Facebook’s Giving Me the Back-to-School Blues

The following post was written by PR Intern Zach Stevens. Connect with Zach on Twitter at @thezachstevens or on LinkedIn.

I love this time of year. Fall is in the air, football is back in session and the national populace of undergraduates are heading back to their respective universities. This is my second go around as being a college graduate. And, I am happy to say, I have since bypassed the endless trips to Target and Costco to stock up on such necessities as water, Easy Mac and of course Dunkaroos. (Yes they still exist!) However, just because my college experience is over it does not mean the same for my ever-growing network of Facebook friends.

I took to “The Social Network,” my favorite social media website, and did some investigating over Labor Day weekend. I discovered a staggering amount of college-related status updates – 461 to be exact – had graced my Newsfeed during the three-day vacation.  There were pictures of common rooms, blurbs about class schedules and complaints about having to wake up for 8AM classes. But, what I found most engaging, were the frosty posts from members of the recently graduated Class of 2013. Although these people in my network went to different schools, their statuses all conveyed the same message: they absolutely hated seeing school-related statuses. These graduates would say things like “Shut up, we all know you’re moving back in” or “Class of 2014 sucks.”

I can sympathize with their irritation as I almost felt the same way when I saw everyone go back to college last year. Yet, this year I didn’t take to Facebook to playfully knock the next cohort of college grads. Instead, I became enamored with the thought of how twenty-year-olds expressed their “I’m jealous I’m not going back to college” frustration before Facebook. I know we always play the game “what did we do before social media?”, but I am curious to know where these conversations happened prior to the Facebook. (Oh wait, no “the;” just Facebook. Thanks Timberlake!)

I think about my older aunts and uncles and even my parents for that matter. Did they send telegrams to hundreds if not thousands of so-called friends venting about having to work a job not related to their major? Did they take out full-page ads in local newspapers to persuade the general public to echo their own annoyance? What about former presidents like John Adams and Theodore Roosevelt? Would they return to Harvard the following year and mock the freshman, telling them to their cheery faces that they “suck” and should “shut up” and stop being excited about school?

Well one thing I am fairly positive about is that none of these fictional scenarios occurred. But, it is quite intriguing to wonder. I am glad we now have the luxury of Facebook so we can express our bitterness towards those who return to the dorm rooms. It has almost become a new rite of passage for us all to look forward to and possibly participate in come September.

How did you declare your “Missing School Blues” before Facebook?

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