College is difficult as it is with the 20 page essays and two hour exams. There’s no question that college life for a lot of students breeds doubt, self-esteem issues, and anxiety toward the unforeseen future. It goes without saying that added concerns like roommate issues and other personal dilemmas only add to the stress and confusion. Many students become isolated because they struggle to find a worthy confidant among friends and are hesitant to seek therapy. Luckily, startup company Spill has confronted a lot of these problems for students all over the US.
SpillNow.com offers an online support community made up of student volunteers who read “Spills” from anonymous members looking to seek help and guidance. Rather than receiving professional advice from a psychologist, Spill provides peer to peer support. At first, I was skeptical about the idea of support from student volunteers in place of professional psychologists, but after reading through their site I realized peer to peer support has advantages over professional counseling. What better way to feel self-assured than hearing advice from fellow peers who’ve been there themselves? This is exactly what a lot of anonymous spillers say about Spill’s online support:
How Spill Works
1) Students sign up anonymously and spill (i.e. write) about anything that bothers them.
2) Spills are screened by student volunteers to look for crisis situations and to rid of any information that leeks personal identity.
3) Student supporters who experienced similar situations respond within 24 hours with letters of empathy, support, and campus resources.
Another useful aspect of Spill is the that data from anonymous spillers are used to analyze and identify student issues among college campuses. This information is reported back to colleges and universities in hopes to create or improve campus support programs.
Where Spill is Going
Currently, Spill is working to reach out to more colleges and universities in order to provide online support for students across the United States. In the future, Spill hopes to create another online support community geared toward the military to provide an alternative resource for troops and veterans to spill about stress and trauma.
Below is some more useful information about Spill’s program and volunteers. To find out more, check out their FAQ.