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It’s your sophomore year and your favorite YouTuber just posted a video. You quickly click on the title “College Acceptances 2020: How did I do?” You watch as the senior giggles and claps, calling their family and friends to let them know where they got in and you smile as their excitement and energy relays onto you.
As college acceptances are starting to come out, seniors all over the country anxiously await their results. Younger students are also waiting for college acceptances, not because they want to know where they got in, but because they want to know where others got in. This trend was first popularized on YouTube and is starting on TikTok as well: students recording themselves react to the schools they got into.
While getting into college is a very exciting experience, not everyone has the jumping up and down, screaming and clapping response to their college acceptance that most people expect. There are so many factors to applying and going to college that people fail to consider when they watch others find out where they got in.
First off, college is expensive. We all know that, but some people may apply to their dream school with the hopes of scholarships and financial aid that will allow them to attend their dream college. While it is still very exciting to get into a school, seeing that you have not been granted enough money to go, can definitely damper the mood and cause someone to be less excited.
Also, students tend to apply to more than one school, with the famous “reach, target, safety” mentality. While getting into any college is thrilling, getting into a safety school that isn’t necessarily a top choice, can make students less excited as one expects.
Lastly, getting into college signifies a big change. In less than a year, students will be living away from home, becoming an independent individual that has to figure everything out on their own. They are leaving their friends and the place they have known for so long. This is really scary to many and while getting accepted is exciting, it can be muted by the thoughts and fears of having to be away from home for the first time.
The idea that each senior has to jump up and down every time they hear back from a college has been set up by all of the trends that are seen all over social media. However, it should be okay that seniors don’t necessarily throw a party every time they get into a school. There are so many emotions that come with getting into college that people don’t consider when watching a TikTok or YouTube video.
It should not be expected that a senior is going to go crazy with happiness every time they hear back from a school. There is an over-romanticization of college acceptances that we need to break as it puts pressure on other seniors to put out emotions that they don’t necessarily feel, and can even result in them feeling guilty for not being happy or grateful enough. Every senior is happy and relieved when they get into a college they applied to, but there is so much more behind the screen that we do not know about.
We have to accept that everyone has different reactions to life changing news and acknowledge the fears and worries that come with getting accepted. There is a lot to process in a short period of time, so let’s become okay with whatever reaction is given to us, whether it is from a YouTube video, a TikTok or even the reaction we give to our parents.