If you’re trying to use social media to keep track of what’s going on on campus but beyond your immediate circle of friends, it can be difficult to know where to begin. On stranger-friendly social media (Twitter and Google , as opposed to Facebook), it’s difficult to actually find fellow students or campus organizations that you aren’t already familiar with.

But, if you can manage it, social media gives you a much easier way to find out about what’s happening than your other option–long email newsletters from various campus groups. However, it can be done! Here are three simple ways to find out what’s going on around you.

Find out who your university follows: If you’re looking for official club accounts or prominent alumni, look at who your official university Twitter account is following. Those people are more likely to be affiliated with the university in some capacity (unlike the account’s followers, who may just be spambots or unaffiliated), and if you’re looking for news from more specific parts of your university, like on-campus committees, this is where you’ll find those accounts.

Search for mentions of your university: This is a good way to keep track of what people are doing right now near your school. For example, a cursory search for Emory on Twitter returned a bunch of tweets about the two big things on campus tonight: free cupcakes near the dining hall, and a social media forum hosted by CNN. On a Friday or Saturday night, this search will likely turn up news of an interesting party or concert that you would otherwise not know about. If you’re stuck in a rut, use this method to find new things happening within the next day or two.

Look for your fake university account: Chances are high that if your university can be made fun of, someone is doing it over at @FakeYourSchool. Sometimes this will be a bust–the account will have died, or it will be angry rather than funny–but if the person managing your school’s fake account is doing it well, their tweets will give you a look at what issues are bugging students on campus and aren’t able to be addressed in the school paper. It’s like an on-campus version of The Onion.

None of these methods can substitute for actual human interaction, but if you’re looking to stay abreast of what’s happening on your campus without slogging through email after email, social media can be a lifesaver.