Have self-respect. Be positive. Accept your faults.
These are some of the qualities that should come to mind when students at SJC Brooklyn dwell on self-love, said the organizers of a Tuesday event that focused on learning new ways to love yourself
About 40 students gathered in Tuohy Hall’s student lounge for the interactive event hosted by SJC Brooklyn’s Women’s Empowerment Club and The Love Yourself Project, a New York City-based non-profit organization that uses the arts and education to engage the community in self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-esteem and skill-building events.
Alia Rohain Khizer, president of the Women’s Empowerment Club, has volunteered with The Love Yourself Project for a year and felt compelled to share the organization’s mission with her peers. She enlisted her friends in the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) to help spread the word to get a good turnout.
“I was worried that people wouldn’t be into the activities,” said Khizer, a senior psychology major. “It felt so good to see so many people raising their hands and participating.”
What is Self-Love?
At the start of the common hour event Lauraberth Lima, a founding member and a board member for The Love Yourself Project, asked the students a question: “Has anyone here ever been in love?”
A few shy hands crept into the air.
Lima rephrased the question a few moments later: “What does it mean to love yourself?”
With most of the students shifting in their seats, Lima explained that self-love is misconstrued as conceited or narcissistic. But she was quick to encourage the students to shake away those feelings.
“I want everyone in this space to let go and love each other,” Lima said.
Lima proceeded to lead the students through a number of exercises in which they were encouraged to write down qualities they love about themselves — and muster up the courage to talk about it.
The students tiptoed out of their comfort zones during the exercise and opened up to their peers.
The program ended with attendees completing a special origami exercise, with Lima asking the students to jot down one thing that they love about themselves on a piece of paper. Then, she showed them how to fold it into an origami heart.
Since The Love Yourself Project formed nearly a decade ago, the nonprofit has collected about 8,000 of these positive self-love hearts at events across the city, Lima said. St. Joseph’s students donated their origami hearts to the nonprofit at the event, helping The Love Yourself Project inch a closer to its goal of collecting 10,000 hearts by 2020.