Along with the fun and excitement of BYU social life, we seek something far richer. Our mission at BYU is “to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life.” In order to achieve this mission, we hope your experience will be (1) spiritually strengthening, (2) intellectually enlarging, (3) character building and (4) lifelong learning and service (Aims of BYU Education). Below are some students’ experiences with the BYU Aims:
“After hours of waiting in line with thousands of other students, I thought the time would never come for the doors to open. We had all been anticipating this event for months now. The prophet was coming to speak at a devotional. I do not remember the exact words he spoke that day, but I do remember being in the presence of our prophet, Thomas S. Monson. It was a wonderful feeling.
“While there are many opportunities like this that have strengthened me spiritually at BYU; the day-today experiences have contributed more to my spiritual growth.
“The experiences that have helped me develop spiritually are the weekly devotionals and examples of friends and neighbors. I am continually surrounded with opportunities to have faith-building experiences; these experiences have come from my willingness to listen and seek them out.
“Whether it is the devotional speaker who suggested we wake up 20 minutes earlier to have personal study time, my professor who took time out of his class to share a spiritual thought or my neighbor who left roses to wish me good luck on finals; these are the examples I will remember. These examples have taught me simple life lessons that have strengthened my faith in unexplainable ways.” ——Becca Jack, junior
“Taking Music 101 was a lifechanging experience for me. I decided to take it with a friend because he heard it was an ‘easy’ class. Because of that advice, we didn’t study as diligently as we should have for the first exam. After the first exam, we were both stunned to see our grades. It was the lowest grade I had ever received on a test.
“At first I was a little devastated, but the goal is not only to develop depth in a specific major, but also to build breadth in general learning. I knew that even though music wasn’t ‘my thing,’ I could still learn from being in this class. I made a better study plan. I took time to really study the material and tried to understand what my professor was trying to teach.
“I learned a lot about music from Music 101, but more than that, I learned the importance of enlarging my intellect in all of the subjects I study at BYU.” ——J.T. Wiser, junior
“Character is a desirable characteristic, but let’s be honest – we often don’t really want the experiences that develop it. Because high school was not particularly difficult for me, I came to BYU unprepared. People told me it was going to be difficult, but I thought I could handle it because I barely had to study in high school. Cue: This was going to be a character-building experience.
“BYU is a challenging university. I was no longer ‘smarter’ than everyone else. I was no longer able to finish homework in a matter of minutes. Studying for tests? That was something new. Surprisingly, my first report card was not pretty.
“Learning to work at school was difficult. It took a level of self-discipline that I hadn’t previously possessed and it wasn’t fun. I had to curtail the fun in order to succeed. It worked.” ——Brice Johnson, sophomore
Lifelong Learning and Service
“I took American Heritage during my first BYU semester. Part of the requirement was to perform 20 hours of service. I remember thinking, ‘How am I to do this much service? I’m struggling just to stay afloat with my normal homework.’
“I volunteered at a retirement home and was assigned to visit an elderly woman once a week. After weeks of visiting her, we formed a friendship that continues to this day.
“Now having graduated from BYU, I try to continue serving others. The opportunity to be at BYU was an incredible blessing and privilege. Since I have been given so much, it is my opportunity to pay forward some of what I received.” ——Stephanie Hillam, graduate