One of the most difficult parts about the college admissions process is the issue of sharing. In a world where we share everything from our first (or millionth) pumpkin spice latte to our grandma’s 92nd birthday party, it’s difficult to know what is (and isn’t) appropriate when it comes to sharing news about the college admissions process. I know what you’re thinking: “It’s MY college admissions process, why should it matter what I share?” but the thing is, while your results are yours alone, you’re not the only one going through the process. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from boasting about your 2400s, acceptances to every single college in the world, and scholarships that make US debt seem like pennies… but I can assure you, it isn’t going to make you many friends. There are three major types of sharing: college list, stats, and acceptances, and I have a couple tips for each situation.
When you’re applying to college, it’s probably natural to be curious about whether you have “competition” within your friend group (even though if both of you are properly qualified and meet the standards of what the school is looking for, they honestly DON’T care that you’re from the same high school. However, for many students it’s a sore subject to discuss what schools they are applying to, whether it be that they are nervous about rejection or just like to keep some things private. I’ve found that when it comes to where people are applying, it is okay to offer up information that you feel comfortable sharing, but you shouldn’t prod them to tell you their list.
The next major area of the process is stats: grades, SATs, ACTS, etc. As opposed to with college lists, it really isn’t appropriate to share your personal stats unless someone directly asks and it’s something you feel comfortable sharing. On the other hand, it’s okay to ask someone their stats, but if they say they aren’t comfortable sharing, it should be left at that. It also isn’t right to assume that just because someone doesn’t want to flaunt their stats they are the weaker applicants. Personally, I know plenty of people who chose to keep their own stats to themselves purely because they didn’t feel comfortable putting more pressure on their friends.
Here’s the big one: college acceptances. We’ve all seen the Facebook statuses, and admittedly, most high school seniors will end up making a status about where they’ve gotten in or where they are going. One of the important things to remember is that for every acceptance letter schools send out, they often send out many more rejections. Nobody’s saying that you can’t be excited about where you’ve gotten into, especially if it’s one of the highest on your list; however, it really isn’t appropriate to be posting a status every time you get into every college out of the thirty-six you applied to.
One of the best rule’s of thumb when it comes to sharing is waiting. It’s always a good option. Of course, you shouldn’t feel like you can’t tell your family and friends, but making a status the second you receive the decision for all ten trillion Facebook friends to see tends to come off as obnoxious, especially when it’s anything less than top choices. While nobody can dictate how you handle your personal college admissions process, remembering to be mindful of others will make it easier for all involved.