As millions of freshers head to uni, new research from VoucherCodes.co.uk reveals more than two-thirds (68 per cent) will spend the weeks before the start of term freshening up their social networking profiles in a bid to appear cooler to their new uni mates.
Those all important first-online-impressions are essential for the 70 per cent of students that use social media sites, with over a quarter (27 per cent) admitting they buy new outfits because they’re worried about being seen in the same outfit twice by new uni friends and one in six (15 per cent) hiding their relationship status before starting their course.
One in seven (14 per cent) students confesses they’ve deleted pictures on social media profiles that make them seem uncool, while almost one in ten (9 per cent) have deleted comments from friends which they felt dragged down their online image. One in eight (12 per cent) students even admit to exaggerating posts in the run up to university to make their lives appear more exciting to new Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
The research shows that the pre-uni social media refresh is vital for social-media addicted students. Nearly one in five (19 per cent) check their profiles up to 30 times a day, spending six minutes on average each time they log on. At an average of three hours per day - nearly two months a year - it’s easy to see why freshers are so aware of how they present themselves to peers online.
Of those students using their digital “pre-fresh” as a way to conceal certain aspects of their personal life engineering students appear the most underhand - over a quarter (27 per cent) admit they conceal their relationship status from potential new friends. Medics on the other hand are the most truthful (8 per cent).
For 17 per cent of students “what happens at uni, stays at uni” as they choose to block their parents from viewing their online profiles. Those travelling to universities in Wales are the most keen to sever their parental ties online with one in four (28 per cent) limiting what their folks can see.
Anita Naik, consumer editor at VoucherCodes.co.uk commented: “The only preparation that used to take place pre-university was to find accommodation and purchase the essentials for student life, but social media adds another level of worry for young people who are looking to make a good online impression with their new uni mates.
“For the 27 per cent of students concerned about being tagged in the same outfit twice, mix and match items for a new look. Alternatively, freshers should consider hosting a swap shop with friends from home before they leave for uni if they want start with a whole new wardrobe without breaking the bank.”
Notes to editors:
Survey of 750 UK students was conducted by One Poll on behalf of VoucherCodes.co.uk on 21st -30th August 2013.