By Shifra Lindenberg
I wasn’t planning on writing an Observer article until I was fully recovered from the concussion I’ve been suffering from since May. However, given the importance of this topic, with the help of my editor, I am able to write this.
When I first started the Facebook page, “YU and Stern Confessions,” my goal was for it to be the Yeshiva University version of other college confessions pages. I wanted to create entertaining content for the student body via social media, as content-creating is something I enjoy doing. I would have never anticipated that the confessions page would not only reach non-YU students across the US, but also largely impact the Yeshiva University student body. Here’s how it has impacted YU:
- The confessions page has revolutionized the visibility of LGBTQIA+ students on campus. It has given them tremendous visibility and an online voice that had not existed up until this point. It has helped LGBTQIA+ students find each other by allowing vocal students to offer support to closeted, anonymous students.
- The confessions page has helped to de-stigmatize mental health by featuring a wide array of posts from students dealing with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and self-harm. Students have gotten a chance to see that they aren’t alone in their struggles, and have even reached out to those in need, volunteering their advice to help fellow students who are struggling.
While there are mixed feelings about what is posted and not posted on the YU and Stern Confessions page, the page has been doing more good than harm. The page has united the student body in ways that the YU administration could never have achieved on its own. After long days of classes, social drama, or work, we all check the confessions page in the evening, hoping our confessions are posted or hoping to read others’ powerful, light-hearted, or funny submissions. Some of us comment on the posts, some of us get our confessions posted, and everyone asks me why I haven’t posted their confessions or when the Rejected Confessions videos will return.
Whether you’re in SCW, IBC, YP, or Syms, the confessions page means something to you.
The page is important because it connects all of us. When we are connected, we are stronger. When we are connected, we are able to band together for social justice causes, such as giving a voice to LGBTQIA+ students on campus. When we are connected, we offer our support to help raise each other up. When we are connected, we see that we are all fighting similar battles, whether with mental health, dating troubles, and even with our own religious observances.
The administration could have never done this and I never thought I’d be able to do it. Reaching students during this formative time in their lives is personal and impactful. It has the ability to heal. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to provide such a powerful tool to the student body.