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‘Post high school plan’ Instagram pages prove unproductive, generate competition

The+emergence+of+post+high+school+plan+Instagram+accounts+has+heightened+stress+among+students+and+proved+to+be+unproductive.+Although+intending+to+be+positive%2C+it+fosters+competition.
Jolie Gefen ’24
The emergence of post high school plan Instagram accounts has heightened stress among students and proved to be unproductive. Although intending to be positive, it fosters competition.

After months of waiting and excruciating anticipation, the moment finally comes to open the decision letter from your dream college. You open it, and there it is: the acceptance you have long awaited and hoped for. 

With little time for celebration, you immediately send a baby picture and university name to an anonymous Instagram account so it can be posted and shared to the rest of the senior class and the other viewers who are following it. This is the reality for many seniors’ as the emergence of “post high school plans” pages has swept Instagram

These accounts were made to replace  “May Day”, the first day of May when seniors wear a clothing item with their college or university to school, during Covid. Although these accounts seem to be celebratory and positive, the reality of this practice is far from it. 

Students often look at these accounts and are quick to compare themselves to their peers who have committed to college, perpetuating a culture of competitiveness within college acceptances.

— Jolie Gefen '24

These pages foster a sense of competitiveness, as if college acceptances weren’t competitive enough. Students often look at these accounts and are quick to compare themselves to their peers who have committed to college, perpetuating a culture of competitiveness within college acceptances. 

For those who may not get accepted to the university they had hoped, the idea of keeping that to oneself no longer exists. Due to the popularity of posting on these accounts, when someone does not get posted after their top school comes out, it is abundantly clear to others that they did not get in. These accounts not only keep track of where students go, but on the same token, where students will not go.

I’ll be the first to admit I have jumped to conclusions about people from these pages. When seeing someone I thought was “smart” commit to a lower-ranked school, I initially was very shocked. But after consideration of the reality of the college process, I realized that a school like that may have been the only option due to scholarships or other circumstances unknown to me. These pages take away a student’s discretion in how and who their decision was publicized to. 

These accounts have affected the mental health of many students, including mine. The already extremely competitive nature of college admissions have become all the more excruciating for high school seniors. Instead of applying and accepting admission to a university for myself, I feel as though I am doing it for others in order to look impressive and accomplished on the Instagram account. 

When I got into my dream school, I was pretty excited to send my baby picture, major and university name to the account so that I could get posted. However, this excitement quickly transformed into a sense of unworthiness. Although this school was my dream, I inevitably compared myself to my peers on the account and began diminishing my own success. 

After experiencing the self-deprecation and obsessiveness over these Instagram pages that I recently had, I felt compelled to express the unproductivity of them. Although at first glance these pages allow students to celebrate their achievements and commemorate their peers, they generate far more competition and negativity than originally intended. 

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About the Contributor
Jolie Gefen ’24, Web Managing Editor
Web Managing Editor Jolie Gefen ’24 understands what it means to manage and organize, as this past summer she worked as a camp counselor for Westport’s camp Recing Crew.    “It helped me become more of a leader,” Gefen said. “[Recing Crew] gave me lots of skills that I'll be able to grow upon.”  Skillfully over the years, Gefen has learned to take advantage of Staples's numerous resources: one being Inklings. “Inklings allows me to write what I love and helps me formulate my own opinions,” Gefen said. “I look forward to being on a paper in college and pursuing journalism further.”  

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