Charlie Potts, he/him/his, Gustavus Adolphus College
Michael Stebleton, he/him/his, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
First-year students, including students from marginalized populations, frequently experience mental health concerns in their transition to college. The pervasiveness of social media may exacerbate feelings of isolation rather than enhance a sense of belonging. Using findings from a qualitative study, we explore how social media use among first-year students affects perceptions of belonging and mental health. Participants will be presented with strategies for promoting belonging and mental health among first-years experiencing potentially negative impacts from social media, particularly as the social landscape continues to evolve for students during the COVID-19 pandemic.