Get the Support You Need on Social Media - Infographic
Ashford University strives to support its students through their educational journey and beyond. If you’ve been a student for any amount of time, you’ve likely experienced CHAMPS support, received advice from alumni, or interacted with your peers on discussion boards. But the support doesn’t end there. You’ll find a wealth of resources and content from Ashford on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest as well. Students, alumni, and anyone else who wants to keep in touch with Ashford are invited to follow the university on any or all of these social channels. But why should students bother to engage with their school on social media? The truth is that there are many benefits to staying socially connected. Let’s take a look at some of the ways students are incorporating social media channels into their education.
The online modality has many advantages for students, but it can sometimes feel a little lonely for students who are used to interacting with instructors and peers face to face. This feeling might be especially true at moments of heightened anxiety, such as at the beginning of the educational journey or during a difficult course. You can turn to your friends and family for support, but they may not fully understand what you are going through.
Reaching out to your peers via social media can be a great way to get connection and support from people who are experiencing the same things you are. Facebook, in particular, is a great place to look for a little emotional support during the rough patches. More than 200,000 people have liked Ashford’s Facebook page and many of those folks are active contributors to the page. They can be your biggest cheerleaders, too. If you’re feeling some self-doubt, leave a comment about it. You’ll almost certainly receive a bunch of confidence-building replies from students and alumni who have felt like you have before. A new voice saying “you can do it” is a very powerful thing.
Be sure to share your successes, too. If you’re almost done with your degree, you finished a difficult assignment, you aced a class, you earned a spot on the Dean’s List, or have accomplished any other significant milestone, let the Ashford community know. They love to celebrate their peers’ successes and give out some virtual high-fives. That positive reinforcement can have lasting effects and remind you of why you’re pursuing your degree – even when it gets hard.
Similarly, students will often turn to social media for doses of inspiration. The road to a degree can feel long and sometimes you just need a quick pick-me-up to keep pushing forward. Check out Ashford’s Instagram for some motivational messages and images that are guaranteed to make you feel good.
On Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, you will also find links to success stories from Ashford students and alumni. If you have a little time, read some of these inspiring stories. It’s easy to get motivated to jump back into your studies when you read about people just like you who have succeeded with higher education.
If you encounter any obstacles along your educational journey, don’t allow yourself to get frustrated – instead, look for help and ask questions. Your Ashford advisors and instructors will usually be your best bet for help, and they should be the first people you turn to with questions. But sometimes you want the advice of students and alumni who have walked in your shoes, and this instance is where social media can come in handy.
Students can take to social media to post questions about specific classes, teachers, degrees, books, assignments, and pretty much every other aspect of the college experience. Students and alumni interact freely on social media channels and will give you candid opinions and advice -- all you have to do is ask.
Even after you graduate, you’ll probably want to stay connected to Ashford. Not only will you find out about benefits for Ashford graduates (like alumni events), but you’ll have access to a huge network of Ashford students, graduates, faculty, and staff all over the country. Leverage your Ashford connection to build a formidable, professional network. You never know when a fellow Ashford alumnus or a former professor might be able to help you out in your life or career. They may have leads on the perfect job for you, or maybe just some good advice.
When it comes to networking, LinkedIn is an indispensable resource. Not only does Ashford maintain a presence on LinkedIn, but there are numerous official LinkedIn groups geared toward smaller niches within the larger Ashford community. You’ll see LinkedIn groups devoted to alumni, veterans, colleges, departments, degree programs, and extracurricular interests. You’re certain to find one or two groups that align with your personal interests.
Don’t wait until you graduate to start networking. If you start participating in pertinent LinkedIn groups while you’re still a student, you’ll already have built a solid network by the time you graduate.
So get online, find Ashford, and join the conversation. You can participate as much or as little as you like, but know that there are thousands of people out there ready to give you help, support, and inspiration. We’re just a click away.
Written by Erik Siwak, Communications Manager for Bridgepoint Education