Texting Freshman Students
The first year of college often brings about many emotions from students – sometimes conflicting ones. They’re usually excited to dive into the independence that college gives, yet they’re scared because going to college is a major life change. The great thing is that texting freshman students can be used to calm nerves, garner excitement, and to let students know they have resources at college long before they step foot onto campus.
Texting freshman students
Texting freshman students requires some strategic thinking. We recommend that college staff text these students beginning in the late summer after they have enrolled. From there, staff can continue to message through the beginning of the semester. Also, we recommend that staff keep in mind that students are on summer break, so limit the number of messages sent until the semester begins!
Admissions representatives might consider using these texts to get students to feel like they’re part of the community. They might also encourage students to reach out when they need help. Some students may feel awkward initiating a conversation to ask questions. When college staff reach out and ask for questions, this may alleviate some hesitation among students.
Another useful tip is to employ peer mentors. According to Dr. Peter Collier from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), peer mentoring has been proven to have a positive impact on GPA, credits earned, and retention. It also helps new students adjust to campus and even makes students feel happier about their colleges. For these reasons, college staff might consider using a centralized texting platform such as Signal Vine for peer mentors to reach out to their mentees.
Another great use case for texting freshman students? Orientation. This event in itself can be a bit stressful for incoming students since they aren’t sure what to expect of their first college event.
To calm nerves, staff might consider texting students to remind them to attend orientation and telling them what to bring with them. Staff can also text an orientation schedule so students can plan ahead. Finally, staff can text students a few days after orientation to ask how things went and if they have questions. If all goes well, students will respond more confidently following orientation! Of course, students may also text with a number of follow-up questions. Both of these responses are great and a sign that orientation went well. More questions mean that students are thinking hard about the upcoming semester and wish to be prepared!
With all text messages, we recommend using emojis and GIFs when appropriate. GIFs help liven the conversation while making college staff approachable to students. Sending pictures of previous campus events can also help give students something to look forward to. Peer mentors might recount some of their first college impressions to ease nerves.
For more tips on texting freshman students, check out our previous blog packed with suggestions. Happy texting!
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