As college students today, our social media tags have become almost synonymous with our names. We know that our friends, family, and even strangers can judge us based off of their phone screens just by reading our bios, scrolling through pictures, and viewing what posts we liked or were tagged it. So how do we create an aesthetic that’s impressive to our friends but also appropriate for family and potential employers? 

Anything posted on the internet is truly forever, so I have tried to err on the side of classy over college crazy. There’s no shame in posting fun pictures from campus tailgates or Greek events, but consider who might see those pictures and captions in the future. We all know someone with a flawless aesthetic made up of perfectly sequenced photos of an idealized life. Tropical vacations, extravagant meals, toned abs, and impeccable style—these are all the things we wish we had without any of the staged backgrounds. Social media has transformed into something beyond just a fun way to connect with friends; it’s now one of the first ways we present ourselves to the outside world.

Here are some tips on how to maintain a professional image while still having fun with the college lifestyle on social media. 

1. Follow and take inspiration from professionals you admire.

These could be leaders in the fields you’re interested in, employees at a specific company, or world leaders who advocate for issues important to you. Watch how they use social media as a tool to promote their personal brand and message and try to mimic that with your own posts.

 2. Find younger influencers with a positive and empowering message.

Influencers are the kings and queens of social media. They have taken a new technology and transformed it into a multi-million dollar industry. Watch how they edit their pictures, what they talk about in their captions, and how they present themselves in a fun yet professional way.

3. Recognize what field you want to go in, and tailor your posts appropriately

For instance, if your dream job is in Congress, you should be more careful with what you post than someone looking to go into the art industry. Of course, everyone should consider anything they post through a professional lens, but some professions are more forgiving than others when it comes to modesty on social media.

4. Don’t be afraid to post about what you’re passionate about!

Your Instagram or Facebook feed doesn’t need to be only pictures of you and your friends. Post about an exciting job opportunity or community service project. These posts will give your feed variety and leave an impact on future employers. 

Judgment concerns aside, social media is a fantastic tool to share your voice and engage with issues and ideas that you’re passionate about. Supporting your friends and building a network online is a fun and expressive way to show the world who you are. Don’t be dissuaded by concerns about minor style choices, and instead have fun with the possibilities!

COVER PHOTO: Wicklow News