A Student's 5 Tips for Communicating with College Students

by Erin O'Shaughnessy | June 24, 2021
A Student's 5 Tips for Communicating with College Students

Dear Dr. Higher Ed Institution Email Writer,

I get it. You are worried about me. You are worried that I won’t “know what’s going on.” You send me emails every day with a lot of opportunities. And, while I appreciate that you care, and email certainly is a good way to let me know what’s going on, your current information dissemination strategy could use a tutorial. Let me share a few tips that might help save you some time, and, frankly, clear up my inbox (and my friends’, too!)

1. Share something relevant to me. Most of the emails that I get from you are immaterial. They are disconnected from my goals, major, or where I am in the college process. It’s awesome that you remind people to apply for graduation, but I’m a first year and that seems really far away.

2. Tell me something new. I get a lot of emails from you and you are usually saying something pretty similar to what you said yesterday.

3. Get to the point.  I’m short on time. I’m supposed to be studying and having a social life. Your really long emails are TLDR (aka too long, didn’t read). I know you're short on time too. Make it a few bullets and bold what I have to do.

4. Get organized. Did you know that each of your departments are saying the same thing? I get most of my information from my friends so just send one email that pulls it all together.

5. Respond. When you send me a note and I don’t understand and I take the time to ask you a question, could you work on responding in less than a week?

I chose you and I want to be here and I want to be successful. So, I hope this lets you know that I really appreciate you, but please, dial it back. Oh, and if you really want to send me something that I have to do, send me a text -- but only if it’s relevant to me, sparingly.


A current college student

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