Everyone knows what a large number of Facebook friends signify: you are popular. Or you're so deluded that you request friendships from random people who, in desperate need of appearing popular, accept said requests. (And admit it: at some point, you’ve either been that overeager requester or unscrupulous accepter.)

But what does it mean when the majority of your friends in the UPenn network have graduated… from Penn?

For one, it means you’re old. It also means you’re me, because this is what I recently realized. And by “realize,” I may mean “counted.” Because midterm exams and papers can thrust me to depths of procrastination that would shame even the most reluctant of studiers.

But seriously: I feel that this situation is for a college senior what it must be like for a senior citizen to have more friends dead than alive. It is the ultimate sign, writ large on the (Facebook) wall: seniors, we’re next!

I am not trying to belittle death or — maybe worse — compare post-college life with the afterlife; even if she does wear a black robe to commencement each spring, Amy Gutmann is not the grim reaper. But if your friend count could ever be perceived as indicative of anything real?(and even that is a stretch, I realize),?I think it would hint at where you are in the process — from raw material to shelf-ready — of the undergraduate machine that spits out degree-bearing students each year.

Are most of your friends in your high school network? You’re a freshman, clearly. Is the count about even? You’re floating somewhere in the sophomore-junior blur. Do most of your friends belong to networks that name cities, graduate schools or even companies? Then your parents have already booked hotel reservations for May 16-19.

But May is months away; let's focus on right now.After all, we have Homecoming festivities to think about: toast, highballs and all things red and blue. And even better, we have Homecoming to look forward to every fall hereafter.

Here’s to you,