When I accepted my admission to BYU-Idaho, I was less than enthusiastic.

I had been accepted to BYU and had always heard that BYU-I was the place people went when they didn’t get into Provo. I was unsure why I had been impressed to turn down my admission to Provo and haul myself to Rexburg. All I could think about was the small town, the frigid winters and the distance from anything resembling a metropolitan area. What was so special about Rexburg anyway?

After one year, I now understand how great an institution BYU-I is.

In my one year attending BYU-I, I have traveled from coast to coast, participating in internship expeditions to New York City and Los Angeles. These travels have allowed me to meet and learn from many individuals who are experts in their industries.

I have presented my work at the Research and Creative Works Conference and been judged by my peers and esteemed faculty members.

I’ve been able to write and work for Scroll and to have my voice heard through my writing.

I’ve had the opportunity to integrate myself into the local film community and find the field I am truly passionate about while forming friendships with other students who have the same passion.

I’ve learned how to network and have made some great contacts while at this university, along with some excellent mentors and friends.

I have had the privilege of being taught by brilliant and passionate instructors who have chosen to bring their intelligence and life experiences to the students of BYU-I.

Most, if not all, of these opportunities I had to work for and put effort into.

I would encourage every student at BYU-I to work for and take advantage of the many opportunities that this great university provides for its students.

This university is filled with talented, ambitious individuals, whether they be students or faculty members. We have all been blessed with talents and passions that we should be working to cultivate. Everything BYU-I provides to its students is aimed toward this objective.

“All of the people who learn and serve here will be changed for the better,” said President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, in his talk “The Temple and the College on          the Hill.”

I entirely believe the change President Eyring spoke of will be accomplished by students who recognize all of the opportunities laid out in front of them and who decide to grab on with both hands.

This semester, I challenge each of you to seek out what BYU-I has to offer you. Attend a workshop or conference. Find a way to showcase your work. Perform your talent at an event. Learn a new skill. Find a mentor. Connect with your peers and encourage each other to be better. Find a way to share and expand your passion. The possibilities are endless.

I am confident that every one of the experiences I have had as a BYU-I student thus far, and all of the experiences I will continue to have until I graduate, will be of use to me as I progress through my life.

Whatever your goal or passion, you will find something at this university to help you on your way if you put forth the effort. There is no shortage of chances to learn and grow while attending            this institution.

Your student experience at BYU-I is entirely what you make it. Give it your all.