BYU student wards give sense of community

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With more than 30,000 undergraduate students, 78 percent of which are single, BYU houses a considerable amount of Young Single Adult wards on campus, each one with between 150- 200 students.

“I’ve always lived in places where there weren’t a lot of LDS people,” said Isabelle Aguillar, an elementary education major from Sherman, Texas, who just finished her first year at BYU. “I feel like my wards back home have been super tight-knit with only about four youth.”

Aguillar said the large number of people in her new ward was somewhat overwhelming.

“I was pretty sure it was going to be a bunch of Utah Mormons,” she said. “But there were tons of really sweet, kind, friendly people here.”

After the first week of school, Aguillar was called to be a Relief Society instructor.

“I felt super inadequate at first,” she said. “I really felt like I had to step up. I feel like I’ve definitely grown and I’ve definitely been able to feel the Spirit strongly as I taught my lessons. I absolutely love it.”

In addition to serving in ward callings, students get a chance to associate closely with priesthood leaders.

Jordyn Darling, a family and consumer science education major from Moses Lake, Wash., said she has come to love her bishopric.

“I really love the bishopric FHEs,” she said, referring to the common practice of bishopric members hosting a home evening night every month or so. “Our first counselor took the time to learn all of our names and something unique about us. It gave me this kind of parent association during my first year away from home. It’s nice to have people who care.”

Jeff Stevenson, a pre-management major from Ogden, just finished his first year at BYU after he returned from an LDS mission last summer.

“It’s difficult to get into the swing of things after a mission,” Stevenson said. “It does take an effort to get to know people and to have fun sometimes. You’ve got to go to activities. Go to ward prayer. Meet your FHE family. Go to all the ward activities. It’s worth the relationships you will make.”

Aguillar, Darling and Stevenson all agree their experience could have been improved if they had been more involved in their wards.

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