Columns / Discourse / September 21, 2016

Social media connects freshmen

Five months before school started I was added to a Facebook group message called Lovers of Lincoln. At first I was unsure what it was for but quickly realized it was a group of girls who would also be heading to Knox College in September. I was ecstatic to be invited into a group; they were all hoping to find one more person in order to send an email request asking to put everyone in a suite in Post Hall. I volunteered to be that person, unfortunately we got a “no,” but after getting our roommate information emails and letters we figured out that most of us were grouped together in a dorm. Even though I knew most of the girls, I didn’t know who my roommate was and that added extra excitement for me. I was also excited to meet the girls I had been talking with throughout the summer.

In the group chat there had been instances where I didn’t know how to read people, it’s hard to know the person’s tone in a conversation, especially when you’ve never met them. Sometimes girls would snap at each other, other times there would be inside jokes shared between two friends who spoke outside of the group message. My friends at high school would make jokes about having already known these girls without meeting them, but in all of the conversations I felt a sense of happiness.

The group chat helped me prepare for college mentally. I would already know people and wouldn’t have to be myself out there. I’d have people surrounding me and I them. Some girls arrived before others and gave us the scoop on the campus and the sports teams. We got the inside scoop when other groups didn’t.

Now, Lovers of Lincoln wasn’t the only Facebook group message related to Knox, there was Knox Class of 2020 and then my dorm had one as well. Within each group I learned about people, cultures and backgrounds before meeting everyone. It was the perfect step I needed to prepare myself for college. Social Media allowed me to follow people on Instagram and see everyone’s hobbies and interests, follow Twitter accounts to see people’s political stances and rants about Gilmore Girls and friend people on Facebook to read their posts and see why they looked forward to coming to Knox College.

Within three group chats I found friends, acceptance and readiness. Social media has definitely made a greater impact on college students today; no longer do students have to wait until move in day to see what their roommates look like and what their interests are. With the internet we can find everything out for ourselves and lift a bunch of weight of the unknown off our shoulders.

Kira Carney

Tags:  discourse freshman friends social media

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