Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: How to Use Facebook for Newly Admitted College Students
So you just got accepted into your dream college, or your "best fit school," or your safety school, or the University of Chicago - congratulations! Now that you've gotten past this difficult step, there's only one thing you have to remember: Every single person from these schools' Facebook groups is watching your every move.
Yes, once you join "___________ University's Class of 2017" Facebook group, there will be thousands of people going through your past, current, and future Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace (yeah, they find it), and Adult FriendFinder posts and pictures. In order to help you navigate this frightening new world, Sherman Ave has compiled a list of dos and don'ts that will provide some insight into how to act in the strange world of stalking.
Disclaimer: Sherman Ave cannot legally promise that these suggestions will help.
DO: Research Your Classmates People stalk the members of these group for a variety of reasons: Because they want to find out more about their new peers, because they are looking for potential hook-ups, because their parents blocked the "no-no sites" on their computers, etc. Whatever the reason, everyone is doing it - so why shouldn't you be in on the fun.
Really though, this time period provides you with the opportunity to learn important things about your future classmates, like how fat they were in middle school. Lastly, you may not meet some of the people in your class, but they will definitely come up in conversation - so it is best that you form some sort of opinion about them so you know what to say in conversation. e.g. "Oh, you're talking about Mark? Yeah, I heard he was a huge asshole." Reason: That one picture of him with his lax teammates from 2011.
DON'T: Let People Know How Much You Know About Them Picture this situation: A young freshman boy walks up to a pretty girl at a Welcome Week party. He asks her to dance. She answers, "Sorry, I have a boyfriend." He responds, "I thought I saw that you guys broke up last week."
Finish the rest of the story; How does it end up? If you replied, "not very well," you'd be right. If you replied, "I bet that future Comm major got a drink poured on him," you'd be even more correct.
You see, all of the information you're learning about the people in your class is great, but you have to make sure you only share it with the people you're close to - like your good friends, your family, and that one kid who you met in the dining hall but seemed really cool and will hopefully see again but if you don't it's not a big deal.
Facebook stalking is just like any other form of stalking - there's nothing to worry about as long as you don't get caught.
DO: Interact with the Class Group No matter what you do, people will be judging everything they see about you online - so you may as well try to make a good impression. Comment on posts that are relevant to you and even make a post of your own if there is anything you're really interested in. These groups can serve as important sources of information, discussion, and even friendship during the early parts of your freshman year. Everyone is nervous about how they're going to be received and everybody is looking for approval - so if you don't do anything too off-putting, these groups can actually help you.
These groups will also come in handy when you're looking to
troll the living shit out of them advertise your extracurricular happenings next year.
DON'T: Be "That Guy/Girl" There are many forms of "that person," but there are a special few we'd like to caution you from being: 1. "That person" Who Really Likes to Party and Wants to See If Anyone Else Does We get it. You're a big seventeen or maybe eighteen-year-old and now that you're done with having a bedtime, you want to go crazy and party. Want to know where you'll find people who party? At parties - and there will be hundreds of them the first week you're at school. Don't be that person.
2. Mr. or Ms. Humblebrag "Hey Guys, I'm just curious if anyone else is looking into joining the speech team this year. I got second at the American Speech Symposium and I was just wondering if anyone else wanted to come talk to the coach some time." What everyone got from that post: "I wanted everyone to know that I placed second in the country in something and I think I'm hot shit." Don't be that person.
3. "That Person" desperate for approval At every school in every class, there will undoubtedly be at least a handful of kids posting in their class' Facebook page every week looking for likes. They'll say "Who's excited to go to _______?" And, "I can't wait for next year!!! It's going to be awesome :)" knowing that, yes, people who decided to commit four years of their lives and thousands of dollars to a school are probably at least a little excited to go to it. They'll like other people's posts so those people will like their post. They will annoy almost everyone. Don't be like them. Don't be that person.
Note: More examples of that person can be found here for your perusal.
The internet and college are scary places on their own - but combine them and you have a frightening, awkward cocktail. However, follow this advice and you will come out of your experience as unscathed as possible.