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Back to School in the Age of Facebook

What classes should I take? How can I find a roommate? What can I do for fun? These are some questions nervous freshmen have when they are about to start college, but students at UC San Diego are quelling the back-to-school jitters by sharing information on Facebook.com.

What classes should I take? How can I find a roommate? What can I do for fun? These are some questions nervous freshmen have when they are about to start college, but students at UC San Diego are quelling the back-to-school jitters by sharing information on Facebook.com.

Incoming students are increasingly living their lives online by using the social website to discuss class schedules, dining halls, living arrangements and campus life on the UCSD network message board before fall quarter starts.

“The wall allows me to ask questions to other students and some of the older students there are helpful and give good advice.”

The UCSD network on Facebook.com currently includes more than 34,000 people and it contains varied information about UCSD. The network homepage includes a listing of calendar events, links to network members and a network “wall” that functions as a message board. Any member of the UCSD network can post messages on the board and it has become a popular place where students can give and receive “back-to-school” advice.

“Talking to fellow UCSD students on the network wall has been helpful,” Preeti Ravindhran, incoming UCSD freshman, said. “The wall allows me to ask questions to other students and some of the older students there are helpful and give good advice.”

One of the many things students are turning to the social website for is to search for a roommate on the UCSD Network.

Finding Roommates through Facebook’s Marketplace

“I actually found my two roommates through Facebook's ‘Marketplace’ where people posted [roommate listings],” said Osmond De Guzman, a transfer student.  “We had been messaging each other back and forth, then we set up a weekend to get together and ended up finding a place.”

The Facebook.com Marketplace is a forum where students can find roommates, jobs and merchandise, such as text books.

Students can also pay money to post flyers on the website.

…students at UC San Diego are quelling the back-to-school jitters by sharing information on Facebook.com.

Pierpaolo Cendron is an incoming foreign exchange student from Italy who posted a flyer because he was looking for a place to live when he came to San Diego. On the flyer he posted a picture of himself and it contained a link to his personal profile.

“I have received a lot of responses,” Cendron said. “Even of girls that wanted to introduce themselves!”

He added that the website had been helpful because it allowed him to contact other UCSD students while in Italy.

On-campus residents are contacting their roommates on Facebook.com before move-in day.

“One of them just added me and I recognized her last name as one of my roommmates,” Diana Lam, incoming freshman, said. “Another added me with a small message, greeting me and saying that she believes she is my roommate. The three girls I've met are really nice and I think we'll all get along well. I didn't know any of them before meeting them on Facebook.com. I just hoped that everything will turn out okay.”

Students who are registering for fall classes also have been going on the message board to post questions and get advice.  Kevin Ortiz, a recent UCSD graduate, said he was happy to share his knowledge with incoming UCSD students.

Most of the students who interact on the UCSD network wall don’t know each other in person. However, they value the advice from other students because they have first-hand knowledge of attending UCSD…

“I noticed some of the questions people were asking on the network wall and how I've gone through similar situations in the past four years while at UCSD,” Ortiz said. “So I figured I'd use my experiences and try to help most of the freshmen who ask questions.”

Most of the students who interact on the UCSD network wall don’t know each other in person. However, they value the advice from other students because they have first-hand knowledge of attending UCSD, said De Guzman.

He said he isn’t worried about starting school because he found a lot of information about UCSD on Facebook.com. “Facebook has relieved me of a lot of stress and nervousness,” De Guzman said. “Especially in terms of preparations, expectations, and anticipations, I would say it has had a sizable impact on my transition from Bakersfield and Bakersfield College to San Diego and UCSD.”

However, not all advice on the UCSD network is completely accurate, according to Erica Hsiou, incoming UCSD freshman. “There is a possibility that [users] can give false information,” she said. “So when I get information on Facebook, I always listen to multiple suggestions and choose one of my own.”

He added that the website had been helpful because it allowed him to contact other UCSD students while in Italy.

Courtesy: University of California, San Diego

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