On online forums, a would-be class connects

At 2:24 p.m. Monday afternoon, “Dr. Avrah” declared March 31, 2008 the “most important day of my life!” on CollegeConfidential.com.

“Okay,” he wrote, “maybe my birth was a little bit more important for obvious reasons, but apart from that, it is the most important day of my life!” And, he added, in reference to the decisions he anticipated later that day from the admissions committees of the 13 colleges to which he applied, “I am confident that it will also be the happiest day of my life!”

But just over two and a half hours later, at 5:02 p.m., Dr. Avrah found his dreams deferred.

“Congrats to all of you,” he managed to muster in a Yale thread dubbed “Reject.” Then he continued, dropping the real bomb: “I got rejected from each college I applied to :D.”

But Dr. Avrah, a popular personality on admissions discussion site CollegeConfidential.com (he has posted approximately 300 times since November, averaging 2.06 per day), was not alone on the message boards yesterday. Only 5.6 percent of applicants waiting on verdicts from Yale received favorable news when decisions were posted at 5 p.m. Monday evening.

And even with early-action acceptees included, the admissions rate to Yale College hit a sobering all-time low 8.3 percent for the class of 2012.

Still, minutes — months, even — before 5 p.m., the latest batch of Yale hopefuls were already imagining themselves, together, in the Elm City.

In fact, perhaps more than any year before them, they came together as a virtual class not just after but before they received what, for many of them, was indeed the “most important” news of their lives.

Posts leading up to the big day reveal a bond based simultaneously on comfort and competition. Perhaps most notably, though, applicants connect over shared apprehension.

On Sunday, for example, weirdapplicant — 2050 SAT, 3.5 GPA, 7 AP classes — kickstarted a discussion on CollegeConfidential.com: “i kno its kinda late, but chances…”

“wat am i up against?” he asked.

A fellow applicant responded, “An army of 300,000 Persians!”

The next day, QuixoticRick tried to calm his would-be class.

“College is pretty monumental, but I wouldn’t say that it’s that much of a big deal,” he wrote at 2:36 p.m. “Don’t fret people; it’s only an hour and a half away.” (QuixoticRick found himself rejected from Yale later in the afternoon.)

On Monday night, some posters expressed unbridled joy (“Accepted!!!!!”), others utter despair (“Rejected :-(“).

Others, still, were simply befuddled. “Hi guys. i just got my decision from Yale, i was accepted. . . my question is: do they ever make mistakes with notifying applicants online?” wrote yihan.zhu.

And from time to time, someone delivered unwanted news to a virtual friend.

When channel_26 asked, “Is it possible to appeal to reverse a rejection from Yale?” ThisSideUp responded with decidedly measured, if not quite accurate, advice: “I assume that it is,” he wrote, “but it is usually not worth it to do so.”

Post-decisions, Facebook also became a forum for ecstatic admittees. With over 800 members by early Tuesday morning, the group “Yale 2012” was buzzing with those who had received good news.

The threads on the group discussion board ranged from questions about the sizes of the free t-shirts to a discussion on why members thought they had gotten into Yale.

With close to 1,000 wall posts, the group’s wall reflected a range of attitudes and opinions, simple requests (“Feel free to add me as a friend!”), and, of course, expressions of congratulations.

And already, these potential future-Elis are moving past their high school universes and looking toward Phelps Gate in the fall — when their virtual class will become a literal one.

As Tiffany Ho of Quince Orchard High wrote on the wall, “I want Pepe’s pizza so badly right now.”

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