True confessions, campus-style

A space for Dunedin students to share the secrets, slip-ups and shenanigans of campus life is helping bring scarfies together.

UoO Meaningful Confessions is a Facebook community that has this year grown to have more than 30,000 followers, and aims to make people laugh while also supporting the University of Otago student population.

Run by three unnamed "admins", the page allows readers to submit anonymous "confessions".

These range from rants titled "Seen raccoons living in tidier trash cans" in reference to messy flatmates, to declarations of love for a stranger in the same lecture.

Another confession reads "Wanna know how to make your boyfriend cry? Accidentally delete his thesis ...", while others are x-rated and some broach more serious topics.

One admin said that the page was mainly for entertainment and “allowing an outlet for students to confess anything they may want to on a platform”.

“[It] is also about representing student voice. It is a place where people should feel they can express their opinions or stories freely, with no judgement”.

The page was also a place of for students to find support.

“There was one post that someone sent it about their loneliness during lockdown and the comments and responses were overwhelmingly positive with students supporting students”

Like many of Dunedin’s student ventures, the page was spawned as a byproduct of procrastination.

A group of medicine students at Otago University residential halls were “binge reading UoA [University of Auckland] confessions”, instead of studying.

In the absence of such a community in Dunedin, they created their own to fill the gap.

Starting from humble beginnings near the end of 2017, the first few posts got fewer than 10 comments.

The page has now grown into a space where each post attracts anywhere from 300 to 500 interactions.

- By Nina Foley

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