What would I do without social media?! From the endless memes to the valuable information I receive daily, social media is a space for entertainment and growth. It is a window for networking, relationship building, and countless funny cat videos. Since my time as a graduate student at Cal State Fullerton, I have used social media as a platform to develop myself within the world of student affairs.
On Twitter, I gained community in #SAchat, #SAgrad, and even #SAfit. Those three hashtags have helped me connect with others that not only had similar questions but also some amazing advice on how to navigate the field of student affairs. During my first #SApro job search, I received a great deal of validation, mentorship, and the capital I needed to understand the #SAsearch through the use of Twitter.
In addition to Twitter, I used Facebook for the job search. I found out about my first #SApro job through a NASPA Facebook group. I connected with someone in that department, and that person not only became my coworker but also one of my best friends. While on the topic of Facebook groups, I know there are many! Every student affairs Facebook group has its own flavor, and you have to find the space that works for you.
I try to present my authentic self the same way on and off the digital screen.
The way I present myself isn’t very different in either of these spaces; I prefer to remain as consistent as possible. What you get from me on social media is what you get in real life. I identify as a social justice advocate, bridge-builder, and scholar practitioner. I will talk to you about that over a computer screen or in line while I wait for my matcha green tea latte.
Now that I am in my second #SApro job, I continue to use Facebook; through my role as one of the NASPA Region VI Co-Representatives for the New Professionals and Graduate Students Knowledge Community, I post about jobs across our region and about general opportunities for new professional and graduate student development. I also seek advice and explore what other campuses are doing in regards to programming, advising, etc. across various student affairs groups though social media.
As an #SApro, I use Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date on higher education trends, praxis, and professional development opportunities. Both are a great avenue to connect with others like yourself. When the connection is there, you will know. It’s a great feeling when you meet someone at a conference that you have been talking to on social media. It’s like meeting your pen pal for the first time! So whether you need your daily cat video or a post on how to apply theory to practice, you should consider using social media, as it could be the key to your next door of opportunity.