For incoming students looking to make friends and establish a sense of community before the semester begins, virtual platforms boast a plethora of users and content for students to familiarize themselves with the school and each other. Given that this year’s Orientation is completely online, incoming students may feel socially behind and removed from campus life.
Here are some of Boston University’s online communities you can join to get a head start on your next four years.
Class Facebook groups provide easy access to both upperclassmen who are more than willing to answer questions and soon-to-be peers who are as ready to jump into socializing as you are.
In addition to the individual class pages, several other Facebook groups are unique to the BU community. Among these are groups dedicated to providing information on local events, free food opportunities and a marketplace for textbooks and furniture.
BU’s meme page, entitled “BU Memes for Normy Teens,” unites students from every school in jest. While many jokes are specific to people and practices at BU, involvement in the group and interaction with its members serve as a great introduction to the BU experience.
There are also many specialized groups for activities on campus, such as dance teams and cultural clubs. It’s never too early to get involved.
A more anonymous way to stay updated, the subreddit r/bostonu provides a catalog of student inquiries, concerns and day-to-day stories. Aptly named “Rhett-it” after BU’s mascot, Rhett the Terrier, the group contains important information and a platform for a variety of discussions.
Here, you can shoot a quick question about classes, get valuable input from more knowledgeable peers and catch up on campus news. The subreddit includes a handy housing selection megathread, tips on getting a work-study job and class and professor recommendations, among many more.
Aside from the official Boston University profile, @bostonu, many other accounts on the app — both student- and university-run — offer students resources.
Sharing several posts a day, @bu_gigs is a page for students to advertise products, services and housing opportunities, as well as share personal stories and social awareness. The page shares several posts each day and provides students affordable and convenient services from their peers.
The Instagram account for BU’s Wellbeing Project, @bu_wellbeing, provides resources for mental health and self-care to encourage wellness on and off campus. The account, created last August, features tips and testimonials from other campus organizations such as BU Athletics. The Wellbeing Project will host a Happiness Hangout on Wednesday as part of the Orientation program for the Class of 2024.
For those in search of more humor, @blacksheep_bu shares BU-specific jokes and satirizes University personalities and events for the amusement of its nearly 7,000 followers. The account features an abundance of Instagram story content, including “Whine Wednesday,” where students can air their school-related grievances. It also makes efforts to share university-related news, especially concerning the coronavirus and reopening plans, on its stories and Twitter account.
An app that combines elements of GroupMe and LinkedIn, the mass messaging app is unique in that it allows for thousands of people in one group chat for maximum socializing and networking. A variety of chats fulfill different purposes: class pages initiate conversations with peers, roommate chats help students find subleases and bunkmates and networking chats provide opportunities to meet new people and find potential professional experiences.
Essentially a localized LinkedIn, Handshake locates job and internship opportunities according to a student’s interests and major. It allows users to easily connect with BU’s Center for Career Development, register for events and career fairs, research employers and receive advice from alumni and current students. Handshake helps you to think ahead about possible career goals and provides a means to begin achieving these goals.