Readers’ Forum April 10, 2018

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Thank you

To two Good Samaritans:

On March 22, I received a call from my brother pleading for help. This young man’s fiancée had just broken off their engagement, and he had just hit soul-crushing rock bottom. It took me 10 minutes to get to him, but when I got there, I saw that two young students had stopped and were trying to comfort him. I am so thankful they did. I do not know if I could have done it by myself.

I am glad to tell you two he is doing well again. Both he and his fiancée had been under an enormous amount of stress, and the fallout surfaced with an intensity that shocked both of them. It was a rough couple of days for them, but they each made the independent decision that they wanted to make their relationship work. Their engagement is moving forward again. Seeing the way they are talking with each other, I suspect they’ll get through it. Thank you both for taking 15 minutes out of your busy schedules to help a soul in need. I could not have gotten him through that critical moment without your help.

—Anonymous

Purchase of a lifetime

Today, it is easy to buy items you can’t afford. With a quick signature you can have the purchase of your dreams — but at what cost? Borrowing money can turn a purchase of a lifetime into a lifetime purchase. Once a quick, easy way to get more money now becomes a long, uphill slope to get out of debt.

Last year, U.S. household debt was over $13 trillion. Although there are some benefits to credit cards and loans in making purchases, many don’t understand what they are getting into and become slaves to interest. Young people need to be educated on how to properly manage their money. Marketing and media help convince the consumer their life won’t be the same without something. Educating people to better handle their money will improve the average American’s quality of life.

The solution is to educate students in high school about personal finance. Schools should require personal finance courses to teach students to handle their resources and to understand appropriate times to borrow money. Students will graduate with a better understanding of the consequences of debt and will make better financial decisions. Because the best way to get out of debt is to never go into debt at all.

—Robert Crofts
Ogden, Utah

Mutual mindset

Picture this: it’s 1985. You have no car and no smart phone, but you do have a date with a different girl in your ward each weekend. Not long ago, this was the norm of meeting people. So, what’s the norm today? Many changes in society and technology make it not so simple.
College students suggest a new norm for dating: the Mutual app. Mutual allows you to connect with other single adults around you, yet many college students are embarrassed to admit they use Mutual.

However, because boys aren’t asking every girl in their ward out on dates anymore, there must be an alternative approach to meeting people. Using this app simply facilitates the creation of new relationships in a technological era. It also isn’t exclusively applied to romantic relationships but on a friendship level as well.

In a changing time, we must embrace a new mindset toward dating apps like Mutual. Rather than shaming those who “stooped low enough” to download Mutual, view it as a new avenue towards the same goal. Instead of looking down on Mutual, start swiping up!

—Erin Cook, Spanish Fork, Utah
—Cole Ballard, Las Vegas, Nevada

BYU testing environment

BYU has an ineffective test-taking environment. The testing center has a distracting atmosphere, proctors interrupting focus and increased levels of anxiety. These issues affect test performance. To promote students’ success, surroundings must be conducive to test taking.

Students experience the opposite in the Heber J. Grant building because of distraction. There are endless pages turning, doors opening and beeping as exams are checked out. With proctors walking up and down each row to monitor exams, distractions increase. Although proctors help to enforce the Honor Code, they interrupt students’ focus and do more harm than good.

Students who attend BYU work extremely hard to maintain good grades while staying involved in extracurricular activities. Why, then, are students required to find time outside of class, within a limited period, to take exams? This is exactly our point and why we would like to make a change. Please consider our plea to changing the way exams are taken at BYU.

—James Baird, Barstow, California
—Elizabeth Nemelka, Provo, Utah
—Bailee Arnett, Mesa, Azirona
—Natalie Bascom, Cummings, Georgia

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