A fun thing to do when you have few minutes is watch college acceptance videos on YouTube. In one classic example, Rylee Hickman, a high school senior in St. Petersburg, Florida, sits at her laptop, flanked by her mom and dad, awaiting a message from Cornell University. It’s December 2017, and the living room is decked out for Christmas. Hickman is a wreck.
“On no, oh no,” she says, holding her hand over her mouth.
And then, she screams. And screams. Her mom waves a red Cornell tee-shirt for the camera.