The BYU Women’s Services & Resources center kicked off their annual Be You campaign to encourage students to build healthy habits and increase self-acceptance and will run until Sept. 22.
The 10-day campaign focuses on a specific attribute each day and has journal prompts, photo challenges, suggested activities and sponsored events in order to help students embrace those attributes. The daily themes include calls to action such as to “be fearless” and “be mindful,” and the campaign includes seven different on-campus events.
During the “Be Charitable” event on Sept. 16, students had the opportunity to work on one of three projects in collaboration with Y-Serve. Those projects included packaging glasses for the visually impaired with the charity Friends for Sight, writing letters to veterans through Project Uplift and making items for refugees, including wooden tactile toys and plastic sleeping mats.
WSR employee Brooklyn Wright said the collaboration aims to build confidence and self-acceptance in students at BYU. She also said has seen firsthand how being charitable helps people overcome feelings of low self-worth.
“As an employee of the WSR and a service council member, I’ve been able to get outside of myself and think of others more,” Wright said. “Service is a two-way blessing.”
At the “Be Authentic” event on Sept. 20, students were invited to take Polaroid pictures of themselves and post them on the Be You board, which was on display in Brigham Square.
BYU students Lizzie Budge and Kata Smith said they were excited to participate in the campaign. Both said they had never been to the previous Be You events, but the campaign’s message resonated with them.
“A lot of people struggle with perfectionism,” Smith said. “It’s easy in college to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing.”
Budge agreed that perfectionism is a common problem for BYU students.
“Not only are there rigorous academic standards, but there are really intense religious ones as well,” Budge said. “It’s what makes BYU beautiful, but for people who identify as queer or maybe fit outside that box, this can be a hard place to be.”
Budge said she feels the campaign will help students to combat perfectionism as long as they make an effort to internalize these outward affirmations.
“Having a sign is great,” Budge said, gesturing to the Be You board, “but it makes a difference when students apply that grace to themselves and others.”
Ellie Ostvig Maguet, a volunteer at the WSR, first began volunteering after she witnessed the “Be Authentic” activity in one of her first semesters at college. She said it brightened her day and she wanted to help others feel the same.
“Authenticity is about remembering who you are,” she said. “It affects our decisions and how we view ourselves, and it combats generalization and pressure.”
Ostvig Maguet shared her hopes for what the campaign will accomplish.
“There are a lot of people on campus who feel alone, and this campaign provides a sense of community,” she said.
The week isn’t over yet. Three activities remain in the Be You campaign: “Be Creative,” “Be Healthy,” and “Be You.”
On Thursday’s “Be healthy” event, students are invited to visit the WSR booth in the Wilkinson Student Center to “grab a snack and learn about mind, body, and spirit connection.” On Friday, students can attend the closing social in the WSR office, WSC 3326, to enjoy donuts and “celebrate you being you.”