When I was first asked to write this article, I was hesitant. Why? Out of fear of offending someone, or starting a controversy. But as I collected my thoughts, I came to realize that my opinion had significantly changed over time. Each year, I watched students excitedly gather around the college pennant wall during free blocks. It always seemed unnecessary and cocky to me; sure it was fun to look at, but who was this helping? I didn’t know much about the accepted students Facebook group until my junior year, but my initial reaction to that was also skeptical. Rather than being informative, all of this commotion came across as a boasting contest.
As the first few months of senior year passed by, college buzz grew louder and louder. One day, I received a notification on my phone: An invitation to join Bedford High School Class of 2019 Acceptances. I hypocritically joined, wanting to see what was happening while simultaneously questioning its purpose. Much to my surprise, I soon after received an invitation to join Bedford High School Class of 2019 Deferrals, Waitlists, and Rejections. To be honest, I laughed out loud. I could hardly understand why someone would post their acceptances, let alone their rejections!
My dubious attitude did not last for long, though. Over time, more and more of my peers were posting on the acceptances page, and each was left with supportive comments; the group was providing an outlet for pride and excitement after years of hard work, and I began to appreciate the supportive environment. But what really shifted my perspective was the first post in BHS Deferrals, Waitlists, and Rejections. It had been left blank for weeks, presumably because no one wanted to be the first to post. But when the first post eventually came, it was greeted with an overwhelming flood of positivity. That was the turning point for me. It didn’t matter if the students were close friends or just acquaintances; everyone was supporting one another. Although I understand why some seniors argue that the use of social media just adds stress to the college process, I think the positive atmosphere it has created far outweighs its cons.
Now that the pennant wall is up, I genuinely smile in pride as I walk by; our class has made spectacular accomplishments. For me, it took becoming a senior to appreciate all the fuss around college. But this journey has united us, and we have struggled and rejoiced together. The process is so overwhelming, prolonged, and stressful, so it’s important to celebrate our successes and console one another over our failures. I find the more love, the better, which is exactly what these Facebook groups and pennant wall promote.