Student bloggers offer 'behind-the-scenes' look at university life

February 22 2007

Current students, potential students – in fact, anyone with an Internet connection – can take a “behind the scenes” look at college life, Indiana State University-style, thanks to three student bloggers.

Megan Anderson, Gerald Smith, and Travis Walker are writing blogs to give potential students an idea of what to expect at ISU.

“It serves as a chance to let potential students take a look into the lives of students at ISU and what it can offer,” said Bill Herndon, the university’s Web content manager.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, almost 60 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 get information about a college or university via the Web. And of that, 90 percent make their first cuts in selecting a college based on what the Web sites offered.

“It’s important to know the influence of the Internet and just how many people are using it daily,” Herndon said. “The internet is just one of the means by which we can communicate with prospective students. The blog is a great way to expand their research and add a personal touch to the experience.”

The students were nominated by professors or through word of mouth and each agreed to try it.

“I’ve had many friends who’ve said that it’s a great idea and can help recruit students. Even help those already here like to read what I have to say,” said Anderson.

Each blogger tells of campus from a different perspective.

Anderson, a senior English major from Knox, is involved with several campus activities and has a very busy life serving as a resident assistant and an intern for the university’s Office of Communications and Marketing.

“The blog is another opportunity for me to continue writing,” Anderson said. “It’s my passion and I love it.”

She keys into what it takes to be a resident assistant and how much responsibility and time it can take. She also writes about how her classes are going, and how much hard work it is to keep up and do well.

Several posts also include some personal notes, including her efforts to land a job and plan her upcoming wedding. Students who may be going through similar issues or who may want to know more about being an RA or intern, can send Anderson a comment responding to one of her blog entries.

Smith, a sophomore business major from Avon, and Walker, a sophomore insurance and risk management major from Terre Haute, blog about their social life and the importance of friends.

Smith includes his experiences with friends in almost every post. One post includes a slide show of pictures with friends and different events on the ISU campus.

As noted in his blog, a key issue in Smith’s life has been finding an internship.

“I’ve gone to several career fairs just trying to find an internship that will help me in the future,” Smith said. “It’s been tough, but I have found one that suits my needs and wants.”

Many students are able to relate to Smith’s difficulties with internship exploration, classes and the importance of friends.

Walker’s blog includes going to career fairs and attending classes as well as gearing up for several social events. He tells of his plans to go to Panama City, Fla. for spring break.

Walker’s blog notes how important it is for students to get involved on campus. He credits Gamma Iota Sigma, the insurance fraternity to which be belongs, for is current job and future internship.

Each of the bloggers tries to do at least one update each week. They are also able to display pictures and video.

“Taking part in the blog makes me feel important. I have the potential to impact the decision of a high school student to choose ISU,” Walker said.

While they exercise discretion when it comes to naming fellow classmates and friends, the bloggers are free to record true accounts of events. They include every aspect of their lives, in order for readers to get the whole impact of what life is like at Indiana State.

Begun in January as a pilot project, ISU’s entry into blogging will likely expand, according to Herndon.

“We have plans next year to include a professor and possibly more students,” he said

Combining new technology with a bit of personality can go a long way, and has potential to bring in more students and open the eyes of current students to different activities on campus, Herndon said.

Check out the latest from ISU’s three student bloggers at blogs.indstate.edu.

Contact: William Herndon, Web content manager, Indiana State University, (812) 237-8037 or wherndon@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Brianna Bullerdick, media relations intern, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3773 or bbullerdick@mymail.indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

Three student bloggers serve up an uncensored look at life as an Indiana State University student. They write about classes, extra-curricular activities, jobs and more.

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