; it’s a lifestyle. I’ve discussed how social media can be used for networking and job hunting but it’s also a great way to enhance your online student experience.
I attended a traditional brick-and-mortar school for my undergraduate degree and had plenty of opportunities to chat with my classmates face-to-face in the student union or the dining hall. Online students, however, have to go about socializing in a different way and these are my tips on how to do that.
Like and follow your school’s social media pages
Online students are used to digital communication so universities use social media channels to share school updates or upcoming events but the real benefit is the sense of community that sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ help to foster. In addition to posting university news, social media pages may offer study tips, student shout-outs, motivational stories, or giveaways. Everyone likes showing their school pride with a t-shirt they won online!
Now that you follow your university’s page, look for program-specific groups. Joining a criminal justice or history group connects you with students in your own classes and offers even more relevant information. You might even get a great idea for a research paper based on an article shared by the page.
Join the conversation online
Liking or following your school’s social media page is the first step but you’ll get a more complete experience if you actually participate in a conversation. Have a question about what to expect in your upcoming course? Post it on your school’s page to get advice from fellow students. Not sure how to balance your schoolwork and family life? Ask your classmates for time management tips. Want to help motivate others to achieve their goals? Post a picture of you and your diploma so they can see what’s waiting for them.
That’s it – two simple ways to feel more involved with your university and make connections with classmates who can help you from day one to Commencement.
By Madeline Kronfeld
Online Learning Tips, Special Contributor