What a weird place.
Today I began my fourth semester here at BYU-Idaho.
There’s things I love about Rexxy and others I detest. So I made a list: Pros and Cons of going to school at BYU-Idaho.
I am a Mormon (a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) so this shouldn’t have been a big deal for me. I expected this, but I didn’t expect the difference it would make. I moved from Billings, Montana where there is a good percentage of other Mormons in my high school, but I was still percentage-wise a minority. I can vividly remember how I felt the first time I turned on my car radio to hear church music playing, and not just any church music but my church’s music.
Mormons are known for being good people. They do what they’re supposed to for whatever reasons. They don’t drink alcohol, smoke, or even drink coffee. Their idea of a late-night party is typically playing board games, watching movies, or playing games outside, which I would be willing to argue isn’t that different from the most of us.
It’s nice to be in an environment such as this, but it also has its downsides. As Mike Thayer addresses in his article Utah: Lifestyle Porn Capital of the World, there’s a bit of lifestyle porn even in Rexburg. It’s all too commonly part of Mormon culture. It’s easy to get wrapped up in this idea of how you’re supposed to live and end up living your life just as others do – simply because it feels like what you’re supposed to do. You begin seeing your life as a set of steps to take rather than your own unique adventure to create.
For a detailed explanation of Housing options for Single-Students, watch for my blog post: Where to Live at BYU-Idaho.
Something unique about BYU and BYU-Idaho is the Honor Code. This includes living a chaste life (not having sex before marriage), abstaining from alcohol and harmful drugs, being an honest person, and respecting others. (So many classes actually have you grade your own work simply based on the principle of trust and honesty.)
Others things to consider is the dress code and curfew. For both men and women, pants are required. No shorts allowed. (This is only implemented on-campus, so it’s not actually too big of a deal.) Men are expected to be cleanly shaven. Beards are not allowed but mustaches are creepily still welcome. Women are expected to wear sleeved shirts and only one pair of earrings. Curfew is at midnight every night, except Fridays at 1 am. Truthfully, curfew is only enforced if you live at CentreSquare apartments or if your roommates report you to the Honor Code office. Don’t be that guy.
Unfortunately, financial aid is a nightmare at most universities. However, in addition, BYU-Idaho doesn’t accept military tuition assistance, which is dumb. Not sure why.
Despite popular belief, there is stuff to do in Rexburg
In fact, I’m currently working on a blog post about just that. Rexburg is a small town and there isn’t a big city near until you reach Salt Lake City (about 4.5 hours south). That being said, there is tons to do around Rexburg if you’ve been around enough to know where to go. A beginners list would have to include: hiking up to Goldbug Hotsprings, visiting Yellowstone National Park, adventuring in the Grand Tetons, skiing at Kelly Canyon or Targhee, and checking out Idaho Falls. Some of the best mexican food I have ever eaten was at a restaurant in IF (Idaho Falls).
You’ll either love it or hate it at BYUI
There’s a lot to consider when deciding where you want to go to school. Despite the downsides of BYUI, it really is an incredible school, especially for the money you pay. As long as you earn good grades, you’re basically guaranteed academic scholarships. BYUI also has some of the most loving, genuine people I have ever met. Youtuber Mikey Avant Garde, another student at BYUI, advised in his video to give BYUI at least two semesters before you decide you hate it. My first semester wasn’t quite what I expected, but I’ve grown from those experiences and am so proud of the person BYUI has helped me become.
My advise for choosing a school is this: Pray and ask your Heavenly Father what is best for you. You’ll feel in your heart where you need to be, and I hope you will have the courage to make the right decision. And if you don’t feel inclined to attend any of the schools, that probably just means that God trusts you to decide for yourself.
I’d love to hear where you guys decide to attend school! Please comment or send me an email and let me know.