It is our habit to respect out heritage/amorous affair by posting each issue of The Blue and White. The latest issue, available this week, has a lot of cool stuff in it. In one blast-from-the-past article, staff writer Lily Icangelo forays into our pre-college Facebook haze.
It is sometimes hard to think of Columbia students as a united tribe. We are not a college whose sense of community is wrought by a collective despair at being stranded in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees and bears and unpaved roads. But deep in the annals of Facebook there lies proof that we all do have something in common—the inelegant, gauche, social anxiety of those post-acceptance, pre-college months—when we had yet to arrive but could think of nothing else. We may not have agreed on politics or the perfect prospie profile picture, but we all shared the need for reassurance that we were not alone in our excitement and anxiety.
Facebook’s “Class of…” groups satisfied that need, providing a cool blue salve for the raw wounds of newly admitted students, wrenched from their cozy high school cliques by selective (or perhaps arbitrary) admissions letters. The administration creates these official “welcome” groups for recently admitted students every year, to help them get to know their fellow almost-freshmen and connect them with current students. Students must be invited or confirm their admission to Columbia in order to join their official class group; other students start unofficial and open groups that fill with spam after students arrive in Morningside and eventually lose interest. Though the groups of both types quickly recede into the haze of their members’ memories along with the likes of NSOP and AlcoholEDU, the conversations on the group message boards that once ruthlessly tossed you from valiant crests to deep troughs of the waves of pre-collegiate popularity remain preserved there like mosquitoes frozen in amber. (more…)