For high school seniors, this time of year bring mailbox treasures that include skinny (boo!) and fat (yay!) envelopes from colleges across the country. Your friends probably know where you applied, and vice versa, but the tricky part is telling people which schools gave you the warm hug of acceptance and which tossed your app into the no-way-no-how-not-ever pile.
During this high-stress season, some students wear their IRL emoticons on their varsity-jacket sleeves—tears of joy and pain have been known to fall in a single crying session—while others bottle everything up and hope they don’t explode. Unless you plan to excommunicate all your friends after graduating, you’ll likely give up the goods on which institution you plan to attend. But you might think twice about divulging the rejections. We remember having the same top-choice school as our best friend; he got in, we didn’t. And to make a long story short, there’s no longer an F on the end of BFF.
Adding to the confusion is the pesky question of how to react to your friends’ news. You need to decide now if you're going to whip out cartwheels of joy should your bestie get a full ride to her first choice. And hopefully you have a plan if she gets rejected everywhere.
Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled a list of scientifically proven methods for effectively managing this agonizing period.
Yes, we know, teenagers are already ambivalent about everything from family vacations to current events to running the mile in gym class, but is there anything better to be ambivalent about than something that so many people get so worked up about?
Try saying: “Yeah, I might go to college. Or if I don’t get in, I might just keep working at Blockbuster. I dunno, I kind of like the shirts.”
Nothing undercuts someone else’s success like you taking way too much pleasure in it. If you’re taken seriously, you’ll just earn a reputation as a really supportive friend.
Try saying: “I am so absolutely jazzed and fired up and tickled freaking pink about your comprehensive financial aid package that I could literally just French kiss you right this instant.”
Wrapping yourself in a shroud of silence and mystery is a great way to pique people's interest. Add to your mystique by acting viciously insulted if anyone asks about your post-high school affairs. (No, the other kind of affairs.)
Try saying: Nothing. At. All.
Stone Cold Truthfulness
Everyone has one of those too-honest friends who runs his/her mouth and then gets defensive when someone takes something he/she said “personally.” You can avoid the awkwardness of dealing with this person by becoming that person yourself.
Try saying: “You know, it doesn't matter what college you go to. You're just going to sleep with a ton of guys! And it’s not like you’ll be in love with them or anything!”
Feel free to frustrate your peers, teachers, and parents to no perceivable end by adopting a hopelessly cynical attitude toward the whole higher education enterprise. Extra credit if you have no good reason for copping this ‘tude considering the charmed life you’ve led.
Try saying: “Education is great, in theory. It might be worth pursuing if the world wasn’t full of suffering and we weren’t all going to die someday.”
What’s your personal code of etiquette during this pressure-packed season?