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Reddit provides valuable, yet entertaining information to future college students

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Like many other high school seniors, I’ve come across Reddit, a website for discussing countless topics, during college app season. As December passes on to April, Reddit becomes a haven for students asking application questions, venting about unfair policies, and supporting each other. As a Reddit user who has recently devoted countless hours to the site, I have experienced the ups and downs of the site.

Reddit is essentially the funny younger sibling of College Confidential, which is often used by worried parents and is filled with “chances of acceptance” and “stats.” While having threads such as “a2c” (applying to college)  where students can ask their chances of acceptance and inform each other of decision release dates, there is the “a2c circle jerk” which is the satirical meme version of “a2c” and other entertainment threads like “People Person’s Paper People”. Experienced moderators and admission officers have their own profiles and put in their own responses regarding things such as class difficulty and social life.

Reddit, especially “a2c”, has its own culture and jargon. When a student goes through hardship or rejection, users would “press ‘F’ to “pay respects”. When students feel that they were rejected because they were over-qualified, they claim they are “y i e l d p r o t e  c t e d” or “yIeld pRotEcTed.” If a user feels cheated, he was “bamboozled.” There are arguments about topics as superficial as which university is the “fake ivy” and as controversial as Affirmative Action.

There are several long-running jokes in a2c. Users have likened applying to colleges to asking someone out, including acceptance rates, demonstrated interest, and “yield protection.” Stanford University is referred to as “Stanford” after a popular thread poked fun by declaring that the university did not exist, referencing its exceptionally low acceptance rate and elite alumni. The University of Chicago is “UC Hicago”, another joke that the university is part of the UC system. Johns Hopkins University is “John Hopkin” or “Papa John’s” University. Recently, users have been congratulating “Hari” for getting in to Harvard. So called “Sh*tposts” use a misleading title to draw attention, whether it’s titled “I CAN”T BELIEVE I GOT” followed by “my hopes up.”

After having used Reddit for three weeks, I found that the jokes and jargon have become sickenly repetitive. Especially on decision release days, students believing that they deserve a spot in a university throw around “yield protected” while bashing a peer who they think is less qualified. Rejected students often bash accepted students of underrepresented minorities or legacy, thinking that it’s just because of race or money that gave them the acceptance letter.

Overall, Reddit is a good site for finding information, yet can also be disheartening as well. Threads, especially “chance me” threads, about students with near perfect SAT scores and out-of-the-world extracurriculars can scare students from applying to selective universities. The reality is, though, that college admissions are holistic and unpredictable.

It’s not surprising that the a2c thread is full of weird quirks, as it’s essentially ran by high school seniors anxious about going to college. It did take a while to get used to regularly seeing the word bamboozle in all typing styles. Yet, somehow, I find myself reading through a2c once again.

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