Leaving hometown friends for college can leave incoming students feeling intimidated by all of the upcoming changes, but with the help of social media, The University of Tampa is giving students the opportunities to find their home away from home here at UT.
UT has several profile pages on different social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram for incoming students to have a space to connect with their soon-to-be peers and make the transition into college a bit easier.
“While these Facebook pages are not officially run by the university, they are a great way for students to meet new people and potential roommates,” said Lindsey Forrest, a UT admissions counselor. “Speaking not only as an admissions counselor but as a former UT student, many students on campus have utilized these pages to find their roommates and to meet new people within their incoming class. They are a great resource for incoming students.”
For students in the class of 2025, a Facebook group has been up and running for months, filled with eager students ready to begin their journey at UT. This page has helped students when choosing housing options so that incoming freshmen do not have to pick randomly and be paired with someone who does not share similar interests.
Macy Helmer, sophomore business management major, found her roommate through the class of 2024 Facebook page a few months before moving into Austin Hall.
“I am so happy I could find someone who shared a similar lifestyle as me through the facebook group, “said Helmer. “This made having a roommate so easy and so fun.”
The Facebook group also allows students to easily connect with each other through messaging, which has been a useful resource in connecting with other UT students during the pandemic. Similar resources are also found on Instagram. Specific Instagram pages have been created for each incoming class for years.
The class of 2025 page not only allows students to connect with each other, but also find out other information like who will be living in their residence halls. These residence hall-related posts are created so incoming freshmen can discover who may be living on the same floor as them. Through these connections, students are then able to get to know one another before meeting them in person.
Evie Sly, sophomore nursing major, got to see who else would be joining her in Brevard Hall last fall.
“The Instagram page was great because I could find the post for Brevard and see who else was in my hall,” said Sly. “It felt like I was friends with my soon-to-be neighbors before even meeting them in person.”
UT has also created specific social media pages for transfer students.
Transfer students also have their own individualized Facebook group where they can meet other students in the same position.
Fall 2020 transfer student Grace Chambers, senior education major, easily found a roommate to live in a nearby apartment complex with her.
“Moving to a new city and not knowing anyone was scary,” said Chambers. “The facebook group for transfer students made it easy to find a roommate and meet other girls in the same position as me.”
The fear of not being able to make friends at UT can be lessened with the help of these social media platforms. Incoming freshman and transfer students can easily make this transition, while finding a new friend or two along the way.