The Antisocial Network: College Admitted Student Groups

Graphic+by%3A+Cassie+Jeong
Back to Article
Back to Article

The Antisocial Network: College Admitted Student Groups

Graphic by: Cassie Jeong

Graphic by: Cassie Jeong

Graphic by: Cassie Jeong

Graphic by: Cassie Jeong

By Billie Mandelbaum

Upon receiving news of his acceptance to Emerson College, senior Jackson Strike joined the “Emerson College Class of 2017” Facebook group for admitted students. Strike became a part of the group in hopes of getting to know his potential future classmates, but what he found turned out to be far from his expectations.

“One guy from the Emerson group started messaging me and I started by being polite and talking to him,” Strike said. “He kept talking to me even though I told him I wasn’t sure I was going there. Then he asked for my address so he could write me a letter.”

Strike, fearing he was entering online predator territory, never replied to the request. The boy, however, continued to ask for it.

Graphic by: Cassie Jeong

Graphic by: Cassie Jeong

“So I unfriended him because I thought he was going to kill me,” Strike said.

Strike is one of many seniors—myself included—who have joined these accepted student groups after receiving a college acceptance offer. While not everyone who joins these admitted student groups is bound to be stalked as Strike was, it’s hard to avoid the omnipresence of posts written by strange people on the pages. Most of the groups are set up by admissions offices as a way for prospective students to get enthused about their respective institution and “get to know” their future classmates. I, however, have found these groups to be a breeding ground for brazen, emoticon-loving weirdos and oversharers—creating an environment that can best be described as Match.com meets College Confidential.

As I’ve joined a variety of admitted student groups over the past few months, I’ve come to realize that those who actually take the time to post things in these groups fall into one of three archetypal categories: the humble bragger, the overly enthused coed-to-be and the kid that discloses too much information.

Let me first discuss the humble bragger. He or she is one who attempts to somehow fit their various accomplishments into a post on an unrelated topic. Some blatantly state their SAT scores, while others discuss their “struggle” to stay focused on their “rigorous” AP course load, given their case of senioritis. Others list out the other schools they were accepted to, only to reassure other group members, “Don’t worry though, I love [name of university] the most!!!” While most group members tend not to respond, other humble braggers view this as an opportunity to jump on the bandwagon, responding to such posts by saying things such as, “OMG, I got in there too and with a trustee’s distinguished scholarship!” Mere mortals such as myself are left cringing, wondering about our future classmates’ knowledge of basic social cues.

When I first joined an admitted student group in December, I found the only posts to be from the overly enthused coed-to-be. The posts, which were written daily, if not more, came from a self-described cinephile obsessed with Japanese culture—though he made sure to point out, “I’m not into Anime.” His posts primarily consisted of either countdowns to orientation or selfies of himself wearing the college’s apparel in different locations throughout his hometown. While many responded enthusiastically to these posts by “liking” them, I was turned off and dreaded the possibility of having to meet this boy at orientation (only 150 days away!).

One of the stranger posts I’ve come across in these groups came from one girl’s comment in the enthralling “find a roommate” thread, in which students reveal the most intimate details of their lives, from bedtime preferences to partying habits, in hopes of finding a compatible roommate. The girl listed information about herself, before adding the following: “My boyfriend is a sophomore at Oberlin, and we’ve been planning to visit each other during our breaks. He’d be staying in our room for about a week each time…honestly you’d just have to be okay with a boy literally sleeping in the same space as you…[winky face emoticon].” By sharing this with the entire group I don’t think she’ll have such an easy time finding a roommate. I know that I wouldn’t want a boy “literally sleeping in the same space” as me, even if he is a dashing, hip and liberal Obie.

While reading the posts in various admitted student groups has provided me with a great deal of entertainment, I’ve also questioned whether I can be with these people for the next four years of my life. I have to remind myself to take the content of these groups—like anything posted on social media—with a grain of salt. I hold out hope that those who do not post in these groups represent a silent majority of sorts that consists of logical and socially capable people.

As for Strike, he will not be attending Emerson College—much to his stalker’s disappointment.