Do you ever feel like something is holding you down? Is there a secret that you’ve been keeping that’s causing you serious stress?
On Wednesday, Nov. 11, Wittenberg students gathered in Post 95 to relieve themselves of their innermost stresses by confessing a secret on an index card. Provided were copious amounts of craft supplies and Sharpies for students to decorate their cards in creative ways.
PostSecret, created by Frank Warren in 2005, is a website where people all over the world can send in a postcard with a confession; sometimes they are lighthearted and funny, like one recently posted, stating, “I don’t wear pants when I Skype with colleagues!,” while others contain heavier, more serious issues. Sponsored by Success Ambassadors, Kearstin Hickey, ‘15, got the idea for PostSecret in Post during her freshman year when she was part of New Hall’s government.
“It’s a great way to get things off your chest and realize that people may be struggling with the same problems as you,” Hickey said.
The secrets have been displayed outside of Post 95 for the past week for students to see. Hickey stressed that the display is the most important part of this event.
According to her, the act of writing a secret down can help someone “come to terms with [his/her] identity by putting it in writing. Putting your secret out there can make you a well-rounded person—you’re owning to it. And seeing the secrets can make someone a well-rounded person as well.”
Hickey is not the only one who believes “owning to it” can help someone improve on a personal level. Scholar Anita Kelly from Notre Dame University has noted that revealing a secret, whether in writing or through talking, can lead to many health benefits. It cannot just help the individual by gaining catharsis, but through the act of confession she can come to terms with a part of herself. Kelly noted that the health benefits discovered over the past 15 years of research include: “fewer physician visits…improved immunological functioning…[and even] longer survival periods in advanced breast cancer patients.”
“It’s refreshing,” said Skylar Folkens, ‘15, who participated in the PostSecret event. “It’s nice to write things down even if people won’t know you wrote it down.”
Success Ambassadors is a recent group on campus geared toward “maximizing [students’] college experience” and providing students with a third party to talk about their problems, whether it be roommate issues or a desire to transfer schools. Success Ambassadors has already worked with at least 10 students so far this year, and they hope in this next year to get more recognition across campus with their upcoming events. Though they are still working out the details, member of Success Ambassadors Carrie Schmaus, ‘15, is striving to have a de-stress event during finals week that may or may not involve hot chocolate for Wittenberg students.