Self-esteem, compatibility and sexually transmitted diseases are a few of the issues some students at Columbia deal with, and they’re telling everyone anonymously on Tumblr.com.
On Oct. 4, freshman marketing communication major Tanisha Pina created the Columbia Confesses blog, which allows students to post secrets.
Pina posted the blog’s link on Columbia’s Facebook application and received more than 100 secrets in 24 hours.
Pina, who said she was inspired by PostSecret, an ongoing art project in which people mail their secrets anonymously on postcards, created the blog as part of an assignment for her First Year Seminar class.
“The whole point of PostSecret is to know you are not alone,” Pina said. “I think it’s super important in college when there are plenty of kids who don’t know anyone.”
For her project, Pina had to explore a topic she found interesting and said she chose anonymity because people seem to be fascinated by it. Pina said she chose the blog format because she couldn’t explore the subject by herself.
“People are comforted by being able to share their secrets without people knowing who they are,” Pina said. “I was able to prove being in a college setting [and] being able to share secrets is super comforting because [the blog] has gotten crazy feedback, and it’s been really successful.”
What initially started as Pina asking students who lived in her residence hall to slide small pieces of paper under her door with their secrets scribbled onto them,transformed into an outlet in the form of a blog because she thought it would be more engaging and interactive.
“I thought it would be interesting to bring it close to home,” Pina said. “There are so many people [at Columbia], and you don’t know everyone. I think it’s easier to relate to people who are in the city and go to the same school as you.”
As of Nov. 12, the Columbia Confesses blog has 330 anonymous secrets ranging from issues of bulimia, self-inflicted wounds, obesity, HIV and regrets of
“Some of the [confessions] are jokes but a lot of them are super heavy,” Pina said. “I try my best not to filter [them]. That’s the whole point; I guess a little bit of it is to be controversial.”
Pina said although she doesn’t agree with what other students say or do, everyone has secrets and they can now to be known without a face attached to it.
Pina said she’s considered posting help links to the blog because anonymity doesn’t allow her to contact the students.
If a student is experiencing a crisis, the student can contact the office of Student Health and Support for assistance.
According to a statement released by the Offices of Student Relations and Counseling Services, the office encourages students to seek assistance when experiencing difficulties. The office also offers an online screening tool, phone consultations and individual therapy.
Pina said she has more than 400 confessions in a queue she plans to post to the blog when she has time.
“I [receive] about 20 secrets a day,” Pina said. “A lot of people thank me in the hallways like, ‘That was an awesome thing you did.’ [Students] are saying this makes a difference just to know other people are going through issues and [they] aren’t alone.”
Students can post confessions at ColumSecrets.Tumblr.com.