Twitter and Orientation

One of the first things I did after starting my NODA internship was volunteer to help with social media in the office. Managing social media accounts and engaging with students online is something I love to do, and I try to create these opportunities (and be helpful) whenever I can!

YFY

This year, instead of creating a Facebook page and Twitter account for SOAR 2013, the office used the @UNCGYFY or Your First Year accounts.

We enhanced our tweets about SOAR with a hashtag. Find out what hashtag your students are using. Our office decided to use #UNCG17 for our tweets about SOAR. We answered questions that students were asking about SOAR via that hashtag. Don’t overload or spam a hashtag, but if the content is relevant for a specific hashtag definitely use it.

At the beginning of the June sessions we added a picture taking opportunity to the first small group script. At the end of the small group the SOS (Spartan Orientation Staff member) would take their group somewhere nearby for pictures. Students were very creative and we were able to retweet the picture (whether it came from an SOS or a new student). This activity allowed us to share SOAR content with the Twitter community and create a lasting photo memory for these students from SOAR. I wish I had a picture from my Orientation session in 2008!

The social media chair (a returner SOS) organized a Twitter competition each session. He asked the students to follow us and tweet their best picture to our account, and they awarded a gift certificate to the student with the winning picture at the evening session.

Lastly, some numbers to be proud of:
On May 13 the UNCGYFY Twitter account had 202 followers.
On July 10, after 8 SOAR Sessions during the month of June, the account has 506 followers!

I enjoy following my alma mater @NCSUOrientation and their summer orientation activities on Twitter. All of their OL’s have a Twitter account and the content is super fun! What are some useful ways to use Twitter with summer orientation? I’m starting a Twitter list here – what accounts do you recommend?

Orientation Programs and Running

I knew the long hours of orientation would challenge my running schedule this summer. My Nike+ data shows it too: 56.9 miles in June compared to 76.8 miles in May. As a runner, I was feeling down about the missed days, missed miles, missed personal reflection time, missed exercise, and so-on. Running a race on the day after our last orientation session was the perfect way to re-energize, re-motivate, and re-inspire the runner in me. Why? Because it proved that I could still run a 10K. It provided an outlet for me to relax and release all the stress of 8 amazing (but long) orientation sessions in June. Lastly, I ran it with no goals or expectations for finishing time – making it my most relaxing race yet! I plan to keep this in mind as I plan for the future or experience other extra-busy life moments (month after comps? Let’s run a race!)

2013 Freedom Run with my Dad

2013 Freedom Run with my Dad

A little about the race: the Fun Fourth Freedom 10K is a Greensboro tradition. It takes place the Saturday before the Fourth of July, which is usually a really hot day. This year the temperatures were pleasant and mild at the start, but warmed up quickly as the race went on. This course starts in downtown Greensboro and takes the runners through neighborhoods, so most of it was in the shade. One of two hills I distinctly remember from the course was near the finish and the volunteers cheering us up that hill really helped me finish strong.

I hope that no matter your responsibilities you are finding ways to relax and reenergize this summer. Participating in a 10K, even with limited training, was the right activity for me. What works for you?