Readers’ Forum Nov. 7

A BYU physical education class led by Algie Eggertson Ballif in 1918. (University Archives)


Here at BYU, I quickly noticed that everyone here is going for “A”s and nothing less. Perfectionism creates unrealistic standards for freshmen that come to BYU. The word perfect in the Bible does not even have the meaning that we think it has. In a past BYU Devotional, John S. Robertson explained; “Originally, when borrowed from French, (perfect) meant ‘finished, complete, excellent.” With this description, we gain a more holistic understanding to what the often-heard commandment “be ye perfect” really means. It commands us to do all that we do completely, wholeheartedly and with our best efforts. When we understand that we should be complete, we make the important realization that our mistakes do not destroy us, they complete us. Too often, we set too high of standards for ourselves and we try to do it all. When we set unrealistically lofty standards like these, we hold ourselves back. Yes, perfectionism is a positive motivator, but only when we can move on from our mistakes. Moving on will put mistakes in the past and bring new successes in the future. When we accept the blessing of starting again, we accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Atonement is infinite, and schooling fits perfectly under the umbrella of infinite. As we accept both success and failure here at BYU, we will progress in our completeness and become more like Christ. What could be more important than that?

Matthew Morgan

Chesterfield, Missouri

Social Media

Many youth in today’s time are beginning to question why college is a necessity in their lives.This is prompted by what social media platforms have deemed as “human influencers” -famous bloggers or YouTubers who make a living off of DIY’s and sarcastic synopses. Through their influence they have downplayed the idea of a traditional college experience. Therefore we should teach our children at a young age the necessity and value of pursuing higher education. College takes dedication and persistence; it’s more than just math facts and good essay skills. It teaches a certain principle that my dad has said to me for as long as I can remember, “You can do hard things.” College is hard. Hard work is not always ideal but it reaps the greatest rewards. The more work and education people fill their life with, the more doors they open for themselves. So while some success stories can come from travel bloggers and photographers, people need college to live both comfortably and happily. More youth are becoming susceptible to the lies told through social media. They are told that if they didn’t like high school, they won’t like it in college and therefore it is not necessary. Teenagers need to stop listening to these influencers and start working towards a higher education and a future career and life they can be proud of.

Emileigh Cardon

Gilbert, Arizona

PE should be a GE

Many years ago Physical Education courses were apart of the General Education credits at BYU. Suddenly and subtly they were removed and are now offered as optional credits. As we see a decline in physical activity and an increase in physical and psychological issues, it’s obviously apparent this decision was erroneous. Physical education courses should required to take by freshmen to alleviate stresses and promote healthier lifestyles. Physical and psychological issues are very much related in the fact that one can cause the other quite interchangeably. Many view these issues as a direct result of their academic and societal pressure, but still it remains that physical activity and better diets can offer a great solution to alleviating stress. It is still offered freely on campus as an optional credit, but many students aren’t taking advantage of it and don’t understand that physical education is the answer. For this reason, PE courses should be required at BYU. BYU’s mission statement promotes the well-being and progression of the total person. BYU excels in academic progression and career aspirations, but personal improvement on the physical and mental level should also be included to improving the total person. Students have the capacity to know and learn about physical education, but are ignorant in knowing the advantages of establishing a balanced lifestyle. It’s in the personal interest of the student body to make these changes.

Joesph Hancock

Peoria, Arizona


Video games have become popular, especially in America. With the rise of games comes the rise of competitive gaming, or “eSports.” The United States of America considers those who travel here for gaming competitions athletes. Many people are upset that gamers are being called athletes and that video games are now being considered sports. For this opinion piece, competitive players will be referred to as gamers. At first glance, gaming takes no physical effort, but there is a lot more going on than you might think. Gamers have elevated heart rates and cortisol, a hormone similar to adrenaline that increases blood pressure. Because of this, gamers have taken up physical training regiments and diets to increase their performance. A healthy body means a healthy mind, and a healthy mind means sharper reflexes and decision making. The University of Utah has made great leaps in competitive gaming. This year they have started an official Overwatch team that is receiving scholarships. Overwatch is a first-person shooter that has become popular in eSports. Several very competitive tryouts were held earlier this year where players tried to impress official members with their ability within the game. We should be more accepting of this new sport that is quickly taking the world by storm. Chess is officially a sport and requires less physical activity than gaming. Gaming may not be the same as sprinting down a football field, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a sport.

Brannon McQuinn

Sandy, Utah

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