Photo: Natalia Balcerzak

Confessions of Ryerson

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By Michelle McNally

You might imagine the act of confession as something you’d do in a church, across the pages of a diary or perhaps namelessly using a sharpie on the sides of a bathroom stall. But in this day and age, secrets are surfacing through a more social and less tangible way.

Ryerson Confessions, an anonymously-run Facebook page, is a growing hub where Ryerson students are unveiling their deepest and darkest secrets. Expressions of sadness, vented frustration and the odd invitation for a fling spans the feed of the page. Since its creation, it has grown in popularity.

The admin, who prefers to remain anonymous, is the only curator of Ryerson Confessions.

Yes, she is a real person. One that enjoys doughnuts, dancing and traveling the world, but with all the secrets that she guards — she has sworn to never reveal her true identity.

“The page was only a month old when I stepped in, not many people knew about it, ” said the admin. “Now, I believe every student knows about this page [and] it has really helped people express with ease.”

Having the page passed on from a friend less than a month before the first semester began, the admin is carrying on what the original founder set out to do and giving students the opportunity to let go of some of their emotional weight.

“He [the creator] had many problems of his own and did not want to express them,” said the admin. “He wanted advice and help from people without being known.”

The creator of the page first started the confession forum for himself. He wanted to voice his problems out loud without giving away his identity.

“We are now good friends and he is really happy to know his page is being a success.”

The admin monitors the confessions and manages the responses she receives via an anonymous Google form. She posts the ones that she feels are the most important and relatable.

During her time as curator, she said she has read some heavy confessions and always attempts to help those who need some guidance.

“I have personally tried my best to help people overcome their problems — I have helped three people find love again, two friends became besties and one person quit smoking weed,” said the admin. “To me it’s an achievement, I feel honoured that I have gotten this chance to help people.”

Some times, the confessions sent in are serious. One admitted to suffering from an eating disorder while another confessed to crying every night as they battle through depression.

So, why might you want to confess to a Facebook page in the first place?

Paul Facey, a business management student, said that he has previously confessed to the page. “It allows me to exploit things on my mind without being singled out [and] free from judgment.”

Another commenter, Shaz Man, a civil engineering student, said that it helps him express himself.

“When someone has a confession to make they have the urge to let it out as it eats them from the inside,” said the admin.

“You feel like you have no one to support or understand — a confession being made gives a level of satisfaction to the confessor knowing that now that there is nothing to hide and people are well understanding and accepting.”

As the page’s community has grown, the confessions have caught the attention of equivalent pages from other universities, such as McMaster and McGill. They have included Ryerson’s admin to partake in the creation of an app that would allow anyone to confess anonymously from anywhere.

As for passing on the torch when the admin graduates from Ryerson, she said she will start looking. “[I’m going to] search for the very best.”

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