Say Yes to Xiaonei, No to Facebook

We all know that college admissions officials are an ethical, honest lot, right? They’ll only look at your applications & base your admission decision on those materials alone, right?

Ehhhh, not so much. Not to disparage all of the fine people who work in university admissions offices around the world, but you can’t blame them for using all means necessary to learn about the students they’re accepting.

A study by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth recently showed that 25 percent of all college admissions offices “admit” to using Google, Yahoo, and MSN to double check on their applicants. 20 percent “admit” to using Facebook.

As famed college counselor, Michele Hernandez, pointed out in an article recently, the actual percentage is undoubtedly much higher because schools have little reason to admit that they do actually utilize these websites.

What’s the point for all you beautiful Chinese students?  Simple. Stay the heck away from Facebook. Sure, it’s okay to put your profile up there. Maybe put some goofy pictures with your friends. Maybe put a song or that silly “Places I’ve Been” map. Do NOT, however, put pictures of yourself at parties, drinking, smoking, or anything that might be seen in a bad light. Equally important, do NOT write anything on anyone’s public wall with curse words or dirty language. What’s a funny foreign word to you might be terribly insulting to the Cornell admissions officer looking through your Facebook profile.

As Ms. Hernandez also pointed out, having a personal website of your own that serves as a medium to publish your artwork or writing can actually be an asset to your application. It can only be good if the admissions office Google’s “Xiao Wang” and finds a website full of beautiful, original Chinese calligraphy, right?

Besides, if you absolutely must engage in all the debauched revelries of the Internet age, just do it on Xiaonei! They’ll never find you on there, that’s for sure.

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