Learning to LOVE Yourself

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Revelle College Resident Assistants Cody Sibulo and Esther Jeong launched Project LOVE, a week-long interactive campaign promoting self-love and appreciation

At first glance, a giant display board with the word “LOVE” on it during the week of Valentine’s Day would look like nothing more than a festive decoration. But with their visual and the simple question of “What will you do to love yourself?” Revelle senior resident assistants Cody Sibulo and Esther Jeong aimed to remind UCSD students that self-love is, perhaps, the most important love of all.

Last week, Sibulo and Jeong headed Project LOVE in the Revelle Plaza. From Monday to Friday, they challenged students to think about ways in which they could better appreciate and take care of themselves. They told students to write their ideas down on cards and post them on the large display board. Some of their cards read, “[I will] take more time for me” and “[I will] accept myself, my successes and my failures… through it all.”

Inspired by UC Irvine’s Project Up, which explored the idea of the role model by asking students whom they looked up to, Sibulo and Jeong wanted to turn inward even more and focus on improving students’ own self-perceptions.

“We noticed in the Revelle community a lack of self-confidence and self-appreciation, and we wanted to address this issue,” Sibulo said. “Being senior resident assistants, we utilized our resources to create a program about self-appreciation and what it means to love yourself.”

At a university known for its academic rigor, Sibulo and Jeong believe that taking time to appreciate oneself is essential in maintaining a person’s well-being and ensuring a positive college experience.

“We have seen residents burn themselves out by pouring their love into their work and relationships with other people, without taking the time to love themselves,” Sibulo said. “Loving yourself is important because it has an impact on your social, physical and mental well-being. We noticed that a lack of self-love leads to a feeling of inadequacy and has a negative impact on how [students] carry themselves.”

The two Revelle RAs hope to eventually encourage all members of the UCSD community to take time out of their busy lives in order to maintain a healthy relationship with themselves.

“The overall goal of this project [was] to challenge residents to understand the importance of loving yourself and how that affects their relationships with others,” Sibulo said. “We hope to spark discussion in the Revelle community and, hopefully, even the larger UCSD community about the importance of loving yourself.”

But Sibulo noted that the goal of the project extended beyond reminding students to show some self-appreciation; it also served to remind students that they both can and deserve to love themselves, as it is a step towards creating a culture of conscious self-acceptance.

“We believe that some people may understand that self-love is a privilege because one could believe that they need to have the right resources and circumstances to love themselves,” Sibulo said. “However, we want to remind residents that loving oneself is a conscious decision — and that they have the power to make [that decision] on a regular basis.”