Nelson Suarez, an incoming Computer Science freshman from Pompano Beach High School, runs an Instagram page for his graduating class. Originally intending to introduce incoming students to each other, it now serves to build a community.

Courtesy Nelson Suarez

“I didn’t wanna go to a school not knowing anyone,” said Suarez. He knows of a few students from his high school also going to Florida Poly but isn’t close to them.

Unable to find social media for his class year, or any class year, Suarez, working with admissions counselors, went ahead and made an Instagram page.

About the Instagram page, “I thought it would be more impactful [since] we’re at home, and we can’t go to our school [to] make a sense of community.” said Suarez. “It makes you feel welcome once you get there.”

In typical fashion, there is an accompanying discord linked in the bio. “They were all saying how they want to be the tightest class and the class that knows each other,” recalled Suarez. The server is fairly active discussing general questions about campus and dorms as well as planning for meetups and poolside BBQs. 

Suarez had planned to study at the University of Central Florida. However, a fast admissions decision and friendly counselors swayed Suarez to become a Phoenix.

Suarez has not yet toured the campus and is worried that campus may not be open come fall but remains hopeful it will. He looks forward to taking major-specific classes and “waking up at a normal time.”

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Jason Chua is the founder and Editor in Chief of Layers. For questions, comments, or concerns about this or other stories, email or tweet @layers_media

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