You can’t go online these days without seeing a new article about the latest and greatest social media site: Pinterest. Reese Witherspoon is talking about it, big brands like Kate Spade are using it as part of their digital strategy, and it has soared to more than 10.4 million registered users in a short amount of time.
The phrase most often used to describe it is “addicting,” and the premise is simple: It’s a virtual bulletin board. Users share quotes, recipes, DIY projects, cute puppy pictures and much more — better known as “pins.” Other users in their networks discover these images and “re-pin” the ones they like. Then those networks share the ones they like, and so on and so forth — you can easily see how viral one piece of content can become.
And while, as college students, it can feel like the last thing you need is one more site to waste your time on, Pinterest really has some terrific benefits that can help make your college experience a little bit better. Here are a few ways:
Dorm room design ideas. Maybe it’s your second year staying in the same dorm room, and you’re feeling a little uninspired by the shag carpet underneath you, and the lava lamp chilling on your bookshelf. Pinterest has great ideas that can help you create the dorm room of your dreams. Users often post pins of products on actual websites, so it’s easy to locate the source of that pinstriped comforter you love and make the purchase. You can also find great DIY art projects that can turn a white wall into a “wow” wall, like this one.
Simple snack and dinner ideas. You may have purchased a meal plan in your residence hall’s cafeteria, but there will be times when it’s closed or when you’re feeling a little too lazy to schlep over to it. Pinterest offers a seemingly endless source of inspiration for quick snacks that go beyond a pack of Ramen. Or maybe you have access to a full kitchen, and you just want to whip up a meal that also doesn’t require 14 different random ingredients, like cumin, that you’ll probably never have in your cupboard. Chicken and ranch enchiladas? Yes, please.
School spirit ideas. Let’s face it: We don’t always have $55 to drop on a hoodie in the college bookstore. Pinterest has great examples of do-it-yourself wreaths, headbands, door signs and more that will help you cheer on your team without breaking the bank. A great example of one such board is this “I love USC” one. Now you can get decked out in Trojan gear — and any other school’s — in more ways than you ever thought possible.
Organization ideas. If you’re living in a dorm room, it becomes imperative to be efficient with your storage space in order to maximize your living space. Pinterest has a plethora of ideas and “life hacks” that can help you hide clunky cords, turn bookshelves into laundry storage, beef up your shelf space and more. One of the best ideas was a computer desk that had stacked books for legs. Stable? Maybe not, but it definitely gets the creative juices flowing.
Career exploration. Jobs and career boards like this one make it easy to get your questions answered, such as “How much can a family nurse practitioner expect to earn in a year?” if you’re pursuing a career in nursing. Other boards highlight great career-centric books and resources, such as “Linchpin” by Seth Godin, or infographics that feature the 10 hottest careers that are “recession-proof.” Or maybe you’re a photographer at heart who just wants to be inspired by other people’s great snapshots — a quick search for “photography” on Pinterest yields an incredible amount of examples that are sure to inspire you. If you have a desire to learn, the site can be a great resource for how-to’s and step-by-steps.