I’ll never forget walking down the halls of my high school, seeing the names of the kids in my class on a huge poster. Those names were followed by the college they were to attend in the fall.
I had no idea that it was going to be visible for all eyes to see. And while I was excited about my college of choice – a private school in Vermont— I was sandwiched between two students who’d been accepted to Ivy League schools. Honestly, I felt less than.
I was venting about it to my friend in math class when he said, ”At least your name is up there.”
At the time, I didn’t realise this, but if you weren’t going to college because you’d decided to take a year off, work, or travel, your name didn’t have a place on the poster.
And if you were going to a community college, a lot of the seniors who were going to get their bachelor’s degree snickered about that.
That was before social media where things are posted for lots of eyes to see and it was humiliating enough. These days, parents are posting their child’s college acceptances on social media and having college reveal parties.
As a mum to three teens, that’s a hard pass for me. We need to remember the late teen years are extremely delicate. Our kids are tough on themselves and seeing everyone’s acceptance can add to making them feel like they don’t quite measure up.
Kind of like the way they feel when they see a picture posted of a gathering of friends who decided not to include them.
I get it— parents are proud of their kids but we need to be aware not everyone can go to college. Some parents can’t afford to send their kids to school. Others won’t get accepted into the school of their choice.
And there are the brave teens who don’t want to go to college because they know deep down it’s just not the right decision for them.
What I’m saying is, you posting your child’s college acceptances on line can be triggering for the other parents and the students.
Also, my kids’ college choice is their business. If they want to post it on their social media, fine. But it’s not my news to spread.
And the last reason I won’t be blasting their college acceptances? I have a friend who did just that with her son after he was accepted into a prestigious school he worked really hard to get in to. But after the first semester he really struggled and didn’t end up going back. When he’d run into anyone who’d seen the post he had to explain he wasn’t there anymore when people asked how it was going. Let’s just say he wasn’t very happy with his mother for her announcement.
I know our kids are going to be in lots of uncomfortable situations in life and we can’t always protect them. I get an uneasy feeling in my stomach when I see parents post about their child being on the honour roll or getting into a certain school and got that reason, I don’t be doing it. We will be keeping the celebration at home between our family.