The class of 2012, more than any class before them, are on pace to use social networking website Facebook to revolutionize the transition period from high school to college. Well before actually meeting in person, the 1,200 members of the Facebook group “GWU Class of 2012 (ONE GROUP)” have already shared pictures from campus visits, complained about financial aid packages, and even sought roommates for the fall.
Created by fellow incoming undergraduate freshman Conor Rogers, the group adds about 25 new members, creates 20 new discussion board topics, and garners 75 new wall posts from future freshmen each day.
I hope people get to meet each other, meet possible roommates, and plan out stuff to do at GW. Everyone's very excited, and it's a good place to get it all out.The trend began with the class of 2011, whose group still has 1,578 members. By comparison, Facebook groups for the classes of 2010 and 2008 have only 322 and 13 members, respectively. No group exists for the class of 2009.
With thousands of students still undecided about their college futures, however, the group for class of 2012 is on pace to surpass the one for 2011.
Amongst students for the class of 2012, networking has already begun for students with similar interests and future activities. College Democrats, College Republicans, and even GW's women's rowing team have all formed groups hoping to attract and inform potential new members.
"I created the group upon the suggestion of my coach, who was looking for a way for the freshmen recruits to converse and possibly discuss housing options for next year," junior Bonnie Scott, captain of the women's rowing team, said. "I also hope that the new freshmen will correspond with the current team members, ask questions, and get to know us a little bit before they get to school."The networking on Facebook, however, isn't limited to the undergraduate classes, as future students of GW's School of Medicine also formed a Facebook group, independent of a Google Group that the admissions office created for them. There are 47 members in both, even though students had to seek out the Facebook group, while they were automatically added to the message board.
“I thought [the message board] was helpful, but nearly everyone uses Facebook,” Kim Lam, admitted student and creator of the group, said. “I thought it'd be more effective to begin a discussion [on Facebook].”Given Facebook's nearly 75 million members worldwide, it's likely only a matter of time before a group for the class of 2013 pops up.