On Monday, Oct. 22, the Healthy Campus Initiatives hosted a seminar about self-improvement by one of its interns, junior public relations major Breyanna Chiles-Gaines.
With a myriad of activities, discussion and personal anecdotes, Chiles-Gaines engaged and taught about two specific key concepts — self-empowerment and self-efficacy.
Self-empowerment, as described in the presentation, is about taking the initiative to set goals and make positive choices based on the strengths and weaknesses of an individual. On the other hand, self-efficacy is the belief or confidence in oneself to do something.
To encourage self-efficacy, Chiles-Gaines asked participants to write three times in their life where it seemed impossible to overcome.
“I had us looking back at stuff we’ve done and didn’t think we’d do as far as going to college, or passing a test, or writing ten page papers, stuff like as freshman we didn’t think we could do, even if you’re still a freshman, you didn’t think you could do that two weeks ago, but know you can,” Chiles-Gaines said.
In another activity, Chiles-Gaines asked students to give anonymous compliments to each other.
“I just want students to know that there’s someone out there that believes in them and also want them to know that, even if there’s not someone that believes in you, you should still believe in yourself, because at the end of the day, we are our biggest promoters,” Chiles-Gaines said.
For freshman exploratory studies major Katie Clauson, her favorite activity was the letter to future self with mention of five year end goals.
“It really made you think about what you really want in the next five years, and it made you just look at your life as a whole, and see where you can empower yourself a little more,” Clauson said.
As an intern, Chiles-Gaines is tasked with hosting an event once a semester, and as her first semester on the job, as well as her first solely run event, Chiles-Gaines took inspiration from her own impactful experiences. She credits the Harvey Flack Program during a weekend the spring of her freshman year as something that taught her about self-promotion and positivity.
“This is an important time in our lives to be empowered and to believe in ourselves, because we need to practice that every single day and we need to know that we can do this and that even though there’s like stuff to say we can’t,” Chiles-Gaines said. “We can and we will and we will succeed and it’s important to me that people know that they can achieve these goals.”
In the future, the healthy campus initiative plans on hosting many events on gratitude and mental health in November, including the Mental Health Awareness Conference on Nov. 14.
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