By Kayla Strayer
TOLEDO – For many high school students, a good chunk of their time is spent preparing and applying to colleges. From taking college prep classes to keeping up GPA’s, it can be a stressful process.
In today’s world, college hopefuls have another thing they have to keep track of, what they are posting online. We talked with Toledo Public School students about how they use social media.
“I have three; I have Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat,” said TPS student Abilino Ruiz.
“I have Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, just about everything you can have,” said TPS student Riley Clifton.
Our kids are growing up in a world dominated by social media. A world where just one click can send your post to anyone, including college admissions officers. Kaplan Test Prep did a study with nearly 400 admissions officers. About 40 percent of them reported checking applicant’s social media pages.
“You don’t really expect things to follow other than your grades from high school to your college,” TPS student Teanna Sims said.
“I think kids too will say some things that you’re like ‘you probably shouldn’t have said that’ but I watch mine for the most part to make sure it’s OK,” Clifton said.
“They are still young people and they need guidance,” said Virgie Hamrick, Start High School’s Director of Guidance.
Hamrick works hard helping her students prepare for college. She says the process is evolving, it’s not just about your grades and test scores.
“Really and truly colleges want an all around student,” Hamrick said. “They want to know what you have done, how have you impacted your community and what are you going to do to impact the greater community.”
And they want to know what you are posting on social media.
“We also stress to them when we go into the classroom the importance of not putting things on social media that could keep them from college because colleges will look at some of that, and if you are doing things that are not going to be healthy or advantageous to the college, they are not going to take you,” Hamrick said.
It’s an eye opener for young students.
“I think it’s really important to make sure what you say is appropriate,” Clifton said.
“Just definitely be conscientious and think about if I post this how does that make me look,” Ruiz said.
Hamrick says to be smary about how you present yourself to the online world. Don’t spend too much time on social media, and when you post be sure to show off the good things you do outside of the classroom.
“Help them understand just how important that volunteer work is,” Hamrick said.
“Try to capture every positive moment that you can because they’re going to look at it as they see more positive stuff instead of just selfies and stuff like that then that will catch their attention,” Ruiz said.
It’s also a good idea to check college social media accounts so you can keep up with what’s happening on campus.