Readers’ Forum: 4/23/19

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Eating in the HBLL

It’s 12:15 p.m. and I’ve already been on campus for four hours. I have just finished my physical science class and now want to take care of some homework before my accounting class. I walk into the HBLL through the main floor and pass the “snack zone.” My stomach rumbles, I look around but there isn’t an open seat to be seen. I wouldn’t want to sit there anyway because of its noisy atmosphere. Down the stairs I go and find a secluded study desk. Nervously, I pull out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and take a bite. My eyes dart from side to side looking for library security. I’m clear.

Too often I find myself sneaking a bite of a snack in the library’s “no food areas.” The library’s no food policy needs to be done away with. It is insufficient to have one designated snack area in the busiest section of the library, especially since the freshmen always have a monopoly on those seats.

A good friend once told me that when he’s not eating he’s slowly dying. This statement has proven true as I have tried to accomplish homework. How is my brain supposed to work without sustenance?

I admit that this could make the library a mess; however, with the use of more custodians this could easily be solved. BYU should allow students to have snacking freedom in the library.

— Ken Francis

Yorba Linda, California

Social media

The use of social media is affecting our ability to listen and communicate effectively with our peers. The ability to communicate with others at any given time has lessened the significance of face-to-face conversation. It’s become acceptable to rely on social media for socialization with one’s peers, opening the door for many issues. These issues have lodged themselves into our society, slowly developing into our definition of normal. Social media has shifted the focus to the self, which has made users more self-critical, leading to users feeling depressed or inadequate.

Notifications have become a safety net for our self-esteem. It gives us the impression of real life interaction, along with a feeling of gratification. The reward center in the brain, which gives off the chemical dopamine, is stimulated by social media. When we receive a notification, we also receive a rush of dopamine, giving us the feeling instant gratification. The absence of this feeling leaves us wanting more, creating a cycle of dependency on the high of social media.

Social media can be a useful tool, but only when used correctly. By misusing the social platforms, you’re slowly stripping yourself of real-life communication skills that are necessary to have at every point in our lives. Our high level of communication is the basis of who we are as a human race and sets us apart from all other species. Losing the very characteristic that makes us special for impersonal conversation would be a shame.

— Emma Brasher

Vidor, Texas

Majors and clubs

“So, what are you studying?” stands out as one of the only questions you’ll get asked on both a first date and at a family reunion. It’s something we think about often, but tend to act on disproportionately. I sought to understand why and how people select majors. I want to add why and how I believe they should go about choosing the right one.

People pick majors they like based on personal interests, values and abilities, and rightfully so. But I believe that only constitutes half of the decision-making process. It’s also necessary to consider the consequential implications of a major selection, like how you might leverage a major in applying for a job. Clubs are great tools that help us develop relationships with people of similar interests and vicariously step onto the path that leads to a future career.

I propose participating in all types of clubs and developing relationships with people of all interests to be the best method of not only following our interests but also identifying them.

Acting in such a way aligns with President Dallin H. Oaks’ recent counsel to ponder the question, “Where will this lead me?” Let us heed the counsel of President Oaks and ponder the ramifications of our “major” decision and where it will lead us, by first getting started – choosing to participate in clubs and getting to know different people will lead us to find answer to Elder Oaks’ question through the spirit’s help.

— Thomas Morgan

Salt Lake City, Utah

Recycling at off-campus housing

We sure do show how much we love the environment here at BYU. The university grounds crew works tirelessly throughout the year to keep our campus beautiful. For the rest of us, recycling bins are widely available on campus for all our old chemistry notebooks and empty chocolate milk bottles. However, living off campus in BYU contracted housing does not allow students to follow the trend of being stewards of the earth.

This year’s Housing Guide states BYU contracted housing provides students with “an environment consistent with the Honor Code.” What about housing that helps me do better for the environment through the simple service of recycling? It may cost us a few extra dollars every month, but recycling at our apartments will make a difference.

I’m not saying you need to haul your recycling to campus like I do. We just need to start the conversation. If all of us want it, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be allowed to have recycling as a standard for BYU contracted housing. Show your interest and maybe when your sibling or your child come here to learn, they can also do their small part to help God’s wonderful earth.

— Janaya Webb

Everett, Washington

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