Why UWC Confessions Are Toxic


by Jeppe Damberg,
December 22nd, 2017


[aesop_content color=”#000000″ background=”#ffffff” component_width=”600px” columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” disable_bgshading=”off” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]Most of our community know what “UWC Confessions” is, but for the few unacquainted members out there, I will briefly explain the concept. UWC Confessions is a Facebook site run by UWC alumni who share confessions submitted anonymously by anyone who fills out their google form. Sometimes, these confessions concern the genuine difficulties that come with boarding school and academic life, but more often than not, the confessions reflect depression, anxiety, hookups, disappointment in oneself and others and angry rants about UWC. Indeed, below is a collection of some of the most recent confessions.

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[aesop_content color=”#000000″ background=”#ffffff” component_width=”600px” columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” disable_bgshading=”off” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]The Facebook site has 11.000 likes and therefore sends these anonymous confessions to an audience across all of the UWCs. It has happened before that staff and students of UWC schools have seen some of these negative confessions and used them as evidence for a certain reality. UWCM students have even forwarded some of these confessions to staff in hopes of helping other students, causing quite some concern among the administration. Understandable one might think, but UWC confessions raise many questions about reliability and the effects of misinformation. I suppose one potential flaw of the page is illustrated by a confession in November 

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[aesop_content color=”#000000″ background=”#ffffff” component_width=”600px” columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” disable_bgshading=”off” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]If you click the “about” section on the Facebook page, you will see the following description

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[aesop_content color=”#000000″ background=”#ffffff” component_width=”600px” columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” disable_bgshading=”off” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]As a form of a mission statement, I suppose, UWC confessions asks for your dirty little secrets and links a google form which anyone can access to submit an anonymous confession. But is there any reliability in anonymity on a social media platform? And should these “confessions” be taken seriously by staff and students of UWCs? Though the site does not mention names of specific people, I can, like many have done before, submit a google form where I, anonymously and without consequences, call out UWCM’s student body for being harmful and even abusive. Some have even gone to the extent of describing the UWC Movement as a cult

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[aesop_content color=”#000000″ background=”#ffffff” component_width=”600px” columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” disable_bgshading=”off” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]This post is to me, a good example of the flaws behind UWC confessions. Though this anonymous person, apparently 50 and a UWC ’84 graduate, may perceive UWC as lonely, without happiness and run by a cult, what purpose does this information serve? To discourage potential students to apply to UWC or perhaps to encourage students to drop out? These discouraging posts far outnumber positive posts, and so it seems to me that UWC confessions perpetuate something highly toxic.
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It seems the only argument to support the UWC confessions page is, that people need a vent for their negative UWC experiences. But if this page is merely an outlet for such negative experiences, it may as well strengthen such depressing thoughts. If you scroll down the page, all you will find is talks about how UWC leads to depression together with occasional discussions on UWC love life. I suppose anonymous sources can highlight issues within a community, but really how can we know if these posts are not simply misinformation? An act to get back at a person, a community or a bad experience? Do these “confessions” serve as evidence of anything? I believe that they are albeit too vague and much too uninhibited to be considered reliable. I hope that we think twice before taking the posts as fact, and if we wish to submit anything, consider the effects of what we say and do.


 

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