The Dos and Don’ts of BYU campus etiquette


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With courtesy, this student steps outside to text a friend.
Within a few weeks of being on campus, you’ll get the hang of where to go, find the best places to do homework and learn there is no way you can get a Jamba Juice quickly. Until you get your bearings, here are some tips of how to manage yourself on campus.

1. Don’t email the professor with every question you have. When you have questions about due dates or assignments, check the syllabus first. The majority of the time it will have all the information that you need to know. If you still have questions that aren’t answered, try contacting the course TA. Their job is to help you in your courses, and they have office hours where you can speak to them and get help.

2. Do sit in the center seats in auditorium classes when you’re the first one there. Be kind to students who are late to class. Allow them to get the seats at the end. It helps everyone out if you sit in the middle when you are first to class. It’s a disruption for the teacher, and it’s never fun to have someone crawl over you to get to their seat.

3. Always attend on Devotionals and Forums. For one hour a week campus closes down so everyone can learn together. The opportunity to hear these inspired speakers is not something to be taken lightly. Speakers range from professors to General Authorities and distinguished guests. Previous guests have included President Thomas S. Monson, then Relief Society General President Julie B. Beck, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook and Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts.

4. Don’t try to sneak into a line at the CougarEat Food Court when it’s 10:59 a.m. on a Tuesday. Most places on campus, including the Bookstore, CougarEat and offices close for Devotionals and Forums.

5. Don’t eat nasty-smelling food during class. It’s fine to eat when you’re hungry, but try to keep it simple with a granola bar or an apple. It’s easier for the people around you to pay attention to the lesson without the pungent smell of your tuna-fish sandwich at nine in the morning.

6. Don’t run to class. You don’t want to arrive to class sweaty and out of breath. During the first week of class, give yourself some extra time to make sure that you arrive on time. After you get into a routine, it will be easier for you to know how much time you’ll need to get around campus.

7. Don’t engage in PDA (public displays of affection). It may seem fun and exciting to be with your sweetheart on campus, but no one wants to see it.

8. Go to class. It is easy to get overwhelmed during the transition period of your first semester. Balancing school, roommates and ward activities is something that you will work on through your entire college education. You will regret putting off your readings or assignments. If you stay on track in your courses, the work won’t pile up as the end of semester approaches.

9. Don’t worry if you don’t have a major when you arrive. You may have a roommate who seems to have it all figured out, with a five-year life plan, complete with internship, career path and future spouse, but don’t get overwhelmed. There are plenty of campus resources to help you.

10. Be brave and put yourself out there and meet new people.

Sadie Peterson, from Eagle, Idaho, just finished her first year at BYU. She followed in the footsteps of her older siblings by coming to Provo. She recommends jumping into the social scene right away.

“Get involved really quickly. Once the first three or four weeks are over, it seems that everyone already has friends,” Peterson said. “Be sure to get involved in your ward and talk to people in class and be super outgoing. I’m personally not that outgoing so I didn’t really talk to people. I could have had a lot better experience if I put more effort into it.”

You don’t want to regret your freshman year, wishing that you had gone to more activities or got involved in a club. Now is the chance for change. If you wanted to do something during high school but felt like you couldn’t, now you have the opportunity to go for it.

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