Camila Leiva ‘21
“So proud of you! Congrats on (enter prestigious college name here)!!”
I’m sure you’ve seen, and even posted, this exact Instagram story before. Seniors sharing their friends’ college decisions on social media is not a new phenomenon, it’s been around for as long as I’ve been in high school and probably before.
Although I have many friends who have committed and/or been accepted to their top choice colleges, I have chosen to stray from the popular choice of posting about it on my social media accounts. Rather, I’ve chosen to reserve the space for my friends’ deferrals and rejections for a multitude of reasons.
For me, posting a college acceptance to my story would seem insincere and distant. I don’t see a reason to express how proud I am of my friends to all of my Instagram followers. Contacting and congratulating them in private is my way of genuinely expressing my excitement for them. I have found that cultivating relationships in private, rather than on a platform where irrelevant people can see, brings me much less anxiety and more genuine friendships.
“But Camila, you’re not private about rejections...” Okay true. You got me. Although I have tried to stay more private about my life recently, I believe posting rejections reaps more positives than negatives. Rejections are more commonplace than acceptances, but they’re seen as a matter to keep private: an embarrassment of yourself and your achievements. But it’s just a part of the gamble of the college process that needs to be normalized. A rejected student’s work is not any less noteworthy or valuable than that of an accepted one. Defining the achievements and intelligence of a person by what college they get into is not productive, and it can lead to rejected students themselves thinking they are less worthy.
It can be exhausting to see everyone get into college when you haven’t been accepted to a single one, or not one of your top choices. You truly start to feel it wear down on you after a while. If you aren’t or haven’t been a senior, you might not know what I’m talking about, but you will in a few years. It’s taxing and tiring, and it makes me want to delete the entire Instagram app altogether sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I am SO happy for my fellow 2021 stars that are getting into colleges perfect for them. I just feel left behind sometimes, and I know I’m not alone in this feeling. *crying emoji*
Lastly, ask yourself what you would do if a close friend decided to go to community college or trade school? Would you post for them? This is a question you should ask yourself. They could have chosen it for a multitude of reasons - from economic to access. Since we don’t see this decision much, or even at all, on the Close, we fail to understand how common of a choice it is. The bubble of privilege we live in does not allow us to see the outside perspective on community college and trade schools. Parents and students alike look down upon students who choose these paths, and to change the narrative some, I’ve chosen to stop posting college acceptances.
I don’t care where my friends go to college. I am always proud of them and support them in whatever ways they need. If you or your friends go to community college, I hope you will also support yourself and/or your friends as much as you would if they went to a traditional four-year university.