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Being a University Student in the age of Social Media

Don’t forget you’re still a student, some of these people who banter and ‘fight’ on social media have jobs that bring them money. It will be silly of you – who is still waiting for 5k from home – to join them in the fight or spend your whole day watching them fight.

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Being a student is not easy. At all at all. From the unending assignments and practicals to the tough examination questions, the fear and constant worry of what next after school, the journey just seems like it would take an eternity to end. If you are now a student schooling in a Nigerian Federal institution, case closed! Better start praying and fasting so you can have it easy in school and graduate early enough.

Truth be told, it is not only ASUU and the many internal strikes that pose as stumbling blocks to students’ academic performance or early graduation. Social Media is also a big factor – big enough to land a student in several carry-overs and an extra year.

We live in a world where there are too many voices – loud enough to drown your own voice. We live in a world of too much information and many distractions. Everyone is saying something, everyone has an opinion, everyone is curating and sharing content and because everyone wants to be heard, they are struggling to be loud enough. Social Media can be likened to a market place with too many gist – if care is not taken, you will forget what you came to buy in the market and watch the many dramas unfolding till it becomes dark – and probably too late.

Have you ever tried to google something or get particular information from the internet and then you decide to ‘just enter Twitter small’? There’s a huge chance that by the time you realize what you’re doing, you’d have spent over one-hour scrolling through your timeline.

Being a student in this new age and time can be very tough, but it is not impossible to not be swayed by the use of social media. As a matter of fact, the advent of social media has made things easier for you. So are you a student? Here’s how you can make proper use of social media.

What Exactly Do you Want from Social Media?

Are you there to learn, meet people or just there to have fun? You should know that there’s nothing wrong with being on social media solely for the purpose of having fun, so don’t feel guilty if that’s what you want. Yes, there’s a lot of advice on why you should be making money on social media, learning skills, doing this and that, but if you decide that you don’t want to do all that and just have fun, your decision is valid too. No pressure. However, it is important to ensure that you don’t get carried away in such a way that you forget about your studies or other goals. You need to determine why you are on social media. If it is to make good connections, then start building it now. If it is to get jobs, then follow those who post about jobs. If it is to build a community, then start looking for like-minded people. Know why you’re there.

What Platforms Will Give You What You Want?

When you know what you want from social media, then it will be easier to determine what platform will be useful to you. If you are already looking to engage with career people, then you know LinkedIn is good for you. If you want to go into fashion and style, then Instagram will be your best app. If it is to build a community, then Facebook or Twitter is great. If you are looking for love, perhaps you need to try Tinder. If it is just for fun, all apps work. Now, this does not restrict the ‘use’ or role of each app, i.e, Instagram isn’t just for fashion and style and Facebook isn’t just for building a community. These apps can offer you much more. But it is important to know which of them will give you the best platform and leverage and which of them you are more comfortable with.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

After deciding what you want, don’t get carried away with the many shenanigans on the app. The attention span of people on social media is very fickle, don’t be like that. Don’t go there to learn more about your assignment and then get caught up in the latest celebrity gist. There is so much information on social media that will change your life for the better, use them. There are also people who have certain influence on social media, if you feel the need to reach out to them, then, by all means, do. What you shouldn’t do is turn yourself to a corporate beggar on social media and be begging for 2,000 Naira everywhere. Don’t lose credibility else people won’t take you seriously when you are in need of help.

Allocate Time for Your Books and Social Media

Don’t forget you’re still a student, some of these people who banter and ‘fight’ on social media have jobs that bring them money. It will be silly of you – who is still waiting for 5k from home – to join them in the fight or spend your whole day watching them fight.

If you find it difficult to take your eyes off your phone all the time, then it is best you allocate time for your books and time for social media. This requires discipline, but then, getting good grades isn’t beans, you have to work for it. Know when to study and when to go on Twitter.

Finally…

It is important to ensure that you use social media to enhance your academics, acquire more knowledge, learn, unlearn and relearn so many things.

It is also advisable to start making use of social media to start building a network, start scouting for jobs, start making important connections, get that online gig or side job – do all these now that you are in school. The ‘outside world’ is not all roses and chocolates.

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