Feb 2, 2016

BYU vs. BYU-Idaho. Don't hold your breath reading this one.

            So here’s the thing. I think I’m going to start all of my blog posts with that, because... It seems to be appropriate. And what I always what to start typing. So here’s the thing: BYU vs. BYU-Idaho. Typically when people find out I transferred to BYU from BYU-Idaho, I get one of several questions. Options including, “which school do you like better”, “why did you transfer”, and finally, “did you always want to come to BYU and didn’t get in at first so you went to BYU-Idaho hoping you could get in as a transfer?”. Ok, so that last one wasn’t entirely true, but I do suspect that most people are secretly thinking it.
            The truth is, I never wanted to go to BYU. All of the BYU-obsessed Mormons annoyed me. My sister went to BYU-Idaho, I visited her frequently, and I loved the school. I’m from a small town and loved the charm of Rexburg, even though I complained about it incessantly. I really just felt like I should go to BYU. I fought it and fought it and fought it some more, but obviously, this is where I ended up, and I couldn’t be happier about it. It led me to my husband, a degree that I love, and opportunity that I now recognize as invaluable.

            That being said, here’s my take on the whole, BYU vs. BYU-Idaho debate.

            BYU-Idaho is an amazing school. I loved it. I love the spirit there. I loved that all of my classes started with a prayer. In French and religion classes, we always sang hymns. I called all of my professors “Brother” and “Sister”. Sure, the rules there were a little stricter than they are at other church schools, but it was nice that when the occasional rebellious student was pushing the rules I (usually) so faithfully followed, I saw their ankles and not half their thigh. Now, my reasoning for being annoyed with this doesn’t really have so much to do with the fact that the skirts or shorts are immodest. My annoyance comes from my belief that when you agree to do something, you should do it. Call me old fashioned, but I think it has something to do with being raised to keep your commitments. Weird, I know. All of that being said, I’ve had lots of friends graduate from BYU-Idaho who have really struggled with finding jobs at all, and especially legitimate ones. Granted, that could also have something to do with their chosen degrees, because other friends who graduated from BYU-Idaho have gotten great jobs. So, there’s that. Also! One more thing, I love that the teachers’ sole focus is on the students. They teach classes and research isn’t included as a part of their role as a teacher.

            I love BYU. I never imagined a school with so much opportunity. I’ve had amazing friends at BYU, an amazing ward, and more fun than I realized college could be. There are awesome events, clubs, and activities. Also, I really, really love that we have a Jamba Juice on campus. In fact, it’s probably my favorite thing about campus if I’m going to be honest. I love the football and basketball games. I love that we have teams to rally behind and come together for and occasionally, all be ashamed of together. I love my professors. There are however, things about BYU that I can’t stand. The first, and in my opinion the worst, is the religion classes. I’m going to make a fairly blanket statement here, but I do understand that it depends on the professor. But.... As a general rule, the professors are so set on the classes not being an “easy A” that they make them more academic than spiritual. I firmly believe that a class can be both. I’ve experienced it. I’m totally ok with it. I’ve had really challenging, testimony-building experiences in my religion classes at BYU-Idaho. And, magically, there were no tests in those classes. They were assignments that challenged me to dive deeper into the scriptures and my testimony than I had before. AND I LOVED THEM. I understand that you can’t grade someone on their testimony, but I also don’t think that students should be expected to have PhD level knowledge of the scriptures in basic religion classes. Ok, rant over. But, while I’m on the topic of PhD’s, here’s my next rant: I understand that professors have worked very hard to build their careers and earn their degrees and all of that. But I also struggle with those who insist you address them as “Doctor”. Or even “Professor” for that matter. I miss the simple times at BYU-Idaho. Luckily I’ve had mostly really great professors, several of whom even insist that they’re addressed by their first name- here’s your shout out Liz!- and I like that. It’s still a little weird to me, but I like it. Lastly, the competitiveness of BYU. I like it to a certain extent. But the whole, GPA requirements for classes thing is the worst. I really, hate it. I’d rant on it more, but my rants have tired me.  But after all of these rants, I would like to say that I will never regret deciding to come to BYU. I love the school, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities that it provides me.

            And there you have it. That’s my take on the whole BYU vs. BYU-Idaho debate. The end.

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