Brigham Young University '13
Majoring in Conservation and Environmental Studies
Member since 12/17/2010
Fascinating, Not Well-Known – I decided to major in Conservation Biology, and three years into the program I have not met very many other students with the same major. Most Biology students tend to go into medical sciences or hands-on technical sciences, not studies that merge social and natural sciences like my major. It requires tough enough classes that I could go on to law school or grad school, but also offers small and interesting courses like Religion and the Environment. I have enjoyed working with professors and exploring career options as varied as Interpretive Ranger with the National Park Service, nonprofit coordinator of an overseas environmental initiative, biological technician or environmental consultant for large corporations, or even going into research. The sky's the limit with this fascinating major!
On-Campus Is Easy, but Not Cheapest – I found that the contracts and payments associated with on-campus housing were much easier to navigate than off-campus housing, but the cost is quite a bit more to off-set that convenience. I enjoyed my time at Helaman Halls for the easy access to delicious meals at the Cannon Center Cafeteria, but I decided that I could cook for myself for less than half the cost and moved to Heritage Halls. Don't let them fool you into thinking that you MUST have a meal plan as a freshman- once I canceled mine, I saved a lot of money cooking for myself and wasn't locked into dining options. Wyview was my favorite place to live: it was far enough from campus to give you breathing room but still close enough to ride a bike (10 min tops!), and the activities were also so much fun! I especially enjoyed playing the piano and checking out games from the Central Building. Wyview is close to many different shopping centers, restaurants, bike shop, and the Provo River Trail. One nice thing about on-campus housing is the cheap and accessible laundry facilities. I got married in the middle of the semester, and it just took a phone call and a bit of paperwork to cancel my contract and get back my deposit. Anywhere else you'd have the headache of trying to sell your contract or getting stuck paying for two places at once!
Small-Town Feel With Easy Access to Mountains – Provo is a fun town with lots of community events and neat downtown shops and destinations. I love sampling food from the many Indian, Thai, Mexican, and other restaurants and exploring antique shops on center street. The easy access to hiking, biking, and rafting is a definite plus, and the city is improving its bike trail/lane system. Parking is a bit of an issue because there are just so many people in a little area. Having LDS temples so close means a lot to me, too. Provo is a big city with a small-town feel in many ways (unless it's Friday night after a big football game!)
Similar Backgrounds – There are students present from many different countries and walks of life at this school, but because it is a church-owned university the majority of students are middle-class Latter-Day-Saints. The Honor Code makes it so people dress and act in very similar ways. Good and wholesome ways, but fairly sheltered from the "real" world.
I have not yet had to have a job during a school year. Instead, I spend a fraction of the time I would spend working entering scholarships and essay contests, including those sponsored by my school. It helps to get involved with groups on-campus and talk to counselors about opportunities. I have won thousands of dollars to date, as well as placement in an all-expense-paid internship that could lead me to my dream job. Work hard now so you don't have to later! And live within your means. I have only a bike and cook all my own food, so I can live off of savings. It's a good life :)
Honor Code Is a Good Standard to Live by – BYU has a social contract known as the "Honor Code" that includes such things as dress and grooming standards, academic honesty, and curfews for visiting hours. Those who live by a high standard anyway have no problem abiding most of the rules, but others feel constricted by the Code. It is not very well enforced, though, because most of it deals with moral issues and no one wants to call a girl out of class just because her dress is a little short.
Lab in Library Is Crowded, Printing Stations Often Crowded, but Good Overall – The open-access computer lab in the Harold B. Lee Library is often crowded, although mostly just in between classes. The on-campus wireless printing is an ingenious thing; only a crunch in between classes and so handy! In all, there are so many computers on campus; it's very nice. I especially like the 10-min limit stations in every building.
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Burning with the Spirit
Burning with the Spirit
If you take "Book of Mormon" from a chemistry professor, expect neat reactions!