Students decorate jars to admire qualities in others

Jessica Guerrucci–Reporter

On Thursday, Jan. 24 the Violence Prevention, Victim Advocacy (VPAS) and Support Center held a “You Are” Jar Making Party where students were given the opportunity to decorate jars and write on popsicle sticks things that they admired about themselves or a
loved one.

Sabrina St. Juste, who is receiving her master’s in social work and current V.P.A.S graduate intern, said that the program was meant to start a conversation. “We thought that having this program would be helpful and encourage students to look for qualities that they admire in themselves in hopes that they choose to have healthy relationships with others,” said St. Juste.

Students had the choice to keep the jar for themselves, but Nathalia Curi, a communication major, said she chose to make the jar for her best friend.

“I wrote ‘you are loved’ on my sticks and thanked her for the times that she’s helped me when I felt alone,” said Curi. “Then I wrote her some encouraging things for when she feels alone or when she feels like her relationships aren’t going very well, just remind her that she’s awesome.” Taslima Sultana, a psychology major, said she chose to make her jar for her two-year-old daughter, who she said is always kind and behaves for her.

“She doesn’t bother me too much, she lets me cook, she lets me study, so that’s why I wrote ‘you are so smart,” said Sultana. “Then I wrote ‘you are happiness for life,’ because my life has been so much more enjoyable with her now.”

Students had the choice to either keep the jar for themselves or give it to a loved one, but some students decided to leave it for a stranger. Keri Warner, a psychology major, said she left her jar on the table and left a note saying, “take me.”

“I feel like the strangers are the people that kind of need your love the most. I knew had friends, and I knew I had family but in the moment that didn’t matter,” said Warner, “It was kind of the people who made small differences, like holding the door open for me, or just smiling as I walked by, that made me feel like my presence was acknowledged.”

Cameron Row, a computer science major, said that he chose to leave his jar for a stranger because he already encourages his loved ones and said he didn’t feel that he needed to make them a jar to let them know they’re admired.

“I left it here for people to take for encouragement because everyone should know they are beautiful and everybody is loved,” said Row. Instead of making a jar for a loved one or a stranger, Taipha Antoine, a public health major, and V.P.A.S member, said she made a jar and used stickers to write the word “loved” on it, because her jar was about loving herself.

Regardless of what students chose to do with the jar, St. Juste said that the point of the program was to encourage students to look for qualities that they admire in themselves in hopes that they choose to have healthy relationships with others.

“No one was ever hurt from getting a little encouragement and to be reminded that you are loved and to have someone to focus on the good things instead of the bad,” said Curi. “I water bottles were available as snacks for those who came. Throughout
the room, the stylings of Cardi B, Beyoncé, and Fantasia were heard on a loudspeaker controlled by students who called out what music they wanted to hear.

A common goal many students had for the semester was the lack of procrastination. Freshman Anika Miller said she often waits until the last minute to get her work done which she hopes to put an end to. As well as holding off on schoolwork, Miller also said she was guilty of falling asleep in class and hopes to do away with that and do better in class overall.

“I definitely don’t want procrastination to take over my life this semester,” said Zahnyah Scott. “To be honest, I consciously know (my vision board) is there so if I ever catch myself falling short, I always look back at it.”

Vice president and senior Elina Michel compared the vision boards to New Year’s resolutions, saying the two are both goals people want to pursue. A goal of hers, she said, was to make it on the Dean’s List.

“It’s nice seeing your goals out there,” Scott said. “It’s like you’re seeing everything you want to achieve and you can follow it. It’s something to look up to and strive for.”

Photo Credit: Jessica Guerrucci

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