I was recently at an admissions event when the dean of admission mentioned inappropriate email addresses that the college routinely receives. You know the ones; partygirl@xxx or icarryguns@zzz. The dean made it very clear that they routinely reject such applications based simply on the applicant’s email address. More and more colleges are also starting to check students applicants out on the social media like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It is not just email addresses that are being examined but the general online presence of the student applicant.
Many students feel that it is not fair that they have to be concerned about their online personalities when dealing with college admissions. But the issue actually goes much deeper than that. Many larger employers have also indicated that they are checking out job applicants web pages on social media sites.
Many students like to be different and sometimes shocking with their email addresses and web pages. But students need to realize that they are considered adults and certain things are not necessarily appropriate in the real world. Cyberspace may seem like a different reality but it is actually just a different form. Colleges are looking for interesting students but that doesn’t mean they want to admit someone who they feel might be a security risk or a student who will spend all of their time partying. If you want an interesting email address, use some version of your favorite activity as your email name. laxguy123@zzz if you are an avid lacrosse player for instance. This has the added advantage of letting the college know that you really are serious about your activity if you use an email address such as this. And in posting on social media, consider whether the post, or picture, would be something that you would want a stranger to judge you by. If you are comfortable with being associated with the post or picture then go ahead and post. Most people using common sense will know what is and is not appropriate for a posting.
For college application purposes, and later in life when you are looking for a job, just make sure that your online self and your real self know and like each other.