The Dos and Don'ts of Social Media Etiquette During College Acceptance Time

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I was one of the people who applied to way too many schools when looking at colleges, which meant that I had 14 separate college letters to open. It's been over five years since I opened my very last envelope, but I can still remember the combination of anxiety and excitement I felt over each letter. Apparently I wasn't alone - while I talked to my close friends about our own pre-college acceptance jitters, I was able to learn the status of most of my classmates' college status simply by logging onto Facebook and scrolling through my news feed... and that wasn't always a good thing.

It's natural in today's world to document things as major as a college decision on social media, but now that I've had plenty of time outside of high school, I know that there are a ton of ways we shouldn't discuss our college plans online. What's okay to put online and which posts would be better discussed amongst friends? Here's a guide of dos and don'ts of posting online after those letters arrive.

Do: Announce when you've been accepted to your dream school

If you're itching to tell the world that you got into USC, by all means, go ahead! If you're planning on attending the school - or if you're committed to going so because you applied Early Decision - sharing it online is a perfectly acceptable way to spread the word.

Don't: Rant about getting rejected from your dream school

Sure, it's fine to write that you're bummed you didn't get into the place you had your heart set on going, but going on a tirade against the school is a true sign of immaturity. Plus, if you ever do consider reapplying to that school in the future, it won't look great to admissions officers who could see your post. (Because believe me - they have ways.)

Do: Congratulate friends on their own acceptances

Did your best friend just get into Stanford, which she's been talking about since you two were in diapers? Get psyched for her - even if you happened to get rejected from the same institution, it's nice to show that you support your pal's hard work.

Don't: Subtweet about friends who "didn't deserve" to get into a school

It doesn't matter if you don't name your classmate who got into Harvard with a C average because they were a legacy - making snide comments online isn't going to revoke their acceptance or do anything besides make you look like you have a bad case of sour grapes. If you absolutely must rant, do so in the confidence of friends offline, though working on a kickass admission essay would probably be a better use of your time.

Do: Show support for friends who are bummed about rejections

Your pal just got denied from her top choice school and, naturally, she's devastated. Sending her a quick Facebook message of support is an easy way to reach out and show her you care. A private message is even better.

Don't: Add to the chorus of bitterness

If your friend can't stop writing about how much her dream school sucks now that she's not attending, it's perfectly okay to stay quiet about it online - there's no reason to join in on the people bashing the institution or the other students who did get accepted.

Don't: Use the term "safety school"

One person's "safety school" is another person's reach, and saying that the University of Whatever is beneath you can be particularly hurtful. You never know who was hurt because they were rejected from the school you're shrugging off.

Do: Remember college acceptance time will come to an end

If you feel overwhelmed by the social media swarm, remember that this, too, will come to an end, and remember that it's perfectly fine not to report your own college status or discuss others' online. If college talk is all your social media feed has become, feel free to take a break from these sites. You have four awesome years ahead of you, wherever you end up, so don't stress.

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