Black Mirror Reflection: College Admissions

College Admissions
By Cade Slaughter

With the advancement of education and technology, the college admission process has changed quite a bit over the last few years.

The year is 2040, and the college admissions process in America has drastically changed yet again. Whereas students used to be evaluated on their standardized testing scores, GPA, and assortment of extracurricular activities, hopeful applicants are now evaluated on the way they use their social media.

Twins Margaret and Olivia are from Nashville, Tennessee. They’re identical and are co-captains of their cheer and track teams at their high school. Margaret was homecoming queen and Olivia was prom queen. They walk down the halls of their high school and people rush up to talk to them, but they’re humble. Sure they might be the “cool” girls, but they are kind to everyone.

When it comes time to apply for college, both girls apply to Woodberry University, one of the nation’s newest and most elite universities. Woodberry University is a pioneer for college admissions, as they assess student applicants more so on their social media presence and less so on their high school resume. Once other institutions of higher learning caught on to this trend, they began to follow suit. In 2040, every college or university in America is weighing more on social media than a resume when making official selections for admission.

College selection day comes and Margaret gets in to Woodberry, but Olivia does not. Devastated, Olivia drives to Woodberry to ask why her sister was admitted and she was not. Woodberry officials review her college application and inform her that her social media posts did not catch their attention as much as her sister Margaret’s social media did. Margaret’s social media “showed her personality more and displayed her unique qualities and willingness to work hard.”

Olivia was happy for her sister, but devastated for herself. She was going to major in fashion design and work for Vogue Magazine in New York. Those dreams were crushed. Olivia decides to take a year off from school and reapply the next year.

The year is 2065. Margaret is working in New York for a top accounting firm and lives in a three story brownstone with her two children and husband. She has just been promoted as a partner in the firm. She has not heard from Olivia in 10 years, and she has all but forgotten about her sister.

To celebrate her promotion, Margaret’s husband takes her out to a nice dinner in Manhattan. With Olivia being the last thing on Margaret’s mind, they sit down and at the restaurant and enjoy their meal.

Once they leave, a woman with stained clothes and unkept hair bumps into Margaret. It’s Olivia. In a moment of mixed emotions, the two sisters just stare at each other. Excitement, confusion, embarrassment, rage, anger. Olivia was forced to live the last decade between women’s homes and local YMCAs, struggling to find both work and community. Olivia’s world is different, and now Olivia herself is much different from the success of her sister.

The two, once unable to be separated, struggle to find the words of amendment or understanding. Without saying anything, Olivia runs away.

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