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From compliments to confessions: UIC students once sent respect, now air dirty laundry

By: Laura Paton (lpaton2@uic.edu). section editor for literature & art 

If you’re on Facebook, you are most likely familiar with the rapidly gaining popularity page called “UIC Confessions.” UIC Confessions is a page managed by a student at UIC (presumably, though no one knows), where UIC students can submit “confessions” on an external site, and the page administrator will post them as anonymous confessions.

This concept is already somewhat familiar to UIC students, as “UIC Compliments” was a popular page not too long ago. UIC Compliments followed other colleges (such as Queens University in Canada, New York University, and Saint-Louis University). It’s the same concept as UIC Confessions, only people submitted anonymous compliments instead of confessions.

When did we make the switch from saying nice things about one another to trading sordid confessions (half of which may not even be true)? Most of these confessions garner comments from people, some uplifting and some in the spirit of trolling. Some people even tag who they think wrote the confession in the comments.

What is it about confessing your secrets anonymously that is so appealing? The answer is rather obvious – you avoid being judged. People on UIC Confessions confess things that they most likely would not even tell their friends – details about their sex lives, personal habits, and moral transgressions. And while some of the confessions and comments are positive, a majority of them are negative and/or trolls.

This concept of confessing your secrets is not new – UIC Confessions is reminiscent of PostSecret, the website where people send in their secrets anonymously. Yet something about PostSecret seems different – perhaps a little more sophisticated than UIC Confessions. I say this only because of some of the topics of these confessions. Here are a few of the more disturbing ones. WARNING: If you are grossed out or disturbed easily, you may not want to read these:

  • “I work for one of the UIC cafeterias and about once every week on average I ejaculate into the food, I don’t have any STDs (If I did I wouldn’t do that).”
  • “i’m really tempted to shit in the middle of the quad, i just need to find the perfect time so no one can see it happen. hopefully, maintenance doesn’t clean it up before the morning.”
  • “I’ve hooked up in SCE, BSB, Burnham, Taft, and Stevenson… All during the day, and all with other guys. I really want to do it in the library, Douglas, and Grant… Bucket list?”
  • “That moment when your professor changes the slide too early and all the Asian kids freak out makes me giggle so much.”

Clearly, these are the more sordid/gross confessions that may or may not be true (there is no way to tell). This aspect of UIC Confessions is what makes me say it is less sophisticated than PostSecret., and it honestly makes me lose faith in some of my peers. These posts create the idea that all our students care about is hooking up and partying, which is not true. As someone posted on the page, “I love and hate all of you.”

However, there are some  confessions that seem more genuine, and that garner support and confidence boosting from fellow UIC students:

  • “I don’t regret coming to UIC one bit. I’ve changed and grown so much since I got here and I’ve met the most amazing people here.”
  • “Reading these confessions makes me wish I didn’t get kicked out of UIC after last semester for poor academic performance. Depression and 300 level engineering courses really kicked my ass and now I’m worried my whole life is ruined because of it. “
  • “I’m 19- Everyone thinks I’m kind of crazy and the life of the party. TBH I’m a complete and total virgin. I’ve never even kissed anyone. I’ve never had a boyfriend- because I’ve turned down every guy who’s ever asked me out. No regrets whatsoever- I’m waiting for someone actually worth caring about.”

These confessions all got many likes or positive comments from other students who like the page. These confessions give me hope for my peers – we’re not all concerned with sex and partying, it seems. Everyone is entitled to their opinion on UIC Confessions, and I can personally say I’d rather see UIC Compliments again. In fact, in the hopes of getting UIC Compliments started again, I just submitted a compliment, and I encourage anyone reading this to do the same!

What do you think? Do you disagree with me and think that UIC Confessions is the greatest thing to happen to UIC? Comment and let us know!

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