Graduate School and Facebook: Here's Some Etiquette
Do you remember senior year of high school? Don’t bother answering, we already know. (Freshmen, yes; sophomores, no; juniors, no; seniors, yes, coupled with nostalgia and tears at impending adulthood.) If you said yes, you probably remember all the posts about where your (Facebook) friends announced they were going to college. You remember that kid who posted every single college acceptance, but you also remember your good friend who kept everyone in the dark until they announced after graduation they were moving across the country.
You might have thought you were free from that, but now that you’re in college you have to deal with people getting into graduate school. Maybe you even got into one yourself, lucky duck. So to all the future MDs, JDs, MBAs, MAs, PHDs, and all the people that need to deal with them, here’s some advice.
If you got into graduate school, remember:
This isn’t college. We know you poured your life into applying to more debt, essays, and exams—we mean graduate school. But breaking news: fewer people go to graduate school than undergraduate. In all likelihood, most of your Facebook friends haven’t been keeping up with your postgrad plans. So don’t be the No Information Nancy who posts “Heading to ABC University next year!” At least tell us what you’re going for.
Re: THIS ISN’T COLLEGE. You’re starting graduate school while your friends start to pay off debt. Stay humble. Toss in a “#blessed to pursue a ______ in _______ at _______ University”.
If your aunt/uncle/grandparent uses Facebook, they are going to be skeptical. Before you were born, every one of your family members had to attend a mandatory seminar on how to question your life decisions. Someone related to you will probably comment something innocent in your status like “oof three more years of tuition?” or “couldn’t you have studied that in college?” The key here is to get very defensive and insist that this graduate degree is the only way for you to further your career. If you want to be a doctor, you kind of need an MD.
If your Facebook friend got into graduate school, remember:
If you catch a meal with them 3+ times per semester (aka they’re actually one of your friends), you must like their status. That’s just common courtesy. Maybe even give it a love.
If they will be attending graduate school near where you will be working, you are obligated to comment about how you should grab a drink. You never need to follow up with them—unless you two are actually friends—but you need to offer. Otherwise, when you change your current location to New York City for your new Goldman gig, they might call you out on your status and you'll look like a jerk.
If you got into the same graduate school (even for a different degree, even if it’s an older friend and you’re still an undergraduate at that school), do not comment that you’ll see them there. You might think it comes off as chill, but seriously, get your own Facebook status.