Let’s be honest, most of us probably didn’t use Facebook until we got to college. When we already use social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, Facebook doesn’t seem necessary. Yet, you found yourself downloading it anyway to join your university year’s Facebook group. Even if you only use Facebook for its groups, it remains one of the best ways to stay digitally connected to your campus. Given that you already made yourself a part of your university year’s Facebook group (that’s your hint to do so).
Check out our list of 10 other groups that can help make your college journey a little easier:
These groups reign supreme as the golden eggs of Facebook groups. Specific to your university, they make for the perfect inside scoop on your campus culture. Overheard boards capture out-of-context snippets from conversations on your campus. The anonymous quotes won’t take away from getting a sense of your new community—if anything, they might give you something to relate to. These posts will give you a little laugh and maybe something to relate to.
“There are so many different personalities at such a big campus and the meme group somehow builds a sense of community from that,” University of Wisconsin–Madison senior Brandon Voravongsa said. “The group lets us bond over the oddities of shared campus life.”
Meme groups offer the same laughs and relatability, but in a different font. You’ll find memes of all kinds. From your school’s sports teams, public transportation or a group of students Naruto running across the Pentacrest. These groups pose as gateways to inside jokes that you’ll only understand as a student. A lighthearted way to make you feel less alone.
9. Free food
Who doesn’t like free things? As a freshman, you most likely use a meal plan and won’t worry about running out of swipes. But let me tell you a little secret if you eat three meals a day on a limited meal plan—you’ll run out of swipes before finals week. Not to mention, free food will wind up being your best friend when you don’t get a meal plan anymore. To help fight food insecurity in college, these groups help spread awareness about free food events on campus. You can also look for more help from local food pantries, free food programs and crisis centers.
8. Buy, sell, trade
These groups help you get rid of things you don’t need any more like old clothes or a GenEd textbook that you’ll never use again. You can even find things you need cheaper than going to your school’s bookstore or any store for that matter. It’ll wind up as your digital thrift store. You can even post or find posts for services. Need someone to take care of your dorm plants while you leave for winter break? Try posting there, the people in these groups happily help others in the community.
Thinking about joining a club? Join their group or page to find out more about them. There, you can find information on meetings, tryouts, calendars, merchandise and more. It’ll also be easier to message them on Facebook for questions, rather than sending an email. If you miss the club fair at your school, there’s no need to worry. Clubs happily recruit new members, even over Messenger.
There’s a good chance you won’t keep a car your first year on campus. Will you force your parents to pick you up, or worse, take a crowded bus back home? This carpool program lets you post if you need a ride or can give a ride. The idea? Another student heading to the same destination as you will carpool with you for free or at little cost.
“It’s not cheap or convenient to keep a car in the city, so when I want to go home for a weekend, I just post on the RideShare group that I’m looking for a ride home,” DePaul University sophomore Priya Patel said. “I typically find a ride home within a few hours and it saves me a longer train ride or my parents having to come pick me up. On the occasion when I do have my car with me, I always offer rides back.”
Just think about all the gas money you’ll save from your nonexistent car! You don’t need to add one more thing to your list of things to worry about. Plus, I’m sure your parents would like to avoid driving six hours or more. They might even praise your proactiveness. Who knows—maybe you’ll even make a friend.
Freshman year you’ll most likely have a dorm to rely on for housing without much stress. But once the second semester hits, you’ll need to start looking for an apartment for next year. This group can help you find deals on places, available apartments, roommates and subleases. Looking for apartments can be a stressful time, especially if you wait too long. Trust me, I talk from experience. Give yourself some help by joining a housing group when sites like apartments.com or Zillow don’t cut it.
4. Campus tips
A new environment always welcomes a challenge. The information from your welcome packet only helps you so much—but let’s be real, you didn’t read that. You want to know the best places to eat and hang out. You’ll quickly find all of that and more from these groups. Students love to spread the word about deals and events around campus. This steppingstone helps jumpstart your college social life.
3. Study tips
Your newfound independence and endless socializing opportunities might make you forget that you still need to learn. While you might enjoy all the fun college offers, you still need to get that degree. This group can help, whether never learned how to study or your high school never taught you how to study properly. Here you get tips to help you study, pass exams and further your education. You’ll find posts about what works for others and find study advice that works for you. We will pass our exams and that’s a promise.
2. Course advice
Of course, you could go to Rate My Professor and look and their score and comments, but it might not give you with what you want. Sometimes the class you take Monday mornings doesn’t get referenced in the comments. That’s where this group comes in. This group offers a space for questions about professors and courses, as well as registration procedures. If you need the honest truth about your classes, your fellow peers got your back. Upperclassmen love passing on their wisdom, so you don’t make the same mistakes they did.
1. Plant exchange
I know what you might be thinking: how will this group possibly help you? Asking that question obviously indicates that you don’t own any plants. Nothing beats owning plants. They make great decor, bloom beautifully and cost less to take care of than a pet. You can find pictures, information, advice, buy, sell and trade plant babies!
“I wanted to get plants for my apartment, but I didn’t want to buy it from Hy-Vee or anything because I knew people had plants, they wanted to get rid of and I felt bad for buying new because those plants need a home,” University of Iowa alumnus Maya Skye said. “This group is a hidden gem that is a great open and loving community.”
This group sparkles like a hidden gem. You never realize how nice a community can be until you hang out with a bunch of plant moms. You might even wind up being a plant parent. These people will basically give a plant to you for free. Just don’t forget to water it.