“BYU-I Do” is likely the most popular nickname given to BYU-Idaho.
Both within and outside the school, BYU-I is known for its marriage-driven culture.
University Relations recently reported the total number of married campus students enrolled for Winter Semester 2017 is 4,528, which consist of 25.1 percent of the entire campus student population.
In other words, one quarter of all campus students are married.
This recent report gives some support to the “BYU-I Do” culture. Yet, the study also points out that 75 percent of BYU-I students are still unwed.
Like 13,537 other students on this campus, I am single. Not only am I single, but I’ve never had a girlfriend while attending BYU-I.
As my plane rolled into the Pocatello Regional Airport upon returning home from my mission, I was excited to face any new challenge head on. It wasn’t until I had my first face-to-face conversation with the opposite sex that my enthusiasm turned into slight panic.
I thought, “Oh dear, this is going to be a brutal transition.” Over time, my fear of talking to women in “non-missionary ways” lessened, and I started to more actively pursue one-on-one dating.
I’ve gone on some wonderful dates, and I’ve also met some wonderful women. However, I’d be lying if I said my post-mission dating life wasn’t discouraging.
I’ve seen my fair share of rejection, and at moments questioned, “Is this really worth it?” Yet, I am reminded of Elder Robert D. Hales’ wise words in the October 2015 general conference.
“Your responsibility now is to be worthy of the person you want to marry,” Hales said in the conference. “If you want to marry a wholesome, attractive, honest, happy, hardworking, spiritual person, be that kind of person. If you are that person and you are not married, be patient. Wait upon the Lord.”
As a single young adult, it is my responsibility to prepare myself to be a worthwhile boyfriend or husband. If I want a woman who loves the Lord, then I also need to increase my love for the Savior. If I want a girl who wants to get married in the temple, then I need to make temple attendance a priority in my life. Virtue attracts virtue.
On Valentine’s Day, Elder Neil L. Andersen, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, told BYU-I students gathered in the BYU-Idaho Center to prepare for the future, regardless of one’s relationship status.
“But for all, regardless of marital status, there is great happiness if we keep the commandments of God,” Andersen said in the BYU-I devotional. “Look forward with hope, and don’t be fearful of what lies ahead. If you prepare yourself and are spiritually grounded, your future will be bright.”
I have not had a girlfriend while attending BYU-I, yet I have faith I will one day kneel across the altar of the temple with my sweetheart. There is no reason to feel stress or sorrow because I am single.
I am only 23 years old, and I know God will provide me with a miracle if I continue to strive to better myself, go on dates and remain patient.