by Claire Magnanini and Erin Malley
When senior Ryan Soldati was accepted to The College of New Jersey, he did what teens around the country have been doing throughout the past decade: He turned to social media.
Immediately, Soldati received likes and comments, many of them saying “Congratulations!!!!” or “Congrats man!” But did announcing his acceptance online truly benefit him? And were those compliments genuine? As this digital tradition continues with each coming year, students have a variety of feelings about posting acceptances and reacting to those posts.
Senior Connie Wolff said, “I’m just happy to see that the people I have been with for the last three years are ready to take the next step in their life, because this is the point where we will all change and grow to be different from the Westfield norms.”
While many students share this positive outlook on college posts, other students are not thrilled by this high-tech tradition. Senior Allie Hopper feared that posting in the group would result in judgement. “Everybody’s nervous about where they’re going to go because of what other people will think,” Hopper said. “Everybody has in the back of their head, ‘If I go here, will people judge me?’ ”
WHS alumna Carly Friedman ‘14 said she chose not to post her college decision in the college Facebook group two years ago. Friedman explained it was only important that her close friends knew where she was attending. “I didn’t need to post [my decision] in the group so a bunch of random people I don’t know could judge me.”
Still, others feel that they are simply obligated to follow the tradition. Senior Jack Conrad, who revealed his decision to attend Eastern Kentucky University on Facebook, sees this trend as a way of flaunting his good news. “I felt like it would seem obnoxious to rub it in people’s faces that I already got accepted into my dream school before they were done applying but [my friends] convinced me to do so,” said Conrad.
While many WHS seniors are happy for their peers’ acceptances, others are reminded of their own uncertain status. Said Senior Ben Cook, “I am happy for everyone who’s posted their decisions, but I’m jealous because they got in and I still have to wait.”
Ms. Maureen Mazzarese, director of counseling for Westfield Public Schools, added, “When you’re on the winning side of anything it’s great news, but if someone got accepted to your dream college and you got rejected there has to be that moment of disappointment.”
Whether or not WHS seniors decide to post their college decisions online, this trend is likely to remain a tradition, long after the Class of 2016 leaves WHS behind.