When Shannon Williams went to a Halloween party this year, she went as a mandrake from Harry Potter.
“I can’t be a normal person,” Williams said, referring to her unique costume. “Its more fun (to be a mandrake).”
Her brother, Brett Williams, said Shannon has always been very creative. That creativity led Williams to create the Overheard @ BYU Facebook page, which currently has more than 20,000 likes. The Overheard @ BYU Facebook page is like a campus quote wall where students can share funny things they hear while on campus.
Williams said anyone can and should do it.
“It’s not difficult. I say just go for it,” Williams said.
Williams said she never expected the page to be as popular as it is now.
What started out as a quote wall in her freshman dorm has turned into one of the most popular BYU social media pages.
“I took a class from Susan Black,” Williams said, explaining what sparked the idea for the page. “She is really funny and says a lot of things that should be written down. There are a lot of professors and students that say a lot of things that should be written down.”
Ogden Mills, a friend who met Williams through the Facebook page, was impressed with her for carrying through with the page, which is now one of the largest Facebook pages associated with BYU.
“It was just a great way to laugh at our eccentricities,” Mills said.
Williams never planned on making a BYU-related Facebook page, but her brother said he was not surprised.
“Shannon is great at making pages for things,” Brett Williams said. “(She is) great at social networking.”
However, Williams’ dream since she was 5 has been to write, which is what she is doing now for a marketing company. Even when this work gets tough, she has a knack for looking at the bright side of life.
“I was leading a team of writers, and it was cool because I am only 23,” Williams said. “Just recently my team dissolved … working up and then falling all the way to the bottom, I kind of realized it is a good opportunity to once again meet new people and increase my skill set.”
Williams said it is nice to get back to a writing position and have less stress.
“Eventually I would like to monetize it,” Williams said. “I would like to do an archive of all the quotes or, if there is any way the Bookstore would get involved, make a book with the funniest quotes.”
Williams said a lot of students have stepped forward to help with the Facebook page and keep it running. There are about six others who moderate the page, including one of Williams’ old roommates.
“If something needs to be removed, it gives them privileges to remove it,” Williams said.
Williams could only think of one time that someone asked for a comment to be taken down because they felt badly about posting it afterward.
It has been four years almost to the day that the Overheard @ BYU Facebook page was started, and Williams said between now and then her biggest life lesson was a result of a London study abroad.
“I realized everyone had these to-do lists,” Williams said. “You don’t have to wait for these epic moments. They’re happening all around you in the ordinary things.”
In the future, Williams hopes to go to grad school and get an MFA in writing. She also hopes to get published one day.