For a lot of younger folks, the transition from highschool to college is a vital, and typically tough, life transition characterised by modifications in friendship teams, day by day routines, residing conditions, and actions in and out of doors of the classroom. Transitioning from highschool to college may be notably difficult for youth as a result of it signifies a shift in autonomy and a newfound freedom from mother and father and childhood, which may be intensified by social media.
Throughout interviews I performed with 35 younger folks approaching or transitioning from highschool to college, many youths stated that they anticipate or expertise new freedoms from parental guidelines related to social media and look at the transition as a chance to curate a brand new, extra mature, self on social media.
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A “Contemporary Begin”
Some youth defined that whereas in highschool, their mother and father took a precautionary and mistrustful stance towards their social media use, proscribing their social media use and/or suggesting different actions. In an interview, a 17-year-old named Jenny stated, “for me, social media is social and that’s why I’m doing it.” However Jenny stated her mother and father assume in any other case and are suspicious of her social media use. In consequence, Jenny expressed pleasure on the thought of going away to college and having a “contemporary begin” to precise herself on-line, or having fewer restrictions positioned on her social media use. For some younger folks, transitioning into college resulted in much less governance, much less compliance with the parental gaze, and fewer time worrying about what the parental figures of their life might imagine or say about their social media presence.
Altering Peer Teams
Like Jenny, different younger folks expressed the same sentiment—that social media present them with a “clear slate” when transitioning from highschool to college. A 21-year-old college scholar named Georgia stated that she did an “overhaul” of her buddy group from highschool to college to higher replicate who she was. She stated that when she entered college her peer group modified quite a bit as a result of the transition supplied her a “clear slate,” the place she didn’t know anybody and will put up with fewer worries about what others might imagine. For Adam, a 19-year-old college scholar, this friendship overhaul or clear slate on social media allowed him to make sense of who he’s now by “pushing away” the previous. Nora, a 21-year-old college scholar, additionally echoes this sentiment. Nora describes “restarting” her Instagram when beginning college, signifying development into the brand new self and experiences she imagines having at college.
For a lot of youths, not solely is the self now in a relentless state of flux the place self-identity modifications along with bigger life transitions—like beginning a college diploma—however the self is now seen or uncovered, permitting and maybe requiring younger folks to share their lives with others greater than ever earlier than. Whereas some youths are centered on navigating the anticipated judgement of oldsters, friends, and others by adjusting their behaviour on social media to align with a perceived gaze, others are centered on wiping their social media slate clear to curate a self that displays this essential life transition.