As a high school senior who applied Regular Decision to all of my schools, I have been seeing Facebook posts for months jubilantly proclaiming college acceptances as my classmates have gotten the much-awaited news. In just a couple of weeks I will be hearing back from colleges as well; and I could really use some advice as to how to handle the whole Facebook situation.
For starters, I applied to a lot of, let's call it, 'high-profile' schools, and I know there are a lot of people who are really curious to see where I get in. Given the acceptance rates of such schools, I'm not expecting to get into more than one or two, if that. But everyone knows what day those decisions come out and will be waiting to see what acceptances (or lack of acceptances) that my fellow students and I post. I feel a little bit like I'm forced to post my acceptances, otherwise everyone will assume I was rejected, but at the same time I don't really mind - after all, I'm only human, and all the 'likes' and congratulatory comments that people get are really quite nice! However, I don't want to be obnoxious, so I'm not sure if I should post a new status for every school that I hear from or wait a few days and post them all together, and then the final post when I at last know where I'm definitely going... there're so many ways to approach this! Then, to complicate matters, my class has a whole facebook group where people post their college acceptances, so if I follow the protocol my classmates have been using, I would have to post every acceptance there also.
I know this is a rather trivial thing to be worrying about, but I really don't know what the right way to share my college acceptances without being annoying/hurting other people's feelings who didn't get in, or drawing attention to my own rejections... and from things friends of mine/other classmates have been saying, I'm fairly certain that I'm not the only one who has been wondering about this! So, any advice as to the etiquette/do's and don'ts of posting college acceptances on Facebook would be greatly appreciated.
First things first: sadly, thanks to the minor lag time between when you guys send your letters and when I can answer them, I suspect that your college acceptances are already in—and that, as such, you’ve already gone ahead and done whatever it is that you went and did. But for the sake of any college-bound seniors still waiting to hear from schools, and for the sake of any college-bound non-seniors who enjoy planning ahead, here’s the deal with making a big, public, digital spectacle of your college acceptance process:
Don’t do it.
And yes, I know this probably makes me seem hopelessly old-fashioned and out of touch, and yes, I know that not doing it will just put you in a tiny minority of holdbacks while the college acceptance tallies keep rolling on like an unstoppable tide of braggadocio. But neither of these things change the fact that indiscriminately broadcasting the minutiae of your achievements to the population at large is a totally gauche, classless thing to do—whether it’s by posting it on Facebook, sending a mass mailing, or walking into a crowded room and shouting, “What has two thumbs and just got into Harvard, Yale, and Cornell? THIS GUY!”
Plus, it has the unintended side effect of turning the whole college admissions process into an even bigger compare-a-thon than it already is—fostering competition and resentment between everyone involved, and making the people without the credentials, connections, means, or interest to attend this or that top-tier school feel like garbage. (Which, if my inbox is any indication, is a whole lot of people.)
So, what’s the classy way to handle your college acceptances? Here’s my suggestion: stay out of the fray until you’ve heard from all your prospective schools, and then post a status update announcing only which one you’ll be attending. (And for the love, please skip the school-specific Facebook forum where everyone goes to crow about their various acceptances. Because seriously, ewww. This is the kind of digital-age etiquette-flouting that would have Emily Post not just spinning in her grave, but reanimating, clawing her way above ground, and then eating the faces of those participating. AND NOBODY WANTS THAT.)
And then, you can happily bask in the accolades knowing that you took the high road, that you didn’t do it at anyone else’s expense, and that you’ve taken one small step on behalf of human decency to put the emphasis in the application process back where it belongs.
Because let’s be real, the point of applying to college isn’t to see where you get in. It’s to find out where you’re going—and then go there.
How did you deal with the announcement of your college acceptances? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.