Applying for college can be a long, arduous process.
You’ve dotted every i and crossed every t, sent in transcripts and personal statements, and even convinced your Mom or Dad to give you their credit card number to pay the application fees. Unfortunately, today’s college applications don’t consist of only the things that you send in to the admissions department.
Let’s all take a moment and be honest with ourselves–we spend a lot of time browsing social media sites and quite a bit of that time consists of some hardcore creeping. I do it, you do it, and so does everyone else–including people you don’t want to be able to see everything.
Here are 6 reasons you should clean up your social media before college:
1. Admissions teams will google you
We all put our best selves down on paper. Writing a personal statement? I’d be willing to bet it ends on a positive note and doesn’t mention that time you accidentally drove off with the gas hose still in your car. But if you’re submitting an application to a college, I can guarantee you they’ll type your name into social media platforms to see what you’ve been up to lately. Oh yes, they’ll see that picture you posted on Instagram–and the 142 comments containing foul language and other embarrassing or inappropriate stories.
Want to increases your odds of being accepted to your dream school? Make your social media profiles hidden, or better yet, just don’t post that stuff.
2. Scholarship committees
After you’ve been accepted, or even while you’re still applying, you’ll be sending in applications for scholarships. Depending on how many applications the committee receives, and how different the applicants are on paper, these team members could be seeing what kind of dirt you have online too.
You don’t want your shot at a couple thousand dollars to be compromised by the comments you made about skipping class last week to go shopping with your bestie.
3. Potential roomies
Most incoming, college freshman classes have a Facebook page. This is often how people get connected and decide to room together. Or, you might meet someone at an admitted students weekend and then search for them later to find out more about them. Will what they find on your Facebook page say that you’d be good person to live with?
If you’re hoping for a roomie that is serious about their studies, you should probably remove the 18 albums showing off your Friday night party pics. Be aware of how you’re commenting on others’ posts too. Passive-aggressive comments to your friends’ relationship status updates are never endearing.
You can be an all-star athlete that has won the state tournament all 4 years of high school, but if you can’t get along with your teammates or talk trash about your coach, you might miss a great opportunity.
Make sure your profile, posts, and comments show that you’ll contribute to a positive team morale. Good sportsmanship can go a long way.
5. Part-time employers
If you’re going to college, chances are you’ll need a part-time job. New Uggs and good food are hard to give up–even on a shoestring budget. Think about how potential employers will view your profile. Do your posts indicate that you work well with others? Are you consistently late to everything in your life? Or, are you not showing up to a job that you have now because you were out late the night before?
Yes, even places like grocery stores will check a prospective employee’s social media. What you post can say a lot about who you are as a worker.
6. Internship and/or volunteering organizations
On a similar note, you should try to keep your social media profiles presentable for other opportunities that may arise as well. You want your pages to show that you have good character and integrity. Do you want to be seen as respectful or dishonest? What about caring or selfish?
You know that phrase, “a picture is worth 1,000 words”? Well, in the case of social media, it might be worth two, “no thanks” or “admission denied”. It’s never too early to start cleaning up your sites.
Simple rule of thumb–only post things that you are proud of, or that will inspire others to be better.