OP-ED: Using Social Media as an Academic Resource

If you’re a student in this day and age, you’re probably on some sort of social media. You might spend a couple of hours every day on it, surfing the web while simultaneously getting your news, entertainment, and social interaction from it. Despite the negative stereotypes attached to social media, it can also be of great benefit. 

Through my experience, I’ve found that schools use Instagram as a majority to connect with their students. Your school or university may have an Instagram, but the important part is following the department pages or specific club pages that you’re interested in. This way, your content will be more tailored to your interests on campus, while also letting you know of everything happening. They also serve as great reminders, since our emails tend to get flooded with dozens of messages. Seeing a post while you absentmindedly open social media can quickly remind you of an event or other obligation. Many times, schools will host giveaways or surveys exclusively on these social media, which can be an advantage if you already have said platform.

Additionally, there are thousands of academic influencers on social media that aren’t affiliated with any school, which makes them a viable resource for a large range of people. This can mean following a scholarships page, a study inspiration page, or simply following your favorite study “influencers,” or people who like to post about their studies. This can serve as a good motivational resource as well as being informative to your own studies. There’s something very satisfying about watching or reading about how organized and aesthetic studying can be! It’s not always all-nighters and tons of caffeine. 

A large part of social media is about connecting with friends, and many times, this can prove to be a good resource. Your friends may post informative infographics or notify you of an opportunity. I’ve had an experience where I clicked on a friend’s “story” and found out about a really interesting opportunity. Without her posting about it, I would probably have never found out about the program. I would use social media to advertise openings and programs your friends may be interested in, while also keeping up with your friends who like to do the same. It can always turn out to be a great decision in the long run!

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