UBCO Confessions; screenshot from Instagram

UBCO Confessions is a student-run Instagram account that plays a part in UBCO’s campus culture. The account is run by an anonymous admin and has amassed over 7,000 followers, making it one of the most popular accounts on campus. With over 1,000 confessions posted on the account, students are sure to come across raunchy and hilarious confessions from their peers that provide a good laugh—something that every student needs from time to time. But beyond the light-hearted confessions, there are also more serious confessions about mental-health and the struggles of being a university student. At the end of the day, these confessions bring students together and make them feel less alone in their experiences, decisions, and feelings, which creates a sense of connection and culture at UBCO.

In the spirit of The Phoenix’s 2020/2021 goal to inform UBCO students and support the UBCO community, we thought we’d get a behind the scenes look at UBCO Confessions by asking some of the questions many students are wondering. Due to the pandemic, this interview was conducted over Instagram and it would be an understatement to say that the Admin’s answers made us wish we could have asked a million more questions.

The Phoenix: What inspired you to make UBCO Confessions?

Anonymous Admin: A friend of mine who started university before I did, sent me a post from the Queens U Confessions page. I thought it was hilarious, but it made me think a little bit. Overall, my friend seemed to be having a much better time at Queens than I did here. He was partying more, it seems, was part of campus culture, and that wild aspect of the university seemed to be missing from UBCO. After seeing my friend return from his first year, my expectations were very high and I ended up being a little disappointed, if I’m being honest. I thought, ‘why shouldn’t I be able to enjoy some of these things over here as well?’ I mean, we work just as hard and deserve to let loose and enjoy ourselves a little. So starting the page was my way of trying to shake things up and start a UBCO culture. Glad things seem to have taken off well.

TP: How do you think this account has impacted UBCO students?

AA: The account started off more as a way for students to brag about the fun things they were doing or just talk about wild experiences they had; but, slowly, topics started becoming a little more serious. You may have seen a few of the confessions yourself, but things regarding mental health, how difficult university can be, and even physical sickness, starting appearing a little more often. I’ve had to read a lot of very tough confessions and felt that maybe not all of them were meant to be put up for the sake of maintaining campus morale; but the ones that were posted were done as a way to encourage other students, make some people realize that they’re maybe not the only ones feeling down, and that they can get support from their peers. There’s been a lot of very positive comments under certain posts, and I hope that reading them has helped whoever needed a boost that day.

TP: How much time/ work goes into the account behind the scenes?

AA: The amount I spend on this account varies. Making a post will usually take me around a minute and I try to post when I have a little bit of time to spare. The stories are usually what takes up the most time. I’ll ask the campus questions and will have to go through them individually and try to come up with responses that are somewhat creative. I’ve also had to answer a lot of messages and really enjoy interacting with students who I’ve never met before. Some of them I’ve been casually talking to for months, and it’s weird because they have no idea who I am, but most of them are pretty nice and very funny. I don’t consider any of the time spent on this account to be wasted even if it may have sometimes gotten in the way of my school work haha.

TP: How long did it take your account to gain its following?

AA: I’ve had the account for a little over 2 years now. The biggest chunk of the followers have been around since the first year. Numbers have plateaued a little after that since I feel like the page reached the majority of the city already and as much as I’d like to see it increase in numbers quicker, I feel like all will happen in due time. No need to resort to buying fake followers or anything like that haha.

TP: Why keep the identity of the admin or admins a secret? What do you gain from this?

AA: Well, for the most part, it’s because of the things that have been posted. I’ve posted over a thousand confessions now and can’t really remember all that’s been said good or bad. And I have this feeling about putting myself out there could jeopardize my career as a student, so I rather keep to myself for the time being. Also, the fact that the admin’s identity isn’t known makes it more fun, in my opinion. It could be anyone for all we know. It’s also nice to walk by tables and hear people talking about the latest confessions. I do my best not to be obvious with my reactions but if you or anyone has ever discussed confessions on campus and seen a person walk by laughing, it may have been me.

TP: Have you had people try to figure out your identity?

AA: People have asked me a lot of questions through DMs about my age, my major, close friends, some have even approached me in person to ask if I ran the account. I was surprised to see that some figured out who I was all on their own, but most of them were all close friends of mine who recognized the way I comment or caption posts.

TP: What is your plan for the account in the future? What about when you graduate?

AA: Honestly, I don’t know yet. I may give access to the account to a younger student so that they take over and make the posts while I keep an eye on things. I may shut everything down the moment I receive my diploma, who knows? Haha.

TP: Is it a difficult balancing act between the account and your school work? How much does this help you procrastinate?

AA: It can get hard for sure. I try to prioritize my studying and other important activities, but sometimes when I’m hours deep into studying and just can’t look at a book anymore, I’ll post something just to change things up. It used to be a really big distraction early on, but now I’m able to make time and not let it get in the way of anything too important.

TP: Do you feel your experience as a student has improved because of this account?

Honestly, I think I do. Being the admin has its benefits at times. I also feel like the account has also improved certain aspects of student life I was indirectly involved in, like broadcasting certain club events, small businesses, SUP events. All of these things made my student experience a little better than it would have been without the creation of this account.

TP: What do you like about UBCO? What would you change?

AA: The campus is really beautiful, and the change of scenery was really nice for me seeing that I come from Alberta. I also think that the smaller size of the campus gives more of an opportunity for students to get a more personalized experience.

I’d like to see more of a UBCO campus culture, something we students can be really proud of. The school spirit is often nonexistent, we don’t have special days to look forward to during the year and I don’t think we’re really known for anything special. So, if I could do anything, it would be creating a UBCO culture or tradition. I was actually thinking of finding a way to organize a UBCO Confessions day/celebration for this year, but with COVID and most people being out of Kelowna, i’m not sure if it would be a great idea; but who knows what might happens

TP: Can you please give us a confession of your own?

AA: Haha, I might have to pass on that one for now, but I’ll tell you that I have 5 or 6 personal confessions already posted. The odds you find out which ones are mine are quite slim but you’re all welcome to try.