Bonjour friends. It’s been a year and minute since I posted on here, and today something happened that I’ve been WAITING for: I received an email from BYU-Idaho asking me to complete a survey about why I didn’t return to school there. *cue my evil laugh and cracking of knuckles*
First off, I was like “how did you get my personal email??” and then I was like “oh man Oh man THIS IS IT!!”
And my shoulder angels came out, with Devil!Amanda suggesting things like,
“The icy tundra and constant onslaught of Molly Mormons turned my once innocent heart into a heart of stone!!!!”
“I went to college for an education, not for a lesson on how I must get married or I’m lame!!!”
But then Angel!Amanda came back with,
“You can’t discount all the good experiences there! What about your friends?? And your awesome ward?”
So this is what I came up with. The honest, core truth, put in the nicest and sugary sweetest way I could muster. (Note: the skills I learned at BYU-Idaho were things like how to place words like blessing and the Lord anywhere to make anything sound nice.)
My time at BYU-Idaho was good and bad. I met many new friends and was given some really great opportunities unique to this school. I felt very close to the Lord and enjoyed my student ward. However every semester I was there I felt immense pressure to fit into a mould put out by the students and the school. I felt that I was not righteous enough because I didn’t want to go on a mission or get married right away, and those feelings translated into my classes where I felt lame and out of place because the church was so tied into my education that I felt all these things were synonymous with being a good person/Mormon/student. I consider myself a decent and upstanding member of the church, but the “shame culture” exhibited by the people that populate the campus made my overall experience very negative. It is a blessing to have the Lord work hand in hand with you in all pursuits and in this case, your education. But I feel that we should celebrate our differences in being the unique individuals that Heavenly Father intended.
That’s all I wanted to share. As always, I envy my peers who have found great success and happiness in their association with BYU-Idaho, and I am not discounting the fact that most of my friends experiences have been great.
I am purely sharing this so people who might feel similarly can know it’s okay that college (particularly a church school) is not all rainbows and unicorns, and that doesn’t make you less than for not having the same great experience as your friends.
You live your life the way you want, and even more importantly the way you know the Lord wants for you.