New Yahoo! group lets freshmen meet early
For those upperclassmen for whom pre-orientation means only one thing-new dating prospects-now there’s another resource, and this one offers more depth than Faces.
Incoming students are sharing their hopes, dreams and screen names online with other freshmen on the Yahoo! group wustl2008. In a trend that started last year, students newly accepted to the University have formed an online group to get a head start on college life.
Last year’s members say the concept really works.
“I have been in contact with a lot of people from last year’s group,” said rising sophomore Kevin Li. “And some of the people I met from there are now my closest friends. I mean it’s really what you make of it.”
Li is so enthusiastic that he’s helping this year’s freshmen with their group.
This year, though, things are moving more slowly. As opposed to the 400-odd students who joined up last year, this year’s group boasts about 140 freshmen.
Getting to know you
On the site, freshmen can post and respond to messages, which are then sent to every member. Students compare notes on anything: pre-orientation programs, time spent on the computer or SAT scores.
These postings give students a chance to be front-runners in University gossip. One rumor circulated that Howard Stern’s daughter will move in with the other new freshmen this August. (The University tells Student Life this appears to be untrue.)
Group members can also vote in a variety of polls. Students compare potential majors, where else they were admitted and plans on going Greek.
The polls also help students gauge their fellow classmates’ political sentiments. Students can weigh in on the reinstitution of the draft or the situation in Iraq.
But participants are most likely to vote on issues more pressing to an apprehensive college freshman, such as: “Are you still a virgin?” (Nearly 69 percent say yes.) “What are you looking for in a guy?” (Looks, sense of humor, or his soft side.) And most pressingly: “Is it pop, soda, or simply coke?” (It’s soda, evidently.)
Students say meeting other freshmen online has helped assuage their first-day-of-school-jitters. Several plan to meet up on move-in day to compare notes-and see if friendships formed in a chat room will hold up on the South 40.
“It’ll be really fun to meet everyone in person. I’m a little apprehensive about the relationships transitioning from online to real life, but I think it’ll work out fine,” said Anna Dinndorf, who joined the group in December after being admitted early decision to the University. “It’s a really great thing to have built in right away.”
At least chatting face-to-face over a game of Candy Land in Ursa’s is less of a strain on the wrists.
“I am positively addicted to the boards and the people. Overall, I probably spend about seven hours each day in the chat rooms, on the boards, and in individual IM conversations,” said Dinndorf. “I swear I do have a life, too, though!”
However, some students are hoping for a little bit more.
“There have been some guys who were like ‘All you people, especially girls, need to IM me,’” said Daniel Milstein. “That’s another thing that’s surprised me, that someone would actually say that.”
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