Photo by Sapna David.
For many WCHS students, early December tends to be a time of lethargy as students look forward to winter break. But for seniors, the weeks leading up to break are the dreaded Early Decision weeks. As the days pass by, many seniors are on edge, anticipating letters from their dream schools.
Gen Z is often categorized as the generation of social media. We tend to post everything, to share everything. It all goes online.
College reaction videos are all over Youtube, but now something new is becoming customary of teenagers looking to highlight college acceptances– Instagram stories. These stories often start with “congrats on..” or “best friend off to..”.
Days leading up to the decision releases, seniors are often constantly refreshing their portals and emails. Students lose sleep over the nerve-wracking anticipation. And when the decision does come out, it often either makes the student ecstatic or it breaks them.
Whenever there is a decision release, there is a spam of Instagram stories. They are friends congratulating their friends on the school they got into.
While one friend is congratulating, another friend is consoling.
Those that are accepted receive dozens of stories from their friends congratulating them. Many of them repost these stories just to show their followers the congratulatory posts. Those that are not accepted are not able to enjoy what would be a normal thing, scrolling through social media, because these stories can be a slap in the face. They are a reminder of rejection.
According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), 4% more students applied to college in 2018 than in 2017, but only 65.4 percent of those students were accepted.
Seeing all the stories can really hurt those that were rejected from their dream school, they wish it was them in the situation. Social media can be a toxic space during this time. Seeing over half the school get into big name schools and Ivys can often diminish the pride that others feel in their top schools, feeling less than the people who are going to Princeton or Cornell.
Although it is important to recognize the hard work that friends have put in and what they have achieved, it is best to wait a little bit for others to process their decisions before making big and over the top announcements.
Not only can these posts rub pride in the faces of people who were not accepted, it often seems to be a competition to see who can get more congratulatory posts. Those that repost their stories seem to be showing just how many people are proud of them. For those that are not big on sharing their college news or do not have a lot of close friends, this can be hard to see. The over the top reveal of bed decorating can be especially hard as well. Not only for those who amy not have a lot of friends but for those that cannot afford all the money that is spilled on this.
For those that did not apply early decision, there is a day designated for college commitment, May 1st. Seniors across the country wear their school’s shirt to school, showing their accomplishments and commitment to the neck four years of their lives.
As more and more colleges release decisions, be mindful of those that are hurting around you before posting these stories before they have had time to heal.